Protecting Our OHV Privileges
While there are many great riding areas in Oregon, they all need respect and care. In some cases it's simply a matter of treading lightly -- stay on designated trails, pack out your own trash and be responsible. In other cases, trails need serious work. Below are a few ways you can keep OHV opportunities open for current and future users.
Riding responsibly is the best way to protect your access to riding areas in Oregon. Many other users enjoy the same areas as well. Here are a few tips to ensure OHV’s continue to have access:
- Riders should never operate their off-road vehicle on private lands unless they have permission from the land owner or the land is posted open for ATV use. Oftentimes, private property or private timberlands are located adjacent or within OHV riding areas. Impacts from OHV use can not be effectively managed and maintained on private lands, and reflect negatively on the perception of OHV users and the sport in general.
- Know where you’re permitted to ride and where you’re not.
- Avoid wet areas and waterways. They are a vital resource for many plants and animals.
- If you must cross water, ride carefully and only at designated spots.
- Cutting switchbacks and taking shortcuts damages trails and causes erosion.
- Share the trails and make friends with other trail users. Respect their rights to the trail too.
- Respect seasonal closures. They are needed to minimize damage to the trails and allow time for animals to reproduce undisturbed.
- View animals from a distance. When they flee, they use valuable energy reserves.
- Be part of the solution. Volunteer to help maintain trails and protect our natural resources. Join an organized club in your area.
- Know and respect the sound limits where you ride.
- Keep your RPMs and speed down and steady when you are around non-riders.
- Always use a spark arrester. It doesn’t sacrifice power, but can save the forest from fires.
- Maintain your exhaust system. Remember, noise doesn’t equal horsepower. Too little exhaust back-pressure can actually cause less power and engine damage.
- If you “pack it in, pack it out.” Trash is an eyesore and it attracts scavengers that endanger other wildlife.
- Remember, even biodegradable materials such as food scraps take time to break down.
To leave a good impression, you need the right information. In an age where outdoor recreation is the sport of choice, it is our responsibility to exercise responsible outdoor practices. Tread Lightly!, has a simple message: Conserve our environment! Make the commitment to follow and promote the Tread Lightly! Principles:
Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and areas. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. When possible, avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas Respect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers skiers, boaters, and divers and those on or near shore. Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, planning for your trip, taking recreation skills classes, and knowing how to operate your equipment safely. Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds. Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species, and repairing degraded areas.
For more information, contact Tread Lightly at:
|Volunteer Trail Work |
Please do your part to maintain the trails you use.
ETRA club and BLM constructing an OHV trail bridge.
Many clubs and land managers organize volunteer trail work parties throughout the year. These work parties are where your interest and dedication to OHVing can really be shown. You can learn about terrain, soils and trail layout. In addition, working on foot and "in the dirt" can improve your riding skills. Not only can you be proud to make a contribution to the sport, most parties end with a great ride.
These work parties depend on volunteers like you. They're always interested in volunteers. Contact your local club or riding area land manager to see what work parties are scheduled.
Click here to see who is the land manager of where you ride
Here are several resources with information about upcoming volunteer work parties:
-Hood River County Forestry
-Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association: They are composed of ATV and motorcycle clubs in Oregon. Scroll down to the "Volunteer" section.
-Oregon Dept. of Forestry: Tillamook State Forest
-Central Oregon Combined Off-Highway Vehicle OPerationS (COHVOPS)
There are many more opportunities than listed here, so be sure to contact the club or land manager for more information.
|Join a club in your area|
|There are many benefits to joining a riding club. Many enjoy the camaraderie gained through joining a club. It allows novice and expert riders to share information on riding areas, conditions, attaining skills, and generally enjoying the outdoors with other enthusiasts. It gives riders the opportunity to meet new friends and discover new riding areas. Joining a club also allows you to come together for a common goal, keeping riding areas open and maintaining those areas for future generations. |
Click here for OHV club contacts in Oregon
|Land Use - What YOU can do|
|Your involvement as an OHV user is the greatest resource to keeping land open to OHV recreation. Here are some ways to get you involved: |
- Attend meetings with OHV clubs, land use managers and legislators. Let the land managers and legislators know why we believe in enjoying our public lands. The world is run by people who show up.
- Write to your local state or federal land manager. A simple letter explaining how much you enjoy trail riding can have significant impact. Express your opinion and let your love of the sport be known. Do this often and let your voice be heard.
- Write letters to your state and federal representatives. Let them know the importance of supporting motorized recreation opportunities.
- Attend trail maintenance work parties. Work parties are where your dedication to OHVing can really be shown. Not only can you proud to make a contribution to the sport, many work parties end in a great ride. Contact your local club or the OHV coordinator where you ride for more information on trail work parties.
|Putting Your ATV Funds to Work |
YOU and OPRD, together working to keep Oregon’s OHV opportunities open today and for the users of tomorrow!
Your involvement is the single most significant investment we have to ensure the trails stay open!
Our trails are a privilege, protect your privilege and do everything you can to protect them!
Understand that you are an ambassador for the sport every time you are on the trail!
OPRD’s management of the ATV Grant Program aims to provide economic stimulus for Oregon’s citizens and draws tourists to our world class OHV trails.
OHV operators have a unique opportunity in Oregon. Their purchase of Access permits (also called Operation Permits) and the tax they pay on fuel for their OHV vehicles support the OHV Program. It is a program paid by the user, for the user.
The ATV Grant Subcommittee review grant applications and recommends which projects should be funded to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission for their approval. The ATV Grant Subcommittee is a committee of dedicated OHV users representing all four Classes of ATVs in Oregon, a representative from Law Enforcement and ADA, and a member at large.
In 1971, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) was given the responsibility to plan for recreational trails under the “State Trails Act.” In 1985, the ATV Fund was created to provide off-road recreation financial support from gas tax revenue attributed to off-road OHV use.
In 1995, OPRD completed the Oregon State OHV Study and Oregon Recreation Trails Plan. OPRD began to revise the plan in 2003. In February 2005, OPRD completed the Oregon Trails 2005-2014: A Statewide Action Plan, which includes motorized trails planning and non-motorized and water trails. OHV trail planning also is part of the Oregon Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which is updated every five years.
OPRD is the driving force for OHV recreation in Oregon. Supplementing the planning efforts, OPRD has several staff and the private citizens of the ATV Grant Subcommittee working together to get results for OHV users. Two OPRD field representatives work with land managers and OHV users to facilitate communication and ensure your OHV funds are hard at work. OPRD also has three additional staff that keeps the program working hard for OHV users.