OHV Non-resident permits.

 

Montana’s Nonresident OHV permit requirements have changed. For more information, visit the Montana State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Program page here.

Latest News

Capital Trail Vehicle Association Helps With Race To The Sky Sled Dog Race!

From Doug Abelin, President, CTVA

For the past several years, Capital Trail Vehicle Association (CTVA) members have gone out of their way to help make the Race To the Sky Sled Dog Race a success.  This year’s race was held February 9 – 13 and included a 300 mile race for the hard cores and a 100 mile race.  The courses wind through the mountains beginning and ending in Lincoln and traveling through Seeley Lake and Ovando.

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Wilderness Study Areas Rhetoric Hurting Our Ability to Work Together

By Russ Ehnes, Vice President, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association and President, Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association.

From the Great Falls Tribune, February 28, 2018

Recently much attention has been given to those opposed to Senator Daines’ effort to remove these WSA designations. Unfortunately, much of it has been based on misinformation and false statements.

Montana’s wilderness study areas (WSAs) are exceptional places to find what all of us in Montana love: the rugged outdoors, abundant wildlife and a place to get away. U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ bill to remove the WSA designation from five U.S. Forest Service areas in Montana does nothing to change that or how these areas are currently managed.

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Fire Funding Fix in Omnibus Finance

From Bob Walker, Chair, Montana Trails Coalition, April 9, 2018

The Montana Trails Coalition (MTC) is comprised of a broad spectrum of recreation interests including hikers, mountain and road bicyclists, OHV riders, skiers, snowmobilers, and equestrians.  Our vision is to work collaboratively as user groups to advocate for establishing sustainable trails funding and outdoor recreation opportunities in Montana while supporting the public land management agencies responsible for keeping well-maintained trails open for public use.

We’re seeking sustainable funding for trails because trails are essential components of Montana’s 7.2 billion outdoor recreation economy and because current federal and state appropriations for trails are entirely inadequate to meet the needs of communities across the state and visitors from around the country.

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In School Off Highway Vehicle Ethics Education Program 2016-2017 School Year

By Jim Dochnahl, Education Consultant

This was the eleventh full school year of the partnership between contractor Jim Dochnahl and the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association (MTVRA) to provide OHV ethics education in Montana’s public schools.

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Department of the Interior Reorganization (DOI)

From Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) Washington Newsletter, September 2017

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke is apparently giving serious thought to moving the headquarters of three DOI agencies out of Washington and closer to the public lands they manage.  Denver seems to be the likely site for the relocation.  The Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation are the agencies affected.  There is already some opposition being generated against this move though Zinke will likely maintain that this is a part of an overall effort to streamline and make the department more efficient and effective in fulfilling its responsibilities.  We are awaiting a final decision from the Secretary on this reorganization plan.  Depending upon the scope, it’s possible the Congress will get involved before the plan can be implemented.

Latest Announcements, Etc.

The RTP (and CRT) Still Needs Your Help!

Sign Your Club/Association/Agency Up To Support RTP Moving Forward

The importance of the Recreational Trails Program cannot be overstated. It is likely the most important government program for OHV recreation. For any who may not be aware of the RTP, it is a grant program administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The program embodies the user-pay, user-benefit philosophy by utilizing a portion of funds generated by motorized vehicle users who pay the gas tax on any fuel they purchase for use in their off-highway vehicles to provide grants to fund trail building, maintenance and other trail-related projects. For more information click here.

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Montana Trails Rider News Editor Needed

Bob Walker notified MTVRA Board that he will serve as the volunteer editor of the Montana Trails Rider News through the Fall-Winter 2018 edition.  He said, “It has been a pleasure putting the newsletter together since 2012 and I will always be dedicated to and a supporter of MTVRA!”

“I find myself overwhelmed by all the work still needed and demanded to enhance trails in Montana.  I volunteer my time to an array of trail recreation organizations, both motorized and non-motorized, and to the department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks which manages your OHV grant program as well as snowmobile and RTP.  I was recently appointed to your OHV Advisory Committee to assist FWP with the OHV grant program.  I also was recently elected Chair of the Montana Trails Coalition, an organization that brings all statewide and some regional trail organizations together to address fiscal and programmatic needs of trails in Montana.  I plan to dedicate the majority of my volunteer time to those efforts.”

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Important number: AMA/ATVA Membership

From Mona Ehnes, Secretary Treasurer, MTVRA

You will note that on the MTVRA membership renewal form there is a spot for your AMA number (if you have one).   It is important that if you are either AMA or ATVA member that you list your number.  The $100 charter fee for the year can be waived if we send a list of at least 25 AMA member with their AMA numbers.   While we have some, we do need to verify the numbers and add those missing.

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New Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation

During the 2017 legislative session, an effort supported by the majority of Montana’s recreation community to create a new office of outdoor recreation failed in committee.  However Governor Steve Bullock, seeing the potential value of such a venture, created the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation.  Several other states have similar offices including Wyoming, Utah, Washington and Colorado.  Rachel VandeVoort assumed the duties as the first director of Montana’s Office.

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State Parks and Recreation Board Members Named

In late August, Governor Steve Bullock appointed four new members and retained one existing member to the Montana State Parks and Recreation Board.

The Governor also issued a directive to Martha Williams, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, to create an advisory board to help the parks board build and implement a new vision for parks, as outlined in its 2020 strategic plan.

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Latest Articles

USDA Secretary Announces Infrastructure Improvements for Forest System Trails

Focused work will help agency reduce a maintenance backlog and make trails safer for users

 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in February announced the selection of 15 priority areas to help address the more than $300 million trail maintenance backlog on national forests and grasslands.  Focused trail work in these areas, bolstered by partners and volunteers, is expected to help address needed infrastructure work so that trails managed by USDA Forest Service can be accessed and safely enjoyed by a wide variety of trails enthusiasts. About 25 percent of agency trails fit those standards while the condition of other trails lag behind.

“Our nation’s trails are a vital part of the American landscape and rural economies, and these priority areas are a major first step in USDA’s on-the-ground responsibility to make trails better and safer,” Secretary Perdue said. “The trail maintenance backlog was years in the making with a combination of factors contributing to the problem, including an outdated funding mechanism that routinely borrows money from programs, such as trails, to combat ongoing wildfires.

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Five Ways To Add Challenge To OHV Trail Systems

By Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

“If you build it, they will come.” While overused and slightly altered, that line from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams certainly applies to adding challenge areas and skills courses to off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails in order to attract new and repeat riders.  Across the country, trail designers are adding higher levels of challenge to trail systems, and doing it in a sustainable manner. Some are challenge loops built off existing trails.  Others are stand-alone skills areas in re-claimed sand pits or mines located next to trails.

In the past few years, this newsletter has reported on a number of new challenge areas built by agencies at the county, state and federal level.  The Axtell Technical Riding Area near McGregor, Minnesota is 40 acres of hill climbs, whoops, bowls, culvert and log crawls, cement-stair and rock crawls, and a mud pit. Built by Aitkin County, it serves as a destination for riders, accessing it from the easy-riding Soo Line North ATV Trail built on an abandoned railroad grade. (See September 2016 newsletter).

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Events

Great Western Trail Montana/Idaho Connection Celebration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Great Western Trail Montana/Idaho Connection Celebration - July 14

The Great Western Trail Association, in partnership with Custer Gallatin National Forest, is happy to announce the dedication of a new segment of the Great Western Trail that connects the existing Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho sections with Montana.  Come and join the celebration and the trail dedication to be held on Saturday July 14th at 12:00 noon at the Old Airport in West Yellowstone, Montana. (GPS coordinates: 44.661, - 111.115.) After the dedication ceremony we will be riding along the Montana portion of the Great Western Trail to the Idaho border, approximately 9 miles. 

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State Fun Run 2018

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Latest Legislative News

Environmental Quality Council Considers Future of State Parks and Recreation

by Bob Walker, Editor, Montana Trail Rider News

The Montana Environmental Quality Council (EQC) met on September 27 in part to consider the future of Montana’s state parks and recreation programs.  The EQC is an interim legislative committee that reviews and appraises state natural resources agencies and programs.

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Secretary Zinke Signs Secretarial Order Seeking to Expand Access to Recreation on Public Lands

From Derrick Crandall, CEO, American Recreation Coalition

Ryan Zinki. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356 today (September 15), creating a process to identify and expand access to outdoor recreation – especially hunting and fishing – on public lands and waters managed by the Department of the Interior.  The order is an extension of Secretarial Order 3347 – issued on Secretary Zinke’s first day in office.

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Montana State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Program Update

By Erin Proctor, OHV Program Manager, Montana State Parks

The 2015 session of the Montana Legislature passed HB 167 that restructured the requirements of Montana’s OHV nonresident temporary use permit.  This new law makes Montana’s program similar to the regulations in our surrounding states. It rescinded reciprocity to 39 states, while honoring agreements with Idaho and North Dakota. The non-resident permit fee rose from $5 to $27 and permits are valid for one calendar year. 

Revenues generated go to education, OHV trail maintenance and noxious weed control efforts in the following amounts:

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Governor Bullock Announces Public Lands & Public Access Agenda

Billings, Mont., June 9 – Near the banks of the Yellowstone River, Governor Steve Bullock today announced details of his public lands and access agenda, saying it’s his “responsibility as governor” to uphold the Montana value of protecting the state’s outdoor heritage.

The Governor was joined by sportsmen, conservationists, recreationists, and members of Montana’s outdoor recreation and tourism industries as he unveiled his plans to expand and protect public access to public lands and waters throughout Montana.

“Public access to public lands is a fundamental part of what it means to be a Montanan,” said Governor Bullock. “And it’s my responsibility as governor to uphold this Montana value – now and in the years to come.”

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Governor Bullock Announces Release of Statewide Management Assessment of Invasive Species

HELENA, Montana—The Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council (MISAC) released a statewide management assessment of invasive species this week. The assessment, a first for Montana and the second of its kind in the nation, provides a comprehensive look at how invasive species were managed in Montana in 2015. A copy of the assessment can be accessed at:

dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/cardd/docs/misac-docs/montanastatewideassessmentfinal.pdf

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Trails

NEW TRAIL COUNTERS

By Dan Thompson, Ravalli County Off Road User Association (RCORUA)

At a special meeting in December, RCORUAs Board of Directors authorized the purchase of new trail counters.  The Board sees a need to collect quantitative data on OHV trail use in the Bitterroot so the Association can better focus maintenance activities on trails that are more heavily used and to help justify requests for construction of new trails to the Forest Service.

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Great Western Trail Update

by Bob Walker with information from the Great Western Trail Association

Great news!  The Great Western Trail is now complete from Arizona to West Yellowstone Montana!  Mike Titus, representing the GWT Association, invested many hours in discussions with the USDA Forest Service in Montana and Idaho, with Bob Walker, Montana Trail Rider News editor, Jason Howell, President of the Montana Snowmobile Association, and various members of the Board of MTVRA to make this first connection in Montana.  After gaining all approvals necessary from the land managing agency, the Great Western Trail signs were installed last fall by staff of the Hebgen Lake Ranger District!  We understand that there will be a dedication of this connection this summer.  More details to come later.

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President's Corner

President's Corner Summer 2018

Spring is here and we can’t wait to get outside and ride.  Clubs are marking calendars for rides this summer including The Montana State Ride this June in Boulder, fun ride in April at Pipestone, club rides to Utah and throughout Montana.

Question is are you ready?  Have you checked your gear, need a new helmet or boots?  How’s your machine?  Oil changed, lights, breaks, tires, chains, everything good?  How about your battery?

Once everything’s checked, now can we ride?  Have you checked your survival gear?  First aid kit replaced, all your meds up to date?  How about your GPS or your phone applications, are they all up dated?  All these things to remember before we hit those trails, but if you don’t check your stuff you could have a very crummy first trip out.

Hope to see you all on the trail.  Remember, it’s your land, make a stand.

 

Mike Jeffords

President, MTVRA

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