Read the Latest Newsletter here (pdf)
Montana Trails in Crisis - a Montana Trails Coalition Report (pdf)

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’s Busy Summer

Information from Doug Abelin, Chair, CTVA

Photos by Patty Daugaard, Secretary-Treasurer, CTVA

The Capital Trail Vehicle Association enjoyed a busy summer riding and maintaining trails, hosting a statewide Fun Run, helping with an ultra-runner’s event, and attending important meetings concerning travel plans and wilderness study areas.

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Great Western Trail Montana/ Idaho Connection Celebration

The Great Western Trail Association, in partnership with the Custer Gallatin National Forest, celebrated the dedication of a new segment of the Great Western Trail (GWT) that connects the existing Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho sections with Montana. Attendance at the event included representatives of the Great Western Trail Association including Mike Browning and Mike Titus, the USDA Forest Service, Idaho OHV Association, Wyoming OHV Association, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association, Montana Snowmobile Association and the Parks Division of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

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A User Pays Program!

Thanks to Montana’s Legislature and Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association

By Bob Walker, Editor

Montana Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) owners pay the majority of costs for maintaining and enhancing Trails open to OHV recreation in Montana. Thanks to requests by OHV owners, the 1987 session of the Montana legislature passed Montana’s first OHV registration law that requires all OHVs used on public lands to display a registration decal. County treasurers deposit moneys collected in a dedicated fund to be used solely for Montana’s OHV program!

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The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

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

“A Bureau of Economic Analysis study showed that motorized recreation was the largest activity within conventional outdoor recreation in 2016, accounting for $59.4 billion of gross output. Last month a new organization was unveiled, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR).

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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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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

‘Look Before You Pump’ Ethanol Education Campaign

By International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has partnered with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in the ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign, an ethanol education and consumer protection program. The campaign reminds consumers to always use fuels containing no greater than ten percent ethanol when powering their outdoor power equipment or other non-road product, such as boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs not designed for higher ethanol fuel blends.

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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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Great Western Trail Montana/Idaho Connection Celebration


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

2019 Legislature Report - Parks & Recreation 01-28-19

On January 17 the Senate Fish and Game Committee heard SB 70 that would remove Headwaters State Park from the primitive parks list. We consider this to be a positive proposal since this park is nationally know for its location on the route of Lewis and Clark Expedition and as the headwaters of the Missouri River.  Taking this park off the list would allow electricity to be installed in the campground, especially important for individuals who rely on medical devices for their health, and would allow for trail and campground road surfacing necessary to meet ADA requirements.

This week Senate Fish and Game committee will hear both SB 24 and SB 102 on January 29.  SB 24, sponsored by Senator Gauthier, is our light motor vehicle registration fee increase from $6 to $9 for trails, state parks, fishing access sites and Virginia/Nevada cities.  This is an excellent bill that will benefit all Montanans now and in the future.

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2019 Legislature Report - Parks & Recreation 01-14-19

TO: Parks and Recreation Friends Groups

FROM: Bob Walker, Montana Trails Coalition and Montana Trails, Recreation & Parks Association

DATE: January 14, 2019

Our 66th Session of the Montana Legislature convened January 7.  We anticipate several bills affecting recreation and parks programs and we will keep you informed of those bills and their status as the session progresses.

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2019 Legislature Report - Parks & Recreation 01-02-19

TO: Parks and Recreation Friends Groups

FROM: Bob Walker, Montana Trails Coalition and Montana Trails, Recreation & Parks Association

DATE: January 2, 2019

Good New Year to all you parks, recreation and outdoor enthusiasts!  Our 66th Session of the Montana Legislature convenes on Monday January 7.  We anticipate several bills affecting recreation and parks programs and we will keep you informed of those bills and their status as the session progresses.

You can expect these reports approximately every two weeks.  To repeat an old realism, the world is run by those who show up.  Hopefully many of you will contact your legislators by telephone, letter or email and/or attend committee meeting/s to voice your position on bills that affect your way of life and values.

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State Gas Tax for Off-Highway Vehicle and Snowmobile Programs Needs Your Support

By Bob Walker, Editor

Representative Kerry White has drafted two bills for consideration by the 2019 session of the Montana Legislature to increase the amounts of current state gas tax refunded to the state’s OHV and snowmobile programs! Representative White’s bills would increase the refund to the state OHV program from 1/8 of 1% to 23/50 of 1%, nearly a fourfold increase, and to the state snowmobile program from 15/28 of 1% to 9/10 of 1%! These increased amounts are supported by studies published by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. For clarification, these bills would not increase the state gas tax but transfer larger amounts currently collected to the two programs.

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Legislative Draft Bill would Increase Funds for All Trails!

By Bob Walker, Editor

A request has been submitted to the Legislative Service Bureau to draft a bill to increase the voluntary light motor vehicle registration fee. This change would create a new grant program for trail development, maintenance, and rehabilitation and help state parks meet their maintenance and operation needs.

The proposal would increase the voluntary light motor vehicle registration fee to state parks from $6 to $10. Of that increase, $1.75 would create a new grant program administered by Fish, Wildlife & Parks for trails and associated recreation facilities similar to the Recreational Trails grant program. In addition, $1.75 of the increase would be for the maintenance and operation of state parks, 25 cents for fishing access sites and 25 cents for Virginia and Nevada Cities.

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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 Fall 2018

Fall greetings from the Board of Directors and myself. It’s been a hot, busy summer for everyone. I hope you got out and enjoyed the OHV opportunities throughout our state and in your area.

The Bull Run Guest Ranch hosted the July 28th Board meeting. We met early, went for a ride before starting the meeting which carried thru until mid-afternoon. Over a working lunch, items were discussed, and decisions made that you need to know about early and put on your calendar.

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Great Falls, MT 59403

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