The Montana Trails Coalition Membership

Finding Common Ground for Trails and Recreation 

By Bob Walker, Chair, Montana Trails Coalition Board of Directors

The Montana Trails Coalition (MTC) works in partnership with individuals, organizations, and communities to support trails and outdoor recreation opportunities on lands open for public use in Montana.  The Coalition’s many objectives include, among others, sharing information about existing sources of funds and securing adequate resources to meet Montana’s trails and outdoor recreation needs.  The MTC’s immediate primary efforts involved studying the potential sources of funds for trails in Montana and recommending actions to secure funds.  We published the Montana Trails In Crisis report that clearly describes the demand for trails in Montana and the dire lack of adequate funding.

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Fitness on the Trail for OHV Riders

By Karen Umphress, Past Staff Person, NOHVCC

I have been active in the outdoors all of my life. Camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming were all parts of family recreational time. When I lived in Washington State for a while one of my favorite forms of outdoor recreation was hiking on Mount Rainier; and one of my favorite hikes was along the Carbon River and Glacier. This was a seven-mile trip out to the Tolmie Peak lookout and back going over Ipsut Pass. The total length of the hike is 14 miles and has several thousand feet of elevation change. It takes a full day and is a great workout.

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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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‘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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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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Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association
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