As a direct result of an early awareness by Montana OHV interests and the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association (MTVRA), Montana’s legislature initiated a new program for OHV recreation in 1987 by passing Montana’s first OHV registration law. The 1991 Legislative Session followed-up with support of OHV recreation by passing a law that returns a portion of the state gas tax paid by OHV owners for the benefit of off-road recreation statewide. Since those early years, subsequent Legislative Session’s have approved the continuation of the Program and the expenditure of these funds for the benefit of OHV recreation statewide.
Montana law defines an off-highway vehicle (OHV) as a self-propelled vehicle used for recreation or cross-country travel on public lands, trails, easements lakes, rivers or streams. The term includes, but is not limited to, motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs (side-by-sides), dune buggies, amphibious vehicles, air cushion vehicles, and any other means of land transportation deriving motive power from any source other than muscle or wind. Four-wheel-drive trucks registered as motor vehicles are not considered OHVs.
Most of Montana’s OHV trails are on public land. The majority are on U.S. Forest Service lands, with the balance existing on public parcels managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Very few motorized trail miles exist on state lands, and typically only where trails cross from adjacent public lands.
Montana’s Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program and the associated funds are administered by Montana State Parks, a division of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The Parks Division administers a popular OHV grant program and a safety and ethics education program. Grants are provided to OHV clubs and public agencies in partnership with local OHV clubs, for maintenance of existing OHV trails, signs, ethics education, noxious weed control, safety and mapping efforts.
A citizen’s OHV Advisory Committee (OHVAC), comprised of active OHV users, educators, and land managers, works with the Division. The committee discusses and makes recommendations on the expenditure of grant funds and related OHV issues to Montana State Parks and the federal land management agencies.
For the 2016 OHV grant cycle, 8 grants were awarded totaling $82,800. The individual projects varied from trail maintenance and signing to the OHV public education program.
The 2017 grant application cycle is ongoing with a February 1 application deadline!
Montana’s 2016 Off Highway Vehicle Advisory Committee
The citizen-based Off Highway Vehicle Advisory Committee (OHVAC) advises Fish, Wildlife & Parks on the distribution of annual OHV grant funds and provides recommendations to FWP, the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service regarding OHV related issues. The OHVAC typically meets two or three times a year. Press releases announce the dates and times of those meetings and they are open to the public.
The committee is made up of five statewide volunteer members and technical advisors.
Openings come available annually so if you are interested in serving, contact Erin Proctor at the location listed below!
Jennifer Schofield - East Helena, MT 59635
Russ Ehnes - Great Falls, MT 59404
Mark Klemencic - Great Falls, MT 59405
Jody Loomis - Helena, MT 59847
Charlotte Snyder - Helena, MT 59601
OHV Program Manager, Montana State Parks
1420 E. Sixth Ave
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701