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 Tails 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! Funds transferred to this fund in FY 2013 totaled $82,221.
The 1991 session of the Montana legislature responded to requests from the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association to return that portion of the state gas tax paid by OHV owners for use off-road. The OHV program annually receives 1/8th of 1% of the state gas tax solely for use in the OHV program. Funds to the OHV program in FY 2013 totaled $152,793.
The State Parks Division of Fish, Wildlife & Parks administers the majority of these funds with advice from a citizen’s advisory committee. OHV clubs and land managing agencies request grants for maintenance of existing OHV trails, safety and ethics education, noxious weed control, and trail steward projects. In 2013, grant requests totaled $293,000. Unfortunately only $160,000 was available.
In addition to registration and gas tax fees paid by OHV owners, volunteers and OHV clubs donate thousands of hours of time to maintain a portion of trails open to all recreationists and provide safety and ethics education to Montana’s youth
and adults. Without these investments made by Montana’s OHV owners, thousands of miles of trails open to all recreationists would disappear due to lack of maintenance. OHV safety education programs would suffer or not exist, and depleted trail conditions would risk the safety of recreationists. Thanks again to Montana’s Legislature and the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association!