Montana State Parks administers two grant programs which are quite important to the OHV community. Two volunteer advisory committees help determine what projects are acceptable and to whom the grant monies will go. The State Trails Advisory Committee (STAC) recommends Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants, and the Off-Highway Vehicle Committee recommends State OHV grants. I had the privilege to serve on the STAC until two years ago when I was termed out.
Montana State Parks staff organized an outing for the Montana State Parks and Recreation board members at Pipestone on April 19, 2017. The Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and Bureau of Land Management staff contributed to the event which was well received and informative for park board members. We had ATVs, 50” UTVs and I brought a larger four seat UTV for park board members to either drive themselves or ride with someone else. We had a meeting in the parking lot which lasted at least an hour. The park board members asked many questions which lead to great discussions. This was a great opportunity for us to educate the park board as to what Pipestone is all about, how grant monies are put to use and how Pipestone is very economically important to local communities.
The first place we rode to was Ringing Rocks. Watching the board members hitting the Ringing Rocks with hammers was entertaining. I got the feeling most of the board members had never been to Pipestone, heard of the Ringing Rocks or had been on OHVs before. Everything went well. As a bonus, the trail equipment was working in the area. Everyone was able to see the equipment working and how they were improving and maintaining the trails.
Thank you to all who participated in the Pipestone event. It was well worth the time and effort. Educating people about what OHVers do and what is important to us seems to be an ongoing process.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out for us to have a State Ride this summer. Let us know if a local group would like to host a State Ride for 2018.
Have a great summer!