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February 2019 eNews

Another month flying past and the access issues continue to heat up, in contrast to some of the outside temperatures across the northern hemisphere.

i confess to still being one of those who questions the hyperbole around the 'climate change' assertions as the assumptions appear to be based on a rather short timeframe of record keeping around temeratures. We get statements that it's the hottest/wettest or stormiest for a hundred years, but that time frame is tiny in the grand scheme of things.

Yes there have been some dramatic weather events affecting millions of people,  but is it just that we now have video footage instantly of even otherwise remote locations and in the past 100 years the population growth has increased rapidly with many living near river plains and the coasts.

Largely monoculture agriculture and plaintation forests have provided a great advantage to wildfires which can burn fiercely when such fuels are concentrated and will do so even without very dry and warm weather.

The 'climate change' process is now a big business in itself that will just keep rolling on and no doubt even if temperatures suddenly cool, there will be those who will find a 'computer model' to support their assertions that it's all our fault for the way we live and consume.

Back to access issues... UFWDA exists to help our members and 4x4 recreation, so if  you think we can assist, contact us please.

Your input of topical material for each eNews is still vital, so please keep UFWDA and our readers informed by emailing  before the 10th of each month. If your organization has a website with interesting stories etc. then send a link to

Peter Vahry; editor

2018 Emery County Lands Bill



 All 4-wheelers and motorized users who have enjoyed the San Rafael Swell or
plan to, should be absolutely off the ground angry with the double-dealing that
has gone on with this “LAND GRAB” bill about to be voted on by Congress.  And this is only part of the overall bill that will likely be passed.


 What started out as a poor bill for motorized uses has morphed into a steaming
pile of Bull $#!+. Literally, behind closed doors, the original bill has been hijacked and rewritten with every intent to stop motorized use of the San Rafael Swell.  


All requests for meetings and/or input into this bill by motorized proponents have been denied and ignored for most of 2018.  Even attaining copies of the changes has been denied at every turn.


 As the Director of Environmental Affairs for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, I strongly recommend that EVERY motorized user of public lands write or call on President Trump to veto this legislation if and when it is sent to




 Rep. Cook’s public lands legislation passes Senate

Bill would designate or expand 6 OHV Recreation Areas in the desert, prohibit renewable energy facilities near Juniper Flats

WASHINGTON — The United States Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

The National Resources Management Act was a package of bipartisan public lands-related bills that passed the House or Senate in the previous Congress. It included three pieces of critical legislation that had been introduced by Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, in the last Congress. Specifically, the bill includes the Santa Ana Wash Land Exchange Act, the Helium Extraction Act, and the California Desert Protection and Recreation Act (previously known as the California Off-road Recreation and Conservation Act).

“This historic legislation is the culmination of years of work by members of both parties in both chambers as well as countless groups and individuals on the ground,” Cook said. “When it becomes law, this will be the most comprehensive public lands legislation to pass Congress in over a decade. Now it’s time for the House of Representatives to act swiftly to send this bill to the President to be signed into law.”

Read the full article....

More on the subject...



Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition






Our Quick Thoughts:

Senator Bennet and Representative Neguse recently proposed the CORE Wilderness Act and it prohibits motorized usage of almost 400,000 acres of public lands. We lose legal trails and riding areas right now and even more long-term expansion opportunities in the future.  Many areas proposed to be designated have been previously released for non-wilderness multiple use by Congress. Rather than the strong community support that is being asserted, there is a complete lack of consensus on the CORE Wilderness Act. Our requests on the CORE Wilderness Act component proposals have been very reasonable and have been consistently stonewalled.

The CORE Wilderness Act is simply a combination of two of the usual Wilderness suspects we have been fighting for a decade or more.  They are: 1.  The old San Juan Wilderness Proposal; 2. The old Continental Divide Wilderness Proposal.  CORE also includes the Old Thompson Divide Proposal and a boundary for the Curecanti National Park around Blue Mesa Reservoir. Despite the assertions this is a recreation bill, CORE Wilderness Act does not improve recreation access for most users but rather closes trails, put far more trails at risk in the long term and closes open areas to future usage.    This is a Wilderness bill!!

We also would like to recognize Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton Office's for resisting the immense pressure being applied regarding this legislation and recognizing the negative impacts to public access to public lands that would result and continuing to work towards a legislative proposal that protects all forms of recreation and multiple usage of these lands.

Quick Summary of the San Juan Wilderness impacts to motorized recreation:

1.  The San Juan portion of CORE Wilderness closes approximately 55,000 acres to motorized usage with 32,000 of Wilderness and 23,000 acres of management areas prohibiting motorized usage. No releases or protections for motorized are in the San Juan portion of the CORE Wilderness.

2. The CORE Wilderness closes the Sheep Mtn area outside Telluride to snowmobile usage, which is currently legal and has been under the GMUG management plan since 1983.

3.  While the San Juan proposal does not close trails it brings the Wilderness within 50ft of where boundary trails are thought to be. USFS MVUM are simply not accurate for this type of management and we would lose with any inaccuracy in mapping.  More room is needed to perform maintenance and reroutes on the trails to keep them open. We have proposed 300 ft buffer and a Congressional protection (similar to National Scenic or National Motorized Recreation Trail) for these trails for years - they have fallen on deaf ears.

4.  We are unable to determine the exact origin of the 50ft buffer standard but by comparison the US Forest Service recommends a half mile buffer around trails designated under the National Trail System Act.  Why is the buffer so much smaller here?

5.  Many of the areas now sought to be designated as Wilderness were specifically released by Congress for Non-Wilderness Multiple Use as part of the 1980 Colorado Wilderness Act.  Many of the current Wilderness boundaries were put in the specific location to avoid conflict with trails in the area, and the San Juan Proposal would put the boundaries in the locations Congress already found unacceptable in 1980.

A quick summary of Continental Divide Wilderness impacts to motorized:

1.  The Continental Divide portion of CORE Wilderness proposes 43,000 acres of Wilderness and 28,000 acres of management areas that prohibit motorized usage, while claiming to balance this with management of 28,000 acres for motorized (which is already open to motorized).  Tough to claim that is a benefit to recreation.

2. The Continental Divide portion of CORE Wilderness closes extensive legal trail networks in the Spraddle Creek and Williams Fork areas that were just supported by travel management planning in 2012.

3.  Almost every area proposed to be Wilderness in Continental Divide portion has been identified as a future motorized expansion area.  This is simply unacceptable as only 7% of WRNF was suitable and available for snowmobile usage in the 2012 Forest Travel plan.  By comparison almost 30% of the WRNF is already Wilderness and sees approximately 3% of all visitation.

4.  There is no balance in the Continental Divide as the Ten-mile Recreation area is closed to motorized along with wildlife areas despite the fact that much of these areas have legal motorized access currently.

5. The Camp Hale provisions allowing motorized access to 28,000 acres we already have legal access to is simply insufficient to balance out approximately 400,000 acres of new Wilderness and closures.

6.  The "No Name" addition to the Holy Cross Wilderness puts the Holy Cross City trail at risk due to the proximity of the Wilderness impairing the ability to maintain the trail.  This is a nationally recognized route.

A more detailed analysis of site-specific impacts is available here:

2018 San Juan Wilderness Proposal Comments

2018 Continental Divide Wilderness Proposal Comments


A draft of our counter proposal protecting public access to recreational opportunities

Our asks from you is submitting comments around these issues:

1.  There is no consensus around the CORE Wilderness Proposal and previous Congressional decisions made by consensus must be honored. Pursuing consensus efforts that ignore previous consensus decisions is difficult to understand. A lot of work is needed to protect all forms of recreation in the CORE Wilderness act. Don't close the public out of public lands.

2.  If we are protecting recreation, why are so many opportunities being lost?  Legally designated areas should not be closed. Wider buffers for existing legal trails should be combined with Congressional designations protecting motorized usage of the route when Wilderness is immediately adjacent to the trail.

3. Previous legal determinations regarding the utilization of areas for recreation in the future must be honored rather than having these areas designated as Wilderness.

4.  Outstanding commitments made in previous Wilderness bills such as Rollins Pass Road that Congress mandated be reopened in 2002 must be honored.  There are also areas we would like to see released and protected for multiple use, such as the North Sand Hills.


Electronic Comments:

US Postal Service:

Congressman Neguse

1419 Longworth HOB

Washington DC 20515

US Postal Service:

Senator Bennet

261 Russell Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition
P.O. Box 741353
Arvada, CO 80006




Have you ever had a look at the UFWDA Environmental Affairs Director's Facebook page?


Six Rivers seeks public comment on OHV grant proposal

Six Rivers National Forest and USDA Forest Service law enforcement staff is seeking public input on a grant proposal to enhance and manage motorized recreation on national forest lands.

If awarded, the grant would provide law enforcement staff with tools to promote responsible off-highway vehicle use, including patrol coverage, supplies to support public safety, wildlife, soils and habitat protection and sustain OHV recreational opportunities on the forest, according to a Six Rivers press release.

OHV-related law enforcement includes public information, education and enforcement, incident management, resource monitoring and protection, according to the press release. It also includes signs and barrier installation and enforcement of laws pertaining to OHV operation, including noise level, resource protection and prevention of OHV trespass.

Grant applications must be submitted to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division by March 4. The public will be able to review and comment on preliminary applications submitted by the Six Rivers National Forest between March 5 and May 6 by visiting,

For more information, visit the OHMVR Division website at


          Do You Have a Tire Failure Strategy?

 By February 13, 2019

Tires are generally your number one problem driving off-road.

Tires, by their nature, take a lot of abuse while off road. Trails are anything but smooth. Stuff happens! A stick jams into the sidewall; a rock that is ideal to skip across a lake slices the sidewall like butter; or a decent size rock hiding behind the bush on a turn cuts the sidewall between the rock and the rim. The probability increases when you add into the mix a fatigued driver.

If this happens, try fixing the damaged tire. Meaning, don’t just automatically swap in the spare. Do that, and you’re left with no backup.

Many times, a punctured tread or minor sidewall puncture can be addressed quickly. One or two plugs solves the problem, allowing the trip to resume.

If you can’t fix the tire, you now have no backup should another tire be damaged.

Now you need your tire failure strategy! That is if you planned it before the trip.



To create an edition of the UFWDA Voice online magazine requires sourcing a variety of content and with a great geographic area to cover,  we have to rely on willing contributors to fill those pages.

As 'Editor' it would be great to be able to spend time attending events and club activities, but sadly the system just can't accomodate  the time and travel costs!

That then means we need to ask you our readers and members to consider sending us some of your photos of your four wheeling and maybe even a few words describing the activity?

There is a planned UFWDA Voice that it would be great to get published in March, so let's have those pictures etc. now .. or before 28 February 2019 and you may find them published!

BRC / OHV Events Calendar page

Check out a range of recent updates on activities.

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Suite 108
Bakersfield CA


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