By: Robert Janis
It Starts With the
Enthusiasts As Far As the
Off-Road Enthusiasts Are Concerned
A true enthusiast, no matter what he is
enthusiastic about, is not afraid to get his
hands dirty for the cause. And that describes
the members of the South Carolina Off-Road
Enthusiasts (SCORE). Established in 1992, the
organization reached its peak in membership of
about 150 during the early 2000s.
Ivan Haynes, a member of the organization,
noted that many of the members participated in
10 to 15 volunteer work days helping to maintain
national and state forest trails in South
Carolina. The group also managed several grants
from the recreational trails fund.
Haynes noted that SCORE has a SWECO
bulldozer, two tractors, ATVs, and dump carts as
well as other tools that assist them in keeping
the trails of the state up to par.
Haynes pointed out that besides maintaining
trails group members also fought to keep trails
in South Carolina from being closed and has also
constructed some trails themselves, including
all of the current trails in Manchester State
Forest in South Carolina.
Currently SCORE has a reduced membership base
which is required to attend quarterly meetings
and participate in work days. Despite its
reduced numbers, however, the group still takes
out the SWECO dozer to groom the trails at
Manchester State Forest at least once a year.
Members are also attending regular meetings to
help oversee the creation of a new
ATV/motorcycle trail system in Sandhills State
Forest in South Carolina.
“We have quarterly meetings on the first
Friday of January, April, July, and October in
Columbia, South Carolina,” said Haynes. And the
group keeps an e-mail list current so that they
can ask members to write letters or make phone
calls concerning issues that are relevant to
off-road riders. Members also often meet with
Forest Service and Forestry commission officials
to lobby for their cause. And SCORE is a member
of the BlueRibbon Coalition.
The mission of SCORE is to preserve and
expand OHV riding opportunities in South
Carolina. Although it does not have a lobbyist,
members are encouraged to contact their state
representatives on their own in favor of or
against an issue that has an affect on off-road
enthusiasts of the state.
According to Haynes, the most urgent issues
concerning off-road riders in South Carolina
includes land closures--safety laws that go
beyond safety and restrict who and where one can
ride. He added that mudbogging is adversely
affecting ATV users. “There used to be hundreds
of miles of designated motorcycle trails in our
state in the 1980s. Then three and four wheelers
came out and started mudbogging. It has
devastated the trails, and it forced authorities
to close them down,” he said.
Haynes concluded that SCORE no longer has a
website and is not actively trying to expand.