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By: Robert Janis

Arkansas OHV Conservation Association

The Arkansas OHV Conservation Association: Getting the Grass Roots Involved

Continued from page 1...

Of course, the AOCA has a website (www.arkansasohv.org). The site defines what the AOCA is, its mission, and also informs interested parties on how to get grant money for trail projects. It provides a very detailed explanation on how one or a club can go about applying for grants. Moreover, there is a news section that includes information on travel management decisions, promotes off-road events, alerts members and local clubs about meetings of the National Forest Service, offers news about various things of interest to OHV enthusiasts including pending legislation that influences OHV’ers in other states. The site also includes a section that offers information on where to ride which includes maps.

In addition, the site describes the objectives of the organization which includes:

  • Developing working relationships with land managers to improve and protect OHV recreational access within Arkansas.
  • Organizing and building unity between OHV interests.
  • Promoting communication with community officials on interest and concerns of the motorized OHV community.
  • Establishing working relationships with local, state, federal, and private land managers to promote communication and cooperation.
  • Communicating to individual OHV enthusiasts the importance and benefits of joining an OHV organization.
  • Establishing a website and print materials to promote communication and interaction with all OHV organizations and enthusiasts.
  • Educating the public, clubs, organizations, governmental bodies, OHV enthusiasts, and businesses regarding motorized OHV safety, ethics and environmental issues.
  • Promoting responsible riding ethics among enthusiasts through educational programs, materials and by example.

Also, as far as responsible riding is concerned, the website includes a section on Responsible riding that offers “The Golden Rules of Safe OHV Recreation,” how to avoid too much impact on trails (“Leave No Trace”), and how to share the trails (“Sharing The Trails”).

The infrastructure of the organization include individuals who specialize in either ATV, OHM and 4WD issues. They include Greg Newsome (gregn726@yahoo.com) (OHM), Chris Nichols (admin@arkansasohv.org) (ATV), and Andy Guschke (aguschke@juno.com) (4WD).

Formed only nine months ago, the AOCA now has more than 475 members including individuals, clubs, and businesses. The benefit of joining the group is its platform that attracts attention to OHV-related issues. “Members can bring issues to the attention of the AOCA and get support from a group with a large base of experience and knowledge,” said Linn. “We can also be a great source of information. We can be used as a communications link to other groups and individuals for promoting recreational or work events.”

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