By: Robert Janis
A Hobby Becomes a
For some their hobby is just that. They will
go out and pursue it on the weekends, and they
might even do some volunteer work once in a
while. However, for others it is a cause.
Volunteering to do some things is not enough.
You could say that they walk the walk and talk
Gary Bushman founder of ATV Utah.
Witness the actions of Gary Bushman. He
founded ATVUtah in 1998. “I originally started
it as a hobby to help promote the trails we have
in Utah,” he said. “It has since grown to be a
social network of ATV enthusiasts and a source
for Utah ATV trail information.”
Bushman, in 2001 he became unemployed and
ATVUtah “took over my life. I have since made it
profitable enough that I can use my time to help
benefit the recreational activity I love and to
help spread the word about Utah and its great
The anchor of ATVUtah is its website
www.ATVUtah.com. Also, Bushman
operates several other websites which promote
Utah, ATV trails in Utah, and supporting
services. Some are free to business owners, and
some charge a minimal advertising fee to help
offset their operational costs. These sites
and provides information on the Arapeen trail.
There is also a chat forum where interested ATV
enthusiasts can “talk” to one another about
www.utahheritage.com -promotes the Utah
Heritage Highway and The Mormon Pioneer Heritage
www.marysvale.org -promotes Marysville,
Utah, and the Paiute ATV Trail System.
www.piute.org -promotes Piute County,
Utah, and the Paiute ATV Trail.
In order to
get the word out and to influence local city
councils and other decision making agencies,
Bushman directly participates in trail
committees; and he is the area commander of the
Utah OHV Trail Patrol for the Piute and Sevier
County areas of Utah. “I participate both
directly and indirectly with public input and
comments on public land decisions,” said
There are also online forums at
www.ATVUtah.com which is used to both
educate and motivate ATV enthusiasts and give
them a platform where they can discuss their
"So many trails, So little time"
Although ATVUtah is neutral as far as
clubs are concerned, it does assist in promoting
existing clubs and helps in attracting new
members for them. With that in mind, ATVUtah
provides free hosting for several ATV club web
pages and provides them with their own chat
forum section on the ATVUtah site. ATVUtah also
provides free web hosting to several off-highway
vehicle clubs, organized OHV events, and
jamborees as well as space to advertise Utah
events for free.
The site is also used to
organize one annual ride called “The Big Ride.”
“The Big Ride is a way to introduce people to
new areas of the state and helps the state of
Utah introduce new maps and information for
those areas,” said Bushman. “We have had three
successful years so far,” he added.
interested in buying ATV-related products can
also buy them on the site. The products sold on
the site come from such suppliers as National
Geographic, RAM Products, and more. The site
offers books, maps, map software, and ATV
accessories. A portion of the profits received
as a result of selling these products is donated
to trail maintenance and national organizations
and is also used to finance ATVUtah’s efforts.
According to Bushman, the most urgent issues
plaguing ATV enthusiasts in Utah include
educating riders where they can ride legally.
“Off-trail riding is our most pressing issue now
that all public land access is becoming more
restricted,” said Bushman. “We work with the
State of Utah to help educate the public,” he
Moreover, ATVUtah assists to promote
the sport of ATV racing as well as recreation
through chat forums, and it works to gain more
access to trails as well as develop and promote
trails by working with the state of Utah and
organizations like USA-ALL, PLEA, and NOHVCC.
According to Bushman, ATVUtah has 1,225
registered members and about 600 active members.
Benefits for being a member include social
interaction with other members, keeping current
on issues that ATV users in Utah would be
interested in like public land use and ongoing
education in relation to the sport of ATV
recreation and racing. In addition, members have
access to the forums and chat rooms offered on
Membership is free. “If members
feel inclined, they can donate to our ongoing
operations,” said Bushman.
And as to the
future, Bushman concluded, “We are working on
organizing a statewide umbrella organization to
pull all the Utah ATV clubs together under one
association. We think this will help those clubs
be more active and productive when they try to
tackle issues that arise which are related to
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