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By: Robert Janis

NOHVCC

Attend a NOHVCC Workshop through Your Personal Computer

The Internet has been a god-send for almost everyone. Businesses can hold meetings with clients without leaving their offices; news reporters can research a story without multiple trips out of the office; husbands can chat with wives; kids can chat with parents and friends; you can buy a gift or sell property and you can do business from your home.

It just makes sense for organizations like the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservancy Council to take advantage of the technology and teach workshops to people who are involved in such things as travel management, trail maintenance, and anything else that is necessary for running and maintaining a public trail.

The event is called a webinar. When individuals are interested in “attending” a session, they can register with NOHVCC via computer and then click on a link that puts them into a virtual meeting room where the session is held.

A PowerPoint presentation appears on the screen and participants can hear instructors talk through their computer speakers. Each person can also contribute or “chat” during the event by typing their question or comment on their computer keyboard.

Karen Umphress, project coordinator for NOHVCC, explained that the concept got started because by the end of 2008 it became obvious that many people could not attend the NOHVCC workshops in person due to the recession. People who were especially closed out were those who worked in government agencies who could use the information as well as just plain, ordinary enthusiasts who wanted to get involved.

According to Umphress, the creation of the content for both the webinar sessions and the DVDs were funded by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA). The distribution of the webinars and the DVDs are provided through Yamaha’s OHV Access Initiative Grants.

The workshops include travel management, which explains to enthusiasts and government agency personnel how to create and maintain a high quality off-highway trail system. Government agents learn the aspects that make up quality trail systems including information about the people who will be using the trails.

Enthusiasts are taught how the agency or government process works, how to work with planning managers and how to write effective comments. For enthusiasts and government agency personnel, key concepts that make up a quality trail system is discussed along with how to do signing, trail maintenance, monitoring, using design principles to create an OHV trail, and how to keep trespassing and other issues from becoming major problems.

NOHVCC; a paid consultant, Tom Crimmins, a retired 32-year veteran of OHV Travel Management with the U.S. Forest Service; the BlueRibbon Coalition; the American Motorcyclists Association; the Motorcycle Industry Council; the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and Tread Lightly! participated creating the content for the original workshops. Most of the workshops are designed by NOHVCC members. Individuals can also suggest webinars. If enough ask for a topic, then it will be done.

As mentioned, companion DVDs of the webinars have been created. NOHVCC produced about 5,000 DVDs, and they have proven to be a very popular request by government agencies and enthusiasts, said Umphress. In addition, PowerPoint presentations from the webinars have been converted into PDF files and can be downloaded from the NOHVCC website. Simply click on “Webinar” on the home page.

“We think that this will be one of the best tools we have created so far. It gives just about anyone who is enthusiastic about trail systems the opportunity to get information and improve on their knowledge and communications. It will help people to be more effective in keeping trails open. We are really, really excited at the response and future potential,” concluded Umphress.

For more information visit the organization’s website at: http://www.nohvcc.org.


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