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By: Robert Janis

High Mountain ATV Association

Idaho ATV Group Promotes ATV Recreation, Gives Back to Community

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There are about 280 members of the High Mountain ATV Association. Shields pointed out that there are members from all over the country. “People come from Utah, Tennessee, California,” said Shields. “I have nine family members from California who come here to play. And a lot of riders are attracted from the neighboring states of Montana and Washington because the area is so ATV friendly.  I know that in Washington ATV riders can’t park their trailers and then ride their machines to the trailheads. They have to haul them to the trailheads before they are allowed to unload them. Not so in Wallace.  You can park downtown and ride your ATV to any of the trailheads without any problem as long as the ATV is licensed and you have an off road sticker.”

Shields also pointed out that the High Mountain ATV Association promotes close ties with other clubs to help promote the sport. “We affiliate with other clubs. They are members of High Mountain and High Mountain are members of their clubs,” he said. The club’s website includes links to many clubs including ATV Nation, North Idaho ATV Association and the Eastern Washington ATV Association. The site also includes links to important organizations in Wallace including the Chamber of Commerce and The Shoshone County Fire Coop Prevention Group. “The Fire Prevention Coop sends representatives to the local schools to teach kids about fire prevention. We tie into that by teaching people how to prevent and keep an eye out for fires on the trails and how to report them.”

According to Shields, the most urgent issue for the members of the High Mountain ATV Association is keeping roads and trails open. “We have issues with the U.S. Forest Service and BLM who threaten to close roads to get more wilderness area,” said Shields. “The biggest thing for us is to keep that area open for the general public to use. Taxpayers have the right to use the property,” he said. To assure that the land remains open, High Mountain constantly monitors the state legislature and Congress on all bills -- pro and con. When a bill comes up that could effect ATV recreation, members are alerted vie e-mail, regular mail, articles on the website and a monthly newsletter. Members are encouraged to write their legislators to express their opinions on the bills.

The membership fee is $15 per person and $20 per family. There is also a membership category for businesses. According to Shields, businesses join to promote themselves to members and get them into their stores. “Usually each member brings one or two non-members who ride with them. So a business who is a member of the association can broaden its customer base,” said Shields.

The website address for the group is Besides the links and other information, the site includes a clothing store where you can purchase hats and shirts. There are also photographs to show what the county is like and what the group’s rides are like. There is also a community area where members can chat about the club.
Shields concluded that future plans for the club is to grow and expand the trail system. “We are trying to keep the trail systems open and make them a useful way to get from point A to point B. However, we also want to use them to promote sightseeing and fire prevention. We are also trying to open an office for seven months out of the year so people can come and talk to us about where they can ride.”

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