Vermont Group Receives Grant to Restore Trails Damaged by Hurricane Irene
Yamaha recently awarded a grant to the Vermont All-Terrain Vehicles Sportsman's Association (VASA) as part of their OHV Access Initiative. This grant is a proactive, grassroots program supported by Yamaha dealers and customers nationwide promoting safe, responsible riding and sustainable riding areas. Through the OHV Access Initiative, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. provides grants to deserving organizations to help further the programs goals of Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nations Trails.
This grant will be used to repair and restore the OHV trail system in Central Vermont that was devastated by Hurricane Irene, including approximately 23 miles of Class IV rights of way through the towns of Barnard, Stockbridge and Woodstock. This is the trail system that we all ride, ATV's OHM's and 4X4's alike. The extent of the damage to the existing trail system is significant and to be as efficient and cost effective as possible, we are leasing a tracked excavator and operator for a month. Also included is 320 cubic yards of gravel, silt fence, grass seed, three culverts and hand tools. We also acquired a 6'x10' enclosed trailer that will be used to store tools and material at the job sites and to accompany the excavator during the restoration process.
VASA & VORA partner on YAMAHA grant.
Once the project has been completed, the trailer and tools will be available to our member clubs for their trail maintenance. In addition, the trailer will also be used for educational purposes and serve as a rolling, self-contained, OHV informational center that will attend events across the state to educate the public on responsible OHV use. Through the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, (NOHVCC) and the BlueRibbon Coalition, we have educational material and handouts such as CD's brochures and posters on sharing the trail, responsible use, noise, management guidelines and youth programs. We will also be able to promote the Tread Lightly educational program and principals of: Travel responsibly, Respect the rights of others, Educate yourself, Avoid sensitive areas, Do your part. This material will be stored and available to the public in the trailer. VASA and VORA (the Vermont Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Association) partnered on the grant for trail maintenance and the purchase of the trailer and tools to be the first step in a statewide trail maintenance program.
We need your help once we establish a work schedule will be looking to our member clubs to help with the implementation of the work. These are trails that we all ride and we should all be sharing the workload together to restore them.
Update: After spring ice out we've had the opportunity to tour the job sites and discuss the work effort with the Central VT Quad Runners (local club) and the Agency of Natural Resources Stream Alteration Engineer. We will be able to start in a few weeks with the restoration of several trail sections. There are however several stream crossings that may take more time to develop a work plan and obtain the necessary ANR permit approvals.
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BLUERIB - http://archive.sharetrails.org.