I believe that OHV club events are culturally significant and are a foundational component of motorized recreation. Amateur events such enduros, poker-runs, and dual-sport rides have become an important part of the recreational opportunity spectrum on state and federal lands. They strengthen the family, create a sense of stewardship, and provide an economic benefit to the local community.
Amateur events are where the entire family usually attends to participate and/or support that relative who has signed up to ride. Vacations are often planned to coincide with the event. Vehicle and equipment preparation is where many valuable lessons are handed down from parent to child.
Long standing events such as the Oakland Motorcycle Club's Jackhammer Enduro have taken place on Forest Service lands for over 40 years. I believe these club "legacy events" creates generational ownership, pride, and stewardship of affected public lands.
Amateur events can also stimulate the local economy as riders patronize area restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and gas stations.
In California, amateur event participants contribute directly to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division's grant program via their vehicle registration fees and fuel taxes. Those trust funds are then used to support public land-related trail maintenance, law enforcement, environmental restoration, and safety.
I believe that public land agencies should be encouraging club events as a way to strengthen partnerships, support family togetherness, stimulate volunteerism at the club level, and to provide an economic benefit to the local community.
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Don Amador is a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition and serves as their Western Representative. He writes on environmental and land-use issues from his office in Oakley, CA. He may be reached via email at: email@example.com.
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.