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GBR's Spring Cleanup Work Weekend at Beasley Knob OHV Trail System raised over $10,000 in RTP funds for the OHV Trail System

The Georgia Bounty Runners recently held a “Fun Run” a/k/a work weekend at the Beasley Knob OHV Trail System in Blairsville, Georgia March 18th through March 20th, 2016. 

The GBR really stepped up for a very aggressive funds-match request that the USFS needed for this weekend.  The USFS normally gets around $4,000 in matching funds with each of our regular work weekends.  Due to the addition of brand new trails and work still needed, they had the lofty goal of $7,500 matching funds for this weekend alone.

The call went out and we raised over $10,000 in matching funds with the help of SIXTY-FIVE GBR attendees!  This is one of the highest turn-outs we’ve ever had doing the work at Beasley Knob.

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We started with a meeting with Teressa Brown, Forestry Technician with the Forest Service, at 1:00 PM at her office in Blairsville on Friday for pre-planning.  We discussed how the OHV area weathered the wet winter closure.  She indicated they had not been able to get out much over the trails because all of the rain so conditions were unknown.  She did say some of the other areas had many downed trees and for us to “bring out the certified sawyers”.   We discussed that three new gates had been installed and people have been making there way around the gates, so one of our big tasks would be to block these illegal by-passes at the new gates.   She said she would have a few tools (one post-hole digger, shovel and a rock bar) and supplies (bags of sackret, posts, boards, screws to fasten the boards, etc.) at strategic locations for the work.  Unfortunately both of the Forest Service’s gas powered augers were out of commission!   Oh no!

After the meeting we headed over to the campsite.  Since the area was still locked from the winter closure we had to install a specially coded combination lock at the gate so everyone could get in/out without much problem.  Next, Rita and I set-up camp at the Satterfield Pay Station off Windy Hill Rd., as others arrived, we set-up plans for work parties to start evaluating the trails and start clearing back the brush.  One crew led by Greg Uphole headed out 93C cutting back the brush off the trails and cleaning out water bars.  Another crew, led by Kerry Vanderpool worked Trail 93 where they had to cut two trees off the trail.

On Saturday morning, we had a parking area full of vehicles!

65 Attendees Supported this RTP Weekend Workday Event

We had a driver’s meeting and went over the game plan.  I also gave a short safety briefing giving instruction on proper wear of safety equipment, care for distances around the sawyers and hospital location / reporting in case of an emergency.  Then we split out in to five groups.

 My group started at the Satterfield pay station going back towards Windy Hill Rd.  We cut the grass, cut back the brush and picked up the trash as we walked.  A group of us went to the new gate and installed short fences on both sides of the new gate blocking ghost trails going around gate.  We then went to the Blue Rock pay station cutting brush off the road. We then cleared brush off the pay station area and off trail 93.

  A second group, led by Kevin Sutz, started at the parking lot of 93D and went up Nicholson Gap down to F.S. road 117.  They covered the complete trail 93G, Beasley Knob Mountain trail, down to F.S. road 117. They had to chainsaw three trees off the trail and move a small one out of the way.  They went to the new gate to stop the illegal bypass around the gate.  At the new gate they used a vehicle winch to pull some big rocks into the ghost trail opening. After that they found some posts and installed them behind the rocks they added a cross bar to keep ATVs or other vehicles from trying to drive over the rocks.  They collected trash, cleaned water bars and cut back branches and tree limbs that were growing over trails          .

Another group led by Ralph Payne rode 93B cutting back brush and clearing water bars.

Our forth group led by Dave Logan rode trail 93D.  They cut back brush and cleaned out water bars.  They ran into a huge tree blocking 93D. The tree’s root ball pulled up and over blocking the trail.  The root ball was over 6 feet tall and the tree at its base was over 4 feet in diameter, impossible for them to move.  They changed their route going on another trail and back tracked to the other side of this tree.

The fifth group led by Paul Fon traveled trail 93C cutting back brush and cleaning out water bars.  His group also had to cut two trees off 93C, one tree at two different locations.

 Since we could not finish all work on Saturday a group of us stayed overnight and finished the needed work on Sunday.  This group repaired part of the fence behind the sign at the Satterfield pay station.   We also cut the grass and cut brush, back clearing the camp and parking areas.

GOOD CLEAN-UP!!!

Thanks,

G. Curtis Barnhart Jr.
Adopt-A-Trail Representative
Beasley Knob OHV Trail System

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SFWDA & OMIX ADA Grants Awarded to Friends of Uwharrie for a Comprehensive Trail Revamp in Uwharrie National Forest

2016 UNF March Trail Revamp was a
huge success!

UNF

Over the two last day weekend, a total of 224 volunteers came together as one 4WD family to complete projects on our Uwharrie OHV trail system with heavy concentration on our Daniel trail.

Preparation for this work weekend began in December. Once we were notified that we had been granted the generous funds from Southern and OMIX, we immediately began putting plans into action. Darin Touw spent the better part of three months riding trails, measuring, planning, determining re-routes, analyzing terrain and plotting GPS coordinates. He worked closely with Terry Savery, USFS Recreation Specialist and Joel Hardison, Zone Archeologist, flagging areas for guard rail installation and mulching. The three of them met dozens of times to plan, organize directives and produce mapping for the teams and determine material needs.

224 volunteers came together as one 4WD family to complete projects on our Uwharrie OHV trail system

224 volunteers came together as one 4WD family to complete projects on our Uwharrie OHV trail system

My job was to promote the event to all clubs, contact vendors and prospect sponsors via phone, email and letters to ask that they supply promotion materials to reward our volunteers. Countless numbers of hours were dedicated to this task. My posts on Facebook reached over 17,000 people in the NC, SC and VA states. I also spent a great deal of time lining up donors to cover costs of equipment. We were rewarded by receiving approximately $3500 in new tool donations from individuals and clubs for the work weekend and will continue to utilize these items for each volunteer workday in the future (this amount is not included within the figure reported for the USFS contribution). We received pole saws, augers, shovels, rakes, post hole diggers, rock bars, sockets, loppers, shears, gas cans, gloves, safety glasses, pick axes, sledge hammers, etc.

Chris Brower, our treasurer, was tasked with receiving donation checks and issuing receipts and managing our funds. He also served as our chef during the event, planning and preparing dinner for all volunteers on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. We received many compliments on his cooking and there were no leftovers!

Several weeks prior to the big event, Darin, along with several clubs, spent their weekends moving materials to the proposed job sites with the goal of having as much in place as possible to maximize work hours on the weekend. 

Volunteers from the following clubs, as well as individuals, came from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia: C.O.R.E, Mud N' Blood, Jeepers United, Triad Jeep Club, Land Rover Experience, Carolina Trail Blazers, CNC4x4, Carolina Broncos, CROC, LKN Jeepstyle, CB4x4, Olde North State Cruisers, Nomad Jeeps, Black Sheep Jeep NC, Mid Carolina Jeepers, Jeep TJ, NAXJA, True Patriot Inc., 4WP, 7 Slot Jeepers, Wicked Jeeps and Banana Slap.

We began the day with a sign-in followed by safety briefings then gave our donated gifts to our volunteers via raffle. Thanks to our generous sponsors; Warn, Teraflex, Metal tech 4x4, Texas Roadhouse, Dick's Sporting Goods, Tread Lightly, Interco Tire, Land Rover Experience, UROTC, NC4x4, Morris 4x4, Canuck's Cruisers, True Patriot, 3M, CROC, Nomad Jeeps, Marc Holbert, NAXJA, Mud N' Blood, USFS, and Food Lion, we gave away almost $4,000 in incentive gifts. Our volunteers were very surprised at the level of support and were very motivated by the drawing.

After the drawing, we broke the large crowd into teams: Rock, Brush, Straw, Signs, Loading, Railing, Gate Keepers, Photographers, Barn, and Trash. They were given a second safety briefing and a preprinted list of goals and directions along with maps marked with specific locations for each team. After equipment check out, it was off to the trails!

Our loading team consisted of two experienced volunteers, operating skid steers which were rentals donated by OMIX-ADA and Marc Holbert of Jeepers United.

An estimated 100,000 tons of rock was applied to OHV trails by our volunteers with shovels and rakes, with the goal of increasing traction, slowing erosion, controlling drainage, and protecting sensitive areas.

The addition of the rock has made a positive impact on the longevity of this trail system. During the application alone, it greatly helped our loaded vehicles navigate slick clay areas, providing the traction necessary to climb steep areas without excessive wheel spin. Rock armoring was completed on Daniel, Wolf Den, Dickey Bell, Rocky Mountain Loop and the clay shoot on Dutch John trails. This took the better part of two days with crews working from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day. The second half of rock will be applied via contractor to areas that our volunteers were unable to reach with excess material being stored to utilize during the trail season.

Our mulch team applied 125 bales of straw, spread over sensitive areas on Daniel to promote seeding and growth of ground cover which will help slow erosion. This was completed on Daniel and Dickey Bell beginning at the newly installed guard railing, working backwards about 15 ft., hand raked at approximately 1.5 inches in depth.

Our railing teams were dispatched to Daniel, Dickey Bell and Wolf Den where they installed over 1 mile of guard railing to protect sensitive vegetation, block off illegal bypasses, barrier the trails and serve as protection in drop off areas. Many of the areas protected by new barriers are areas that were in danger of being re-routed or closed. For the immediate future, they will remain open because of this project.

Our Sign team consisted of about 20 vehicles which installed numbered trail markers, no camping signs, no vehicle signs on all trails.

Our brush team navigated steep terrain areas to cut vegetation away from signs, limbed all trees that may come in contact with on trail vehicles, and took care of downed trees and debris from winter storms.

Our trash team also collected over 100 bags of garbage from off trail areas. This was a very ambitious project with more than enough work planned for the expected number of volunteers. We are very excited to report that our volunteers more than just met our expectations, they far exceeded what we thought we could accomplish. Our 4WD family came together, working hard to support the sport and the environment that we love. Together through volunteer hours, donated equipment and sponsorship we were able to add $51,975.81 towards the maintenance of our trails from this single weekend project! Southern’s generous donation of the rock, has made a direct impact on our ability to enjoy this beautiful resource, and has aided in the protection some of our most beloved trails for future enjoyment. We appreciate your investment in Uwharrie and in us, the enthusiasts, who depend on each other and on great associations such as yours to keep us wheeling!

Please visit www.facebook.com/friendsofuwharrie for additional photographs.

Thank you for your continued support,

Robin Touw
Friends of Uwharrie, Media/Admin 

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Join us at the Uwharrie National Forest Volunteer Work Day this coming weekend

Conservation

Uwharrie National Forest
Volunteer Work Day this coming weekend
Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20th, 9 AM

 If you can make the time to help out this weekend come join fellow SFWDA members and prospects at  the Uwharrie National Forest our upcoming Volunteer Work Day led by District Recreation Staff Supervisor; Theresa Stevens Savery (Terry). 

 This Saturday & Sunday, March 19 & 20th we’ll be doing a lot of work and the more help we get the more we can complete.  We’re going to have several teams doing signs, armoring trails with rock, brushing back the trails, picking up trash, installing guardrail & spreading straw. 

 We’ll be meeting on Saturday and Sunday at the Badin Lake Group Camp at 9 am.  We’ll need everyone that is going to be volunteering to sign in at this location.  We will have a map and the direction for the different teams typed up for everyone to hand out when we meet up on Saturday & Sunday.  If you’re planning to take your vehicles onto the trails then you must meet us at the Badin Lake Group Camp at 9 am and get signed in and to get a special pass so we know who’s volunteering & can be on the trails. 

Free camping has been set up for volunteers from Friday, March 18th to Sunday, March 20th at Badin Lake Group Camp at all 3 campsites.  If you want to come in and set up on the Friday night so you won’t be late on Saturday morning that is ok.  Please coordinate with any folks that are already set up and try to minimize the amount of space you take up so we can maximize how many campers and vehicles can get into the group camp.  Please be respectful of all of the volunteers and their families that will be camping there and don’t get too rowdy at the campground.  Thanks a lot. 


The different type teams are listed below with the general tools they will need for their task that you could bring.  If you’ve already been assigned a team by Darin then please bring what is listed for your team and what he has already asked you to bring.  If you haven’t been assigned a team yet but have several of the types of tools listed below please bring an assortment of these tools so you’d be prepared for whichever team you’re on. 

Straw team: Rakes, gloves, scissors or small knife, wear long sleeves and pants, sunglasses or safety glasses, a bandana, & closed toe shoes (no sandals or flip flops).

Rock team: Shovels, buckets, trailers or pick-up trucks that can go on the trails, gloves, heavy duty rakes, sunglasses or safety glasses, & closed toe shoes or work boots (no sandals or flip flops).

 Railing team: Sledge Hammers, Post Hole Diggers, Gloves, 1 1/4half inch drive sockets, 1 1/8 half inch drive sockets, Rock bars, shovels, ear plugs, Pneumatic Drill, sunglasses or safety glasses, & closed toe shoes or work boots (no sandals or flip flops).

 Brush team: Pole Saws, Hand loppers, Brush cutters, pruners, gloves, sunglasses or safety glasses, bug spray, after bite ointment, ethanol free fuel/oil/bar oil, wear long sleeves & pants, & closed toe shoes or work boots (no sandals or flip flops).

 Sign team:  Hammers, small step stool/ladders, pruners or loppers to clear around signs, sunglasses or safety glasses & closed toe shoes or work boots (no sandals or flip flops).

 Trash team: Gloves, trash pick-up tools & closed toe shoes or work boots (no sandals or flip flops).

 Loading team: Heavy equipment, fuel, safety gear, gloves, sunglasses or safety glasses. 

 Barn team: Skill saw, drill, Phillips drill bit, 1 1/4 in wood screws, 3 door hinges, 4 4x6 sheets of plywood, Phillips head screwdrivers, chisel, shims.  


  Bring water and food for during the day on Saturday & Sunday when you’re out on the trails.  If you’re bringing kids out with you please make sure to have appropriate shoes for them & if you have work gloves for your kids already please bring them.  Make sure they’re dressed appropriately for being out all day on the trails picking up trash, cutting brush, etc. for whatever team they are on.
Thanks a lot everyone.  

MS Forest Resources / Watershed Management
National Forest Service
789 NC Hwy 24/27 East
Troy, NC 27371
www.fs.fed.us 

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Beasley Knob - "Spring Cleaning" Volunteer Work Day

Beasley Knob - "Spring Cleaning"
Volunteer Work Day
March 19th, 2016 Beasley Knob OHV Park, Blairsville, GA

Hosted by the Georgia Bounty Runners in a continuing 22 year effort to fulfill our volunteer work hour requirements for our commitment to the RTP funds. These funds have been used at Beasly to add miles of trails all while fixing and repairing the existing trails. Beasley Knob OHV Park is the only full size vehicle OHV area in the National Forest in the state of Georgia.

We will work togther in several groups to survey the trails, and then begin clearing brush and sapplings along the trails. Some attention to the Pay Stations will be adressed too. The overall goal is to freshen up the park and trail sytems essentially preparing the park for the upcoming riding season. 

Who?
Everyone who can make the drive is requested to join and share our support. There are already about 40 GBR members signed up but many more are needed. 

What to bring?
If you have a shovel, and/or any brush clearing hand tools (shears or lopers) bring them along. No power tools or chanisaws please. Forest service reps will be on hand to supervise and use chainsaws when neccasary. 
Pack a trail lunch for everyong in your group. 

Why?
We are obligated as recipients of the RTP grant funds which are used to

What is RTP?
Recreational Trails Program. A state based grant with Federal funding from gas tax revenues. The Beasley project was awarded $500,000 in RTP funds with a pledge to matching volunteer commitments.

When & Where? 
Meet at the Beasley Knob OHV Parking area, Blairsville, GA; Satterfield entrance and be ready to head out by 9 AM (EDT). 

Trailers?
If you haul in your rig then its suggested to park near town in Blairsville at the Park & Ride then commute to the trail head so we squeeze everyone inside the parking lots. 


For complete details on Beasley Knob OHV Park, including a trail map, check the USFS's page;
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recarea/?recid=10533

Directions: 
Beginning on US 76/Highway 515 in front of the Blairsville Post Office, go east for 0.7 mile. Turn right onto Windy Hill Road, a paved road. At 0.7 mile when Windy Hill curves sharply to the left, go straight onto a gravel road. After 0.1 mile, turn left onto a narrow gravel road, Forest Service Road #851. Continue 0.8 mile to the OHV trail system parking lot.

Facebook Event Page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/439445689581745/

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Join SFWDA & Trick N Traction for our Free Inaugural Environmental Stewardship Initiative Workshop

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Attention All SFWDA Members;  

  Have you always wondered what Tread Lightly! was all about? Interested in finding out how you can do your part in preventing trail closures? Then join us for a three-hour workshop and our inaugural Tread Lightly! training event free for all members!

This Awareness Workshop is a 3-hour course that will provide attendees with an introduction to Tread Lightly! principles as decision making guidelines while enjoying the great outdoors in a safe and responsible manner. The workshop will provide you with situational awareness, the know-how on minimizing your impact while recreating, and the outdoor ethic that will help sustain our trails for generations to come.

 "The dream for Trick N Traction to host an Environmental Stewardship Initiative Workshop is a reality... The workshop will be conducted on March 19, 2016 at Duke Energy's Oconee World of Energy. We will open the doors at 11:00am for on site registration and start the three hour workshop at noon. A snack for everyone will be provided during a break around 1:15pm. We are pleased to partner with Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, Tread Lightly, Clemson 4Wheel Center and WARN to conduct this workshop. The focus of this workshop will be on the Tread Lightly principals. Uwharrie Off-Road Training Centers'; Scott Fields is a Tread Lightly Master Training. He will be leading the workshop based on Tread Lightly's three hour workshop outline. Note that we will only be able to accommodate the first 100 people to register for this exciting event."    - Al Sweeney (Trick N Traction 4WD Club)

 
 

Event Details

COST =
There is NO COST for the event to all active SFWDA members. We will soon be launching an online registration and hope you can make it for this first time offering of a Tread Lightly Course Class sponsored by SFWDA.

WHERE =
Duke Energy's Oconee World of Energy,
7812 Rochester Hwy, Seneca, SC 29672

HOW =
Ensure your SFWDA Membership status is active, and when Online Registration Launches you can sign in and register at no charge, right here on our website. (Links will be provided)
You can also register in person at the event if space is still available but this event is limited to 100 attendees. 

WHEN = March 19, 2016 ( 12 Noon - 3 PM )


  "We have hundreds of dollars worth of off road gear for door prizes donated by Clemson 4Wheel Center,  and WARN. SFWDA will also offer a pair of TrailFest 2016 Gift Certificates.  Sorry...  no WARN Winch because theTrail Fest Team beat me to it..."
 - Al Sweeney (Trick N Traction 4WD Club)

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SFWDA Welcomes members to join the NOHVCC for 3rd Annual - TN OHV Day on the Hill

2016 OHV Day on the Hill -
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Photo from our 2015 TN OHV Day on the Hill 

Photo from our 2015 TN OHV Day on the Hill 

take action

 The concept of this day is for various groups representing motorized OHV recreation to come together at the Tennessee State Capitol "On the Hill" to promote and discuss Off Highway Vehicle areas on public lands across the state. Michelle Russell of the NOHVCC is spearheading this event and leading the discussions.

 Previously attending were members of the ATV/side by side, dirt bike and full size four wheel drive communities, making voices heard to promote and discuss off highway recreation areas on public lands in the state. 

 Groups represented were NOHVCC, Mountain Trail Riders, Southern Four Drive Association, and supporters of the Coalmont project. Southern Four Wheel Drive Association was represented by Past Presidents Bob Yarbrough and Gary Parsons and long time Dixie Run Coordinator Greg Griffith. Knox Off Road and Franklin County Off Road Club along with Mountain Trail Riders and NOHVCC had tables set up to promote awareness of motorized ohv recreation. Also, a huge THANK YOU goes to Michelle Russell for spearheading this event and leading the discussions. (If I left anyone out I apologize.)

Schedule of Day's Events

7:30am - Booth setup in War Memorial Building near legislative hearing rooms
8:00-9:15am - OHV Roundtable in Senate Chamber, 2nd Floor Capitol
9:15-9:45am - Lt Gov Ron Ramsey welcome, Senate Chamber
9:45-10:00am - Speaker Beth Harwell welcome, Senate Chamber
10:00 - 3:00pm - Visit legislators, committee hearings, OHV booths
3:00 - Booth breakdown
Optional * 11:00 & 1:00 - Capitol Building Tour (first come, first served)


Highlights from Last Year:

TN Capital Building "On the Hill"

 On April 7th, 2015 Tennessee hosted it's second annual TN OHV Day on the Hill where representatives of various motorized recreation groups (off-roading) came to the capitol to enjoy the end of session legislative fun, meet with state elected officials and gathered in the awe-inspiring senate chambers for updates and discussion on several significant projects across the state.

Lt. Govenor Ron Ramsey

 

 

  Special welcome from Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey & Speaker Beth Harwell.
Current legislation. HB1104/SB1003 creates a nine member board that will recommend to the legislature, at the beginning of next session (by Jan 1, 2016), a course of action for the following: Creating a statewide, self-funded TN OHV safety and training program, creating an inventory of TN public land available for OHV use, as well as potential opportunities, and when coming up with these recommendations, investigate how other states are doing it well.
Presentation by Bob Yarbrough, TN Greenways & Trails OHV representative, on his recent study of the economic impact numbers from several offroading events in the state. Mind blowing.
Updates on several big projects: Doe Mountain, Coalmont and Aetna Mountain Adventures.
Great club success stories, like Mountain Trail Riders Association and Franklin County Offroad Club.
Leadership updates from NOHVCC-Tennessee and Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA).

2014 - TN OHV Day on the Hill 

This is a great event for youngsters to attend with their parents and experience their state capitol at work. Last year, NOHVCC-Tennessee Associate Partner Joey Blevins brought his grandson Caleb to the event. So great to see the next generation of OHV leaders starting early!

 

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SFWDA delegates meet with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to discuss current RTP projects plans for 2016

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A number of SFWDA members had a very open dialogue today with the Recreational team from the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to discuss current RTP projects, plans for 2016 and facilitate the introductions of Jay Bird, Past President SFWDA and GBR, as our Georgia Co-Trails Representative; and Ken Sutz, long standing SFWDA and GBR member, as our Georgia Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Representative. As a critical OHV Stakeholder, we want to thank both Jay Bird and Ken Sutz for volunteering for these critical roles as Dave Logan moves on with new professional commitments with Omix-ADA (Rugged Ridge), one of our supporting SFWDA Business Members.

Dave Logan is retiring after a long term as Georgia RTP Representative

Dave Logan is retiring after a long term as Georgia RTP Representative

We also want to thank Dave Logan for his volunteer commitments since 2008 in representing the Georgia Bounty Runners and our association, SFWDA, in both of these roles. Dave has also been critical in the development of our SFWDA Educational Video series over the last few years and will continue to serve as a resource and adviser. Thank you Dave Logan for your service.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/conf/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5427592&width=full

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