United Four Wheel Drive Association recognizes Curtis Barnhart as the 2015 "Four Wheeler of the Year"


 This past Saturday at a local GBR event Curtis Barhart was proudly awarded the United Four Wheel Drive Assoc. "Four Wheeler of the Year" award. Curtis was proudly nominated by SFWDA and considered among other dedicated and qualified applicants but Curtis was ultimately chosen to receive this great accolade for 2015.

Curtis has been a member in good standing of Georgia Bounty Runners and SFWDA since 1992. He has held several offices including Vice President and Treasurer, His passion since 1996 has been the Land Use and Trail Representative for the North Georgia trail system known as Beasley Knob. He has also held this same position for SFWDA. More recently he has been the coordinator in 2012 and 2013 for the GBR event that has become known as Mud for Blood. This is a blood drive GBR has coordinated for the past 12 years. Curtis’s work with Mud for Blood has been in addition to his other engagements. 

Curtis serves as the contact to the USDA Forest Service for the Beasley Knob OHV trail system for both SFWDA and GBR since 1996. Curtis was instrumental in this process of taking two weeks of his personal vacation time to be on site with the evaluators and directly involved. Armed with this information and knowing significant maintenance was due on the system, Curtis led the charge to get a $500,000 RTP grant funded for improving the trail system and conducting the heavy maintenance required to keep the system functional.

Curtis and GBR committed more than 2200 man hours to this project. This work on the system began last summer and the system is now open for use. Some finish work is being completed but largely the majority of the work is done. This was a major win for the community. To date $300K of the $500K has been spent on the trail system. Work is continuing to progress but the major portion of the heavy lifting has been complete. Curtis continues to hold four GBR work days per year to perform light maintenance and trash clean up. Curtis holds a pre-meeting with the Forest Service to receive assignments and get materials the day before the work days. He then organizes the effort with GBR for the next day to be efficient and productive. Participation in these efforts has been strong and had a positive impact on relationship with the Forest Service as well as keeping users engaged. 

Curtis also has been instrumental in leading and Adopt a Highway effort by GBR to clear trash and debris from the two entrance paved roads to the trail system. He has coordinated with the City and County to install signage advising that GBR has adopted the entrance roads. 

In 2008 Curtis was instrumental in getting GBR the B.F. Goodrich Outstanding Trails Program Award for Beasley Knob. He was the driving force behind getting a restroom facility installed by the Forest Service at the Windy Hill entrance and pay lot. 

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