Off-roaders promote responsible riding | NevadaAppeal.com

Off-roaders promote responsible riding

Karl Horeis

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Anthony Torres, 4, of Carson City sits on a Honda off-road vehicle at the Mills Park Pavillion on Sunday afternoon. Anthony's grandfather rides quads, and the boy said that when he is old enough, he will join him.

Off-highway-vehicle clubs gathered in the Pony Express Pavilion at Mills Park on Sunday with a large collection of Jeeps, motorcycles, barbecues and booths.

Kids sat on new quads and dirt bikes shown by Michael’s Cycles while organizers talked about possible trail closures by the Bureau of Land Management.

“The BLM is trying to eliminate rock crawling and single track in the Pine Nut area,” said Brian Doyal, vice president of the Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association. “They’re doing it to the entire state bit by bit.”

His group has been working to preserve access to the Pine Nut Mountains for which the Bureau of Land Management is drafting a new plan. Doyal says his group would be happy if it was allowed to ride on existing trails.

“We don’t need any new trails; we just want to continue to use the ones there are already.”

Roy Denner, leader of the Off-Road Business Association, came out from San Diego to encourage the Northern Nevada OHV enthusiasts.

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He attended a November BLM forum about land-management issues. National BLM director Kathleen Clarke said the agency needs help managing the 48 million square miles of public land in Nevada and asked clubs to work with it.

“They want to make sure they don’t get into the same problems they’re having in California,” he said. “It’s nothing but lawsuits and closures all over the state over there.”

Fran Hull, a BLM outdoor recreation planner, has teamed up with motorcycle riders in Wilson Canyon to install garbage cans, put up signs, and enforce laws.

“We need riders to behave when no one’s looking,” she said at Sunday’s event. “We need riders to be responsible. The whole rebel thing is just not going to work. It just damages the image of the sport.”

Many riders agreed.

“We need guidelines,” said Vanessa Littrell whose husband, Nate, is the president of the Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association. They play in the band Living Picture Show.

“We played for free today because we support what’s going on. You can’t just sit back and say, ‘Would somebody out there please fix this?’ Each person needs to step up and do something.”

Other groups at the event included the Sierra Stompers, the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the Dust Devils Motorcycle Club.

“What’s neat about this event is you have a lot of people from a lot of different organizations,” said Allen Alexander of the Dust Devils.

He rides his Honda XR 650R in the hills behind his home off Johnson Lane, and uses global-positioning systems to map trails.

That’s exactly what he should be doing, according to Denner.

“When riders identify trails using GPS equipment, they can make sure that the new management plan will include those trails,” he said.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.