Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association (MTVRA) is a statewide OHV organization whose members have an interest in and history of collaborative partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies to improve motorized recreation opportunities.
In 2014 MTVRA, applied for and received a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant for $90,000 to provide mechanized maintenance on dual-track motorized trails. The purpose of the grant was to provide mechanized maintenance of OHV trails to provide for public safety and maintenance and rehabilitation of damaged areas to increase OHV opportunities for all ages and abilities. Each forest and BLM office identified major OHV routes for mechanized maintenance in cooperation with MTVRA and other local user groups.
The partnership grant not only included MTVRA, Forest Service, and BLM partners, but also included local governments and user groups who would provide grant and labor support for the work to be completed. As a match to the RTP grant, each public land management agency would pay for a staff person to work with the contractor to complete the work. Additional partnerships were formed with local user groups such as Mining City Trail Riders from Butte and Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association to provide volunteers to work with the Forest Service and BLM staff.
RTP funds were awarded to MTVRA and were used to award a contract to a contractor not to exceed $90,000. A $23,000 match was provided by Forest Service and BLM staff as well as MTVRA and other user group volunteers to assist with the project. A challenge cost share agreement between the Northern Region Forest Service and BLM was signed with MTVRA to complete the work. During the grant process, support was provided not only by motorized users, but also non-motorized users such as mountain bicyclists who use many of the same routes and experience many of the same trail issues.
This is a true public/private partnership. MTVRA administers the contract, has hired the contractor, and is coordinating volunteers to work with the Forest Service and the contractor on each trail site. MTVRA has demonstrated the ability to complete the trail maintenance work for approximately one-fifth the cost of agency contracts on earlier projects that have been administered in the same way.