filed under: user management
Many snowmobile trail managers are facing new management challenges related to OHV use that have been evolving over the past ten to fifteen years. This evolution has included significant growth in overall OHV numbers, the addition of wider side-by-side utility vehicles (UTVs), and some OHVs now being equipped with tracks. Consequently a growing number of local administrators must evaluate what’s best for their local area: continuing to provide only ‘single use’ motorized trails for snowmobiles – or integrating concurrent snowmobile/OHV use onto some groomed trails.
This project builds upon a similar assessment conducted by Trails Work Consulting in 2005-2006 on behalf of the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA) and the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA). The 2006 study can be viewed here. Since the 2006 project addressed only wheeled ATV use on groomed snowmobile trails, this project focused on filling information gaps related to tracked OHV operation on groomed trails.
For this project’s Trail Manager Survey, the term ‘OHV’ generally included three off-road recreational vehicle types equipped with either wheels or tracks: ATVs, UTVs/ROVs (also known as side-by-sides), and motorcycles. Wheeled OHVs were included in the 2013-14 survey only to compare 2006 wheeled survey data against current data. This project’s limited 2014 field test evaluated only one tracked ATV and two tracked ROVs – no tracked motorcycles were tested. While no wheeled OHVs of any type were field tested in 2014, some comparisons were made with 2006 field test observations that included wheeled ATVs.
Published September 01, 2014
This synthesis is intended to establish a baseline of the current state of knowledge and practice and to serve as a guide for trail managers and researchers.
This study offers direction for future studies on mountain bike riding, including: characteristics of mountain bike riders and their use patterns, identification of resource degradation problems, identification and resolution of conflict issues, wilderness trespass issues, partnership issues, communication issues, and testing of management strategies related to mountain bike use.
This guidebook can be used to assist in successfully planning, designing, and constructing mountain bike trail systems, while keeping in mind that user issues must be addressed at every stage of development.
This guidance has been created to help mountain bikers and land managers understand different perspectives on this issue, in the context of the Scottish access rights, and to suggest ways in which they can work together and try where possible to find solutions.