02 Feb Cleanup Event and Ambassador Program for New Mexico’s Manzanita Mountains
EVENT DATE: April 23, 2016
AMBASSADOR PROGRAM: Ongoing SEEKING VOLUNTEERS
Description from New Mexico 4-Wheelers:
The Manzanita Mountains Trail System on the Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest is a key location for public recreation in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. The trail system benefitted greatly from a large Recreational Trails Program grant procured by the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA). The New Mexico 4 Wheelers (NM4W) is a member club of NMOHVA and a key player in the project. NM4W provided the bulk of the necessary volunteer hours for the “matching funds” required by the RTP grant program.
Given the close proximity of the trail system to New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area, the Manzanita Mountains Trail System sees heavy use from a very diverse set of visitors. Unfortunately, with this heavy use, some “bad apples” have been leaving their mark.
NM4W is committed to assisting land manager’s efforts to provide a recognizable presence on the lands we enjoy while providing a positive and informative role model for fellow OHV users.
Our requested project has two elements: A one-time cleanup event and the kick-off of a long-term presence with full-size 4WD participation in the Sandia Ranger district’s OHV Trail Ambassador volunteer program.
Clean Up Event
Both NM4W and the Cibola National Forest have noticed trash and graffiti issues in some areas of the trail system. NM4W wishes to host a cleanup event after the winter snowmelt to address these issues. The graffiti removal will require some special equipment and materials. In addition to its club members, NM4W will solicit additional volunteers from the larger motorized recreation community.
NM4W will procure the following items:
• Rental of a self-contained hot water pressure washer
• Elephant Snot Graffiti Remover and application brushes
• Clean-up support materials: Trash bags, gloves, lunch, and water for the volunteers
OHV Trail Ambassador Program
NM4W has committed to assist the Sandia Ranger District in expanding the OHV Trail Ambassador program to include full-size volunteer vehicles. The club typically has group outings four or five times a year in this area. The club could easily combine this ongoing presence with volunteer patrols.
The OHV Trail Ambassador program already has motorcycle and ATV volunteers, but there is a need for volunteers to serve and assist the Sandia Ranger District in monitoring areas, roads, trails and facilities used by 4WD, and actively participate in site improvements (e.g., fence repair, site cleanups) and user outreach (e.g., greeting/educating users at staging areas).
4WD use is rapidly growing in the area making the need for a 4WD patrol presence important. Training is provided to OHV Ambassadors by the Forest Service. Volunteers are expected to provide their own vehicles and safety gear and must have a good working knowledge of the terrain they are monitoring. In order to have these volunteers recognized as a reliable information source for the public when in the area, the Forest Service wishes to provide shirts, hats, and vehicle magnets.
NM4W will secure the following items to support the OHV Trail Ambassador program:
• Six pairs of multicolor vehicle magnets
• 20 shirts
• 20 Hats
Photo via US Forest Service
Tread Lightly! has awarded a “25 for 25” grant to partially fund this project. Funding was made possible by our generous partners: Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative, Federal Premium Ammunition, Bushnell and Dallas Safari Club.