Tread Lightly! Impact Report: Uwharrie National Forest “Year of the Trail” Workdays and Signage Installation

Project: Uwharrie National Forest “Year of the Trail” Workdays and Signage Installation
Location: North Carolina

Description: On October 21 and November 18, 2023, the Uwharrie National Forest along with several sponsors, volunteers, and partners implemented “Year of the Trail” and Tread Lightly! workdays on the Badin Lake OHV Trail Complex. In total, 45 people volunteered their time and energy into these workdays.

The mission of these workdays was to help educate and communicate responsible motorized recreation by installing 135 Tread Lightly! signs and Carsonite posts, blocking illegal trails, picking up trash, and clearing downed trees and debris from the trails. The project days also included installation of barricades to protect archaeological, botanical and sensitive soil and water areas within the Badin Lake OHV trails complex of multi-use trails. In total, 475 pounds of trash were removed and 17 miles of trail improved.

It was important to the Uwharrie National Forest to incorporate Tread Lightly! principles into these new signs to improve riders’ knowledge of responsible behavior so that this forest and trails are available for future generations and to instill the importance of protecting sensitive resources while recreating.

Thank you to the partners who made this possible:

 “One of the biggest challenges for land management agencies, like the US Forest Service, is managing people so they use public lands responsibly and minimize their impact to the environment as much as possible. Conservation, Education, and Responsible Access messaging with the help of Tread Lightly! and these new signs will hopefully help spread the word to our users how they can enjoy their national forests without destroying their national forest. This is one of the most difficult management issues for all land management agencies.”- Theresa Savery, Uwharrie National Forest District Recreation Staff Officer

“This project is particularly gratifying, by not only helping support the needs of Uwharrie National Forest but also because so many clubs and partners helped make this a reality. The beautiful Bain Lake OHV multi-use Trail Complex is used by full-size 4×4, UTV, ATV and motorcycle riders, so there is lots of trail activity. The project was large in scope but was made possible by such a great team of partners and volunteers that helped to provide the additional funding needed, food for the workday, and most importantly volunteers to help execute the work. Many hands made light work indeed! Thank you to all the partners, clubs and volunteers that helped to make these two project days such a success.”- Lowell Eckart, Tread Lightly! Southeast Program Manager

“As the Director of Conservation for Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, I personally, along with our Board of Directors, member clubs, individuals, and business members, are proud to support “The Year of the Trail” program alongside Tread Lightly! and the US Forestry Service. Together we procured and placed fresh new signage in the Uwharrie OHV Trail system, cleaned up trail trash and advocated to others how to preserve and maintain. This project follows our mission of Conservation, Education, and Recreation.  On behalf of SFWDA, Do Your Part, Pack in Pack OUT, and TREAD LIGHTLY!” -Kevin A. Henderson,  SFWDA Director of Conservation Want to get involved in your own Tread Lightly! project? Find upcoming activities, events and grant opportunities at treadlightly.org.

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