June 2024

(Photo credit: Polaris Inc.)


Polaris Launches Free Off-Road Charging Network for OHVs in Michigan

Polaris Inc. and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) inaugurated the “first of its kind” innovative electric off-road vehicle charging network in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This collaborative effort marks a significant milestone in modernizing the state’s mobility offerings.  The announcement comes nearly a year after Polaris was awarded the Mobility Public-Private Partnership & Programming grant through the Michigan Office of Future Mobility & Electrification (OFME) to develop and maintain the off-road charging network.

“It is an honor to mark the opening of this unique off-road electric charging network developed in partnership with the State of Michigan and the local communities along this trail system. Polaris and Michigan are connected in our efforts to bring exciting innovation and the latest technology to outdoor recreation,” explained Andrew Chasse, Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships at Polaris. “I’d like to thank the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in particular for allowing Polaris the opportunity to play a role in such an important initiative for the state and this standout milestone for the powersports industry.”

The new network spans approximately 100 miles (160 km) of scenic off-road trails and features four charging stations in Ontonagon, White Pine, Bergland, and Greenland. These stations, developed in partnership with Texas-based Yotta Energy, are equipped with Yotta’s REV charging stations, which include solar production capacity and 120kWh of onboard energy storage. This technology is designed to function on and off the grid, making it ideal for remote and urban locations.


CA SB 708 is On the Move

On June 11, CA SB 708 made significant progress, passing out of the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee and the Assembly Transportation Committee.   ARRA received encouraging news that SB 708 passed the Assembly Transportation Committee’s Consent Calendar (no presentation or public comments) on July 1 and is heading for a full floor vote in the Assembly. This latest development brings hope for a smooth journey to the Governor’s desk.

CA SB 708, introduced by Senator Brian Jones, would establish a special permit within the Department of Parks and Recreation allowing California residents to operate certain off-road motorcycles (OFMC) at sanctioned events. Effective with the 2022 model year, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) no longer certifies emission non-compliant OFMC due to the termination of the state’s “Red Sticker” program in 2021. Without a legislative fix, the loss of competition riding by OFMC would deal a significant blow to California’s powersports community and industry, which had a retail marketplace valued at $4.4 billion in 2023.


USDA Makes a Significant $66M Investment for Conservation Work as Part of the Investing in America Agenda

At a June Western Governors’ Association meeting, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small announced a significant move by USDA, investing nearly $66 million in projects to reduce wildfire risk, protect water quality, and improve forest health nationwide. This substantial investment is a reassuring step towards a more sustainable future, aligning with the Investing in America agenda.

Of the total investment, $12 million is being provided through the USDA Forest Service’s Good Neighbor Authority, allowing the agency to collaborate with state forestry agencies, Tribes, and counties to mitigate wildfire risk and enhance forest, rangeland, and watershed health. This funding will support 22 projects across 13 states, thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Nearly $9 million of the total funding will be allocated to support projects in several states that are part of the Western Governors’ Association member states, including Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The remaining $55 million will reduce wildfire risk and improve water quality and forest health through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership. The collaborative effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Forest Service aims to work with private, state, and Tribal landowners to conserve forests and agricultural lands alongside federally managed lands while safeguarding communities. The $55 million investment will support 41 projects—including ten new projects—across 11 states.

“These projects are indicative of a growing movement of cooperation around natural resource issues for the betterment of us all,” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “A keystone of the Joint Chiefs’ projects is the people and the understanding that the healthier our forests, the healthier our nation.”

This program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.


Legacy Restoration Fund Projects

As part of an ongoing series, we feature the 37 motorized and non-motorized infrastructure projects totaling $20 million funded through FY23 in the ARRA newsletters. Click here to access projects funded in your state. Below are the projects featured this month:


Pipeline Off-Highway Vehicle Area Improvements ($200,000)

Tonto National Forest, Arizona

The Pipeline Off-Highway Vehicle Area on the Tonto National Forest has outstanding maintenance needs. Project work may include removing and replacing existing structures, developing an off-highway vehicle staging area with fence or rail to prohibit off-road travel but allow for off-loading of equipment, rehabilitating unauthorized routes, and installing signage and restroom buildings as needed.


Williams Creek Campground ($248,000)

San Juan National Forest, Colorado

This project will reduce deferred maintenance and replace campground site amenities, including all use and tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. Williams Creek Campground offers a wide range of sites – sunny, shaded, and creekside with a mixture of single-family and double sites with water and sewer. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, all-terrain riding, scenic opportunities, and close access to Williams Reservoir for fishing and kayaking.


Dangerous River All-Terrain Vehicle Trail ($200,000)

Tongass National Forest, Alaska

The Middle Dangerous River Trail receives the most use in the fall, around moose hunting season. However, the fall is also the wettest time of the year, and the moisture and high traffic volumes have damaged its sustainability.

The trail alters the natural drainage patterns and collects surface flow along its length, affecting approximately 4.5 miles of ephemeral and intermittent streams and surrounding wetlands. The project’s goal is to divert as much water as possible off the existing trail back into its natural drainages and evaluate the effectiveness of the structures for future work. Some ATV boardwalks have been constructed, and a combination of crushed gravel and geo-block along the wettest parts of this trail has been installed; however, a lot more work is needed.


Iditarod National Historic Trail Master Deferred Maintenance Project ($1,000,000)

Chugach National Forest, Alaska

This project proposes to address deferred maintenance on portions of the existing trail and bridges on the 120 mi Iditarod National Historic Trail (INHT) Southern Trek- A National Priority Trail Maintenance Area. When completed, this trail will eventually be part of a continuous trail from Seward, Alaska, to Eagle River, Alaska. Investing in this trail system’s ongoing maintenance and improvement will help us meet the forest’s goal of creating resilient, sustainable trails. It will put us well on our way to meeting the criteria of the 10-year Trail Challenge.

The project area spans the Seward and Glacier Ranger districts on the Chugach National Forest. It will address heavy deferred maintenance on the following sections of the INHT: Nash Rd to Bear Lake, Lost Lake Trail, Primrose Trail, Johnson Pass Trail, Turnagain Pass Trail, Winner Creek Trail, Upper Winner Creek Trail, Crow Pass Trail, Portage Pass Trails and the Trail of Blue Ice. The INHT is an immensely popular trail, seeing hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The trails are popular for hikers, bikers, backpackers, runners, fishermen, hunters, subsistence gathering, and winter activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and snow machining. This trail is the backbone of our local towns and is an economic driver for our Alaskan communities. South-central Alaska is the vacation destination for most Alaska tourism, and providing safe, accessible, and world-class trail systems is vital to the area’s continued success and outstanding reputation. Our permitted outfitter/guides also rely on this trail system to provide guided, knowledgeable outdoor recreation experiences to a diverse user group. Improvements to this trail system will create additional opportunities for our O/Gs and the public.


Kawishiwi Trails (Superior Priority Trail Area) ($255,000)

Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Trail maintenance will include brushing, gravel lifts, and fill. This will consist of brushing Old Man Winter Trail #5260, gravel fill in multiple areas, and a three-mile gravel lift on Stoney Spur ATV trail #51058. Six gates will be replaced with bollards, and 100 cubic yards of gravel will be added to the parking area on Tomahawk Trail #90221.


Recent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Activity

  • Rawlins, Wyoming – Due to elevated water levels at Rim Lake, Rim Lake Road off State Highway 71 has been closed until further notice. Much of the lake remains accessible to the public around the other sides. For public safety, motorized travel is not authorized through this area. Foot traffic around the waterways is still allowed.
  • Palm Springs, California – Due to dry conditions and high fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management will temporarily close public lands in and near Whitewater Canyon in Riverside County. In coordination with Riverside County, the public safety closure began on June 1 and will remain in place until October 31. It is illegal to enter and be on public lands described and identified as the “Fire Closure Area.” Violation of this order is punishable by a fine of no more than $100,000 or, imprisonment of no more than 12 months, or both.
  • Casper, Wyoming – The BLM Casper Field Office has reopened Muddy Mountain Road for the summer. Muddy Mountain Road closes annually for public safety and resource protection. The closure typically runs from the end of November through the beginning of June. Please note that water is not currently available at the campgrounds. Users are advised to bring their own water. While much of the snow in the area has melted, some lingering snowdrifts remain within Lodgepole Campground. Conditions are expected to improve with the current forecast.
  • Fairbanks, Alaska —The BLM Eastern Interior Field Office will temporarily close 44 acres below the Nome Creek Bridge in the White Mountains National Recreation Area while stream restoration work is underway June 6 – July 20. The closure temporarily restricts public access within the work area because stream restoration requires equipment, activities, and features that may pose a risk to public safety. “We appreciate the public’s patience while stream restoration work is underway,” said Eastern Interior Field Manager Tim Hammond. “Placer mining is part of the region’s cultural heritage but has also left behind degraded streams, impaired water quality, and impacted fish populations. This work is an important next step in rehabilitating this historic landscape so it can continue to support healthy ecosystems and community needs.”
  • Phoenix, Arizona – Effective June 6, seasonal Stage 1 fire restrictions will be implemented on BLM-managed Colorado River and Phoenix District lands. This includes BLM-managed lands in La Paz, Maricopa, southern Mohave, northern Pinal, western Pima, Yavapai, and Yuma counties. Fire managers have noted an increase in wildfire activity, which is anticipated to peak as the weather gets hotter and drier in the coming months. Fire restrictions help to limit activities on public lands that are known to be the most common causes of wildfires.
  • Yuma, Arizona – The BLM Yuma Field Office has finalized the Imperial Hills Travel and Transportation Management Plan Environmental Assessment for BLM-managed public lands around Imperial Dam and Martinez Lake, north of Yuma. The plan identifies access routes important for vehicle access to support multiple land uses and various motorized and non-motorized recreational activities such as off-highway vehicle riding, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and camping. The decision record, maps, and supporting documents for this Travel Management Plan are available on the BLM National NEPA Register at:  https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/105249/510
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – On June 8, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Clark County, Moapa Valley Fire Protection District, Mesquite Fire Rescue, Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District, National Park Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Nye County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Forest Service implemented fire restrictions in Southern Nevada.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah – On June 11, the BLM West Desert District issued a fire prevention order to announce seasonal fire restrictions. These restrictions apply to BLM-managed lands within the counties of Box Elder, Cache, Juab, Millard, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Wasatch, and Weber.
  • Ely, Nevada – Legacy Racing Association held the Legacy Baja Nevada 2024 competitive off-highway vehicle race near Mesquite, Nevada, and concluded Saturday, June 29, near Ely, Nevada. The two-day event was held on Bureau of Land Management Southern Nevada and Ely district-managed lands. Participants raced approximately 330 miles from Mesquite to south of Ely on day one. On day two, they raced approximately 320 miles, beginning and ending in Ely. Participating vehicles included motorcycles, quads, UTVs, trucks, and buggies.