September 2023

(Photo credit: “Courtesy Wild Alabama – Clearing a trail of tornado tree fall before getting into the work zone”)


American Trails is Soliciting Funding Applications for Legacy Trails Grant Program

American Trails has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service in continuing the Legacy Trails Grant Program. This program is funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It supports partner trail projects that further the Legacy Roads and Trails criteria on National Forest System trails throughout the nine Forest Service Regions. The program also aims to support projects that restore, protect, and maintain watersheds in our national forests and grasslands. American Trails is administering this grant program and is soliciting funding applications, with awards up to $100K per project. In 2023, 84 projects were proposed, and 38 were funded. Of the 38 trail projects funded, 30% were for hiking/pedestrian, 11% for motorized, 6% for ski/dogsled, 16% for bicycle, 17% for wilderness, and 20% for equestrian.

“We are excited to continue this program for a second year,” said Cathy Corlett, Trail Fund Director at American Trails. “We funded 38 trail projects in the first round of grant funding, which already has a measurable impact on watershed health, public access to the outdoors, and overall trail resiliency.”. This program is administered by American Trails and funded through a cost-share agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to distribute $1.4 million per year to support trail projects on forests and grasslands managed by the USFS through 2027.

Project applicants may include nonprofit organizations, businesses, or agencies at the state or local level. The Forest Service identifies and prioritizes watershed acres or areas where Forest Service roads and trails may impact water quality in streams and water bodies. Protecting threatened, endangered, and sensitive species and community water sources are among the top priorities for projects that improve and maintain trail access. Emergency operations, such as evacuation routes during wildfires, floods, or other natural disasters, also benefit from this program. Click here to find out more on the Legacy Trails Program and here for the 2023 awardees. The application portal opens on Oct. 2.


ARRA Members Express Support for the RTP on Capitol Hill

On September 20, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the Oversight of the Department of Transportation’s Policies and Programs. The hearing featured Secretary Pete Buttigieg and occurred on the heels of the two-year mark since the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passage. The hearing allowed ARRA members to take action and promote the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). ARRA sent a targeted alert to more than 3,400 members asking them to take action by sending a letter to their Representative before the hearing indicating their support for the RTP and encouraging their Representative to promote the RTP at the hearing.

Thank you to the ARRA members who responded to the call to action for this effort.


Registration Remains Open for the NOHVCC 2023 Annual Conference

The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) 2023 Annual Conference is off to a roaring start. This year’s conference is in Midway, Utah, on October 12-14. More than 130 individuals have registered for the conference, and the Zermatt Resort Utah has extended the room block. Registration remains open right up to the opening ceremonies of the Annual Conference. If you want to attend the conference, register here.

You can also download the agenda for the conference, find out about the many talented presenters, and more by downloading the NOHVCC page on the Eventee app using the QR code below.

Recent Bureau of Land Management Activity

  • Medford, Oregon – Due to the Smith River Complex, the BLM is closed to public lands south of O’Brien to the California border. This order is for the safety of the public and firefighter personnel. Members of the public may not enter closed areas, and all uses—including hiking, hunting, and camping—are prohibited. Pacific Northwest Team 13 is currently engaged on the fire’s north side.
  • Cody, Wyoming – The BLM Cody Field Office and the Absaroka Fence Initiative partnered with the community along the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River on Saturday, September 16, to celebrate National Public Lands Day. This fence modification project will benefit the Clark’s Fork Watershed big game herds.
  • Roseburg, Oregon – The BLM closed public lands near the Chilcoot Fire near the Steamboat Creek and Canton Creek areas. This emergency closure order is for the safety of the public and firefighter personnel. The closure includes the Scaredman Recreation Area, Day Use Area, and Campground.
  • Sandy, Oregon – The BLM temporarily closed the popular Sandy Ridge Recreation Site because of the nearby Camp Creek Fire, burning in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The BLM closed the area because of excessive smoke and to accommodate firefighting operations. The site is closed until further notice. The closure includes the parking lot and trail system, as the area is needed to stage wildland firefighting resources and equipment.
  • Roseburg, Oregon – The BLM closed public lands within the Tyee Ridge Complex Fires in the Tyee/Umpqua/Hubbard Creek area northwest of Roseburg. This emergency closure order is for the safety of the public and firefighter personnel.
  • Susanville, California– The BLM and Lassen Land and Trails Trust invited outdoor enthusiasts to help with Lassen County cleanup and improvement projects in recognition of National Public Lands Day. Events were held Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23, at Biscar Reservoirs, the Modoc Line Rail Trail, and along the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.
  • Craig, Colorado —The BLM, Routt County Riders, and Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS) invited volunteers to a National Public Lands Day event at the Rotary Trailhead on September 23 near Steamboat Springs. The trailhead is on public land within the Emerald Mountain Special Recreation Area, managed for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. The event aims to improve accessibility for all riders on the Rotary Trail.
  • Yakima, Washington – The BLM firefighters and other local resources responded to two wildfires burning on BLM-managed land near State Highway 821 in the Yakima River Canyon. The Roza Slope Fire is estimated at 400 acres, and the South Slope Fire is estimated at approximately 700 acres. Precautionary Level 1 fire evacuation orders for the Yakima River Canyon, advising homeowners to be ready to leave, have been issued; however, no structures are currently threatened.