Those of you who are dual sport and/or off-road riders probably know the struggle Marylanders have with finding places to ride off-road. It has been an ongoing battle but the good news is there has been incredible forward momentum this year regarding three potential ORV trails pending final adjudication with Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There are only three stages remaining before the trails could be opened and the current stage needs your help (and please share this with any and everyone that will be willing to support the effort)! DNR has begun the public notification stage, which solicits opinions and concerns from any and all of Maryland’s public.
Three new ORV Trails being considered are: (1) one ORV Trail in Garrett County on the Savage River State Forest, in the general vicinity of St. John’s Rock-Red Dog Road, (2) two ORV Trails in Washington County, on DNR managed lands on Sideling Hill north and south. The entire trail plan can be viewed at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/orv_Projects.asp
These initial trails are not the “end solution” to Maryland ORVers. However, they do represent DNRs commitment to reinvigorate the ORV trails within Maryland. The Maryland OHV Alliance sees these trails a pivotal point and a clean slate to build a top-notch trail system.
For all of the GS riders reading this and/or any other Maryland ORVers we greatly encourage you to send a note to show your support of these trails. The deadline is October 4, 2013 which is quickly approaching. However you choose to express your support is up to you. The most important thing is that you send a note/email to DNR expressing your continued interest in Maryland’s ORV trails and do so by the deadline, October 4! It can be as simple as “I support the proposed ORV trails.” You can either email email@example.com or mail your words of support to:
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
Alternatively if you prefer, below is a template response which you can personalize (change OHV to motorcycle, Jeep, or ATV).
As an off-highway vehicle user and a resident of Maryland, I strongly support opening the Savage River State Forest and Sideling Hill areas to responsible, sustainable OHV use. The previous closure of Green Ridge State Forest to OHV users was most unfortunate, resulting in my family spending our OHV time in neighboring states and supporting their economies.
The trail proposal provides a sound beginning. However, just a like a ski resort can’t serve their entire clientele with a single slope, we encourage DNR to consider broadening the ORV system to include more technically challenging jeep, ATV, and bike trails.
I recognize that labor to create and maintain any trail system becomes a driving financial factor. To help defray the burden to DNR, I would like to offer to volunteer to support such a great venture between ORVers and the State of Maryland.
Lastly, I would like to encourage DNR to establish sound metrics to objectively quantify condition of the trail. This will allow a consistent method to monitor the trails, and predict when the trail will need remediation work. Nobody wants to see trails closed abruptly, in a repeat of Green Ridge State Forest. As responsible OHV users, we are all conservationists and want to protect the resources we use.