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Long post but well worth the time to read. The money that was cleared from the raffle from 2006 Takeover found its home over the past month. TXTTORA sent Laura to a conference to help her help us fight to keep land open as well as secure land for us in the future. Definately well worth investment. It will also find its way to the latest issue of the newsletter from TMTC Enjoy!

The NOHVCC Annual Conference
and
The National Association of OHV Program Managers Conference
Charleston, WV
March 22-25, 2007

This was the first time I have had a chance to attend. Bobby Beamer has been asking me to attend for years now and become an Associate Representative, but it's been the same problem every year...How can I afford to take a week off work and home and come up with the extra $1,000 it costs for a hotel room and airplane rides?
NOHVCC takes care of the main Representative, which happens to be Bobby. And in the past, Texas Motorized Trails Coalition has paid for one associate Rep to attend. This year the #1 Associate, Carol Smith, was paying her own way. Tony Eeds and myself, both on the TMTC Board of Directors, wanted to attend and be accepted as Associates. Tony was able to pay for his trip and hotel. Since TMTC has limited funds and already had three board members attending without costing TMTC any money they couldn't justify spending $1,000 to send me. It was understandable....a little sad ...but understandable.
So, it looked like this year was going to suffer the same fate as those in the
past. Until, I recieved an email and subsequent phone conversation with the
TTORA, Toyota Territory Off Roaders Association. Every year the Texas Chapter of TTORA have a "Takeover" weekend at Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area. This year they raised $925 with their raffle. They had generously decided to donate this money to the TMTC for BMRA, but wanted it to go to something a little more worthwhile than dumpsters or porta potties. And I can honestly say, this trip was more worthwhile than anything else I have done for the Texas' OHV community.
The question should have never been..."How can I afford to go?"...but rather
..."How can I afford NOT to go?"
I arrived Wednesday afternoon. The conference started on Monday. But Monday, Tuesday, and most of Wednesday....and Thursday Mornning were Pre-Conference Trail Rides on the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system. Now, my Husband and Boss very graciously let me leave the State for five days...but I just couldn't ask for three more days so I could ride atvs on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails while they were left home working.

This was my third time ever to fly...and the other two flights were 30 years
ago...so, flying should be kept to a story by itself...........even the one
about the pilot who was on day 4 of his "Learn to Fly in 10 Days" course.
I arrived at the Marriott in Charleston, West Virginia about 3:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. I found the NOHVCC crowd all attending the National Association of OHV Program Managers meeting and sat in on that til around 5pm. We were on our own for dinner that night. What will later be known as "The Texas Contingency" found a Mexican food restaurant close by ...it was actually run by Mexicans and to be honest...the food was pretty good....I've had worse in Texas for sure. I'm glad we went, as it ended up being the only chance we had to eat anywhere other than the Marriott all weekend.

The Texas Contingency consisted of Laura White TMTC OHV Rep...that's me, Bobby Beamer TMTC DirtBike Rep, Carol Smith TMTC ATV Rep, Tony Eeds TMTC At Large Rep, and Steve Thompson, Texas Parks and Wildlife OHV Program Director. Us five Texans were told that we spend too much time together, but in all fairness, we had a lot of TMTC work on our Escondido Draw Management Plan we needed to do while we had 4 board members and Steve Thompson trapped in one place. So, between and after conference sessions we worked on the TMTC project.Thursday morning started early enough with a buffet breakfast from 7-8. After the Welcome and Introductions the Concurrent Sessions started. Now what this
means is that you have at least two things going on at the same time in
different rooms....so you end up missing somethings and having to pick between two equally good topics. My first Session pick was the USFS Proposed Travel Management Directives by Art Jeffers, Assistant Director of Recreation, USFS, Washington DC Office. This helped explain what the forest service was trying to do and how they were going to do it. Although we don't have lots of Forest Land in Texas there are a few. This Directive will effect OHV use in our Forests and in all of them Nation wide.

My second choice of the day was pretty easy either OHV Recreation on Army Corps of Engineers Land or Evaluation of ATV Use On Groomed Snowmobile Trails. Oddly enough I chose the COE. I left thinking it was time to contact our local Corps office again. The Session after lunch was a toss up....One about a new South Carolina riding area the other was about the OHV Parks in Massachusetts. I picked Massachusetts...because I have family there.
The last Session for the day was either the Kentucky side of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, The SKYward Trails, or Sound Studies for OHV Riding Areas. Due to BMRA's 10pm curfew I had a vested interest in this topic. It was a very informative talk by Chris Real, who happened to be on the same plane with me as we left West Virginia, so I had a chance to talk to him in depth. I really need one of those decible meters.

New NOHVCC State Representative Orientation lasted the rest of the afternoon. Followed by a reception and dinner lasting til 10. The Texas Contingency left a little early and found a nice quiet room where we could work on the Escondido Draw Recreational Area Management Plan. It got late fast and us old folks decided to continue the next night after dinner.
Up bright and early for another breakfast followed by a presentation by Jeffrey Lusk, Executive Director of the Hatfield -McCoy Recreational Authority about the Economic Impact of the Trail System. I picked the next two USFS Sessions which were by Tom Crimmins, Trails Consultant and Russ Ehness, Executive Director of NOHVCC. The first Forest Session was by the Forest Service these two were by Trail users ...it was good to hear both sides discussing the same thing. After another big lunch I picked the Marketing of the Hatfield-McCoy over the BLM Efforts.

That afternoon we had the pleasure of listening to Christopher Douwes, RTP
Program manager, Federal Highway Administration talk about the Recreational
Trails Program...the gas tax money.

After that was an Overview of NOHVCC. Then we barely fit in one more
session...ok...I was tired...and don't remember much of that one...I should of
just gone and taken a nap. No dinner Friday night. We had Hors d'oeuvre and that was more than enough for dinner after being fed so much. Once again, The Texas Contingency went off in a corner by themselves and worked late into the night on the master plan to take over the world....or whatever it was we were doing.

Saturday morning came way too early. The first thing on the agenda was Tom
Crimmins discussing his new publication, OHV Management Guidlines for OHV
Recreation. The 9:00 Sessions were harder to pick from either Better Grant
Writing or Insurance Solutions for OHV Organizations. I'm glad I picked the
grant one. It was done by Christopher Douwes, RTP and Terry Lee Cook, AMA and Kim Rapp, Trail Work and was very informative. And I ended up having a breakfast meeting with the insurance guys the next morning. Two more Forest Service items then a good one on Building and Strengthening State Associations. It was a well deserved lunch Saturday followed by an afternoon of NOHVCC Team Meetings.

The Saturday Night Dinner was a Celebration. Highlighted by drinking moonshine with Ron Loomis and eating dinner with Jeff Smith and hearing more stories than the ones from his speech. It didn't matter these legends rode bikes and I have a fullsize OHV....well as full size as a Geo Tracker can be.
We all got to bed late that night, but there was no work involved. We were up again the next morning, but if we had been paying attention would have known breakfast wasn't until 8am Sunday morning....It didn't matter there was coffee and the Insurance guys from Trail Pass to talk to. After they ran off to catch their planes, The Texas Contingency minus Steve Thompson, who had to be on his plane at 6am....there's at least one person in TPWD that dosen't like our form of recreation and she happens to be in charge of plane reservations....well the rest of us stayed and talked TMTC stuff until we had to go to the airport.
I was lucky enough to have to wait at the airport with Ron Loomis, Chris Real,
and Tom from Oregon. Having the chance to talk to folks from across the nation that are doing the same things we are doing. Hearing success stories and reasons for failures. There was a wealth of knowledge to be had for the asking. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to attend.
Yes, I will be going to Alberquerque, NM in 2008. Don't know where the money
will come from, but I have a year to figure it out.

I'd like to Thank TTORA for their support.
Laura White
TMTC Outreach Director
TMTC OHV User Rep
 

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Sweet. Excellent use of the funds that were raised. :)
 

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Great Job Vince and TX peeps!
 

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STITCH - Come and Take it!
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Great write up! Gotta love our club!
TEXAS RULES!
 

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Excellent! I always enjoy hearing stories like these. WTG Vince and everyone else responsible for the TO last year!
 

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good job vince, great to see it all at work :D
 
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