Improvements planned at 3,000 acre area tract near Cody, Wyoming
CODY- Thanks to a partnership involving off road enthusiasts, the state of Wyoming and a generous private landowner, an area that has been unofficially used by off road recreationists for decades is now enrolled in the Wyoming State Trails Off Road Vehicle (ORV) program and will be enhanced and improved at a public event on May 9, 2015.
The effort has been spearheaded by the Northwest Wyoming Off Highway Vehicle Alliance, whose members have worked with local and state officials and the landowner. The area is one mile from downtown Cody, adjacent to lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and land owned by Wyoming State Lands and Investments.
This “new” area has actually been used for years by off road enthusiasts, with tacit approval by the landowner. This new arrangement makes it official and will provide a safe legal area for enthusiasts to continue enjoying their sport.
“We are thrilled at this opportunity to provide safe and legal riding options for off highway vehicle riders in Wyoming and are very grateful for the support of landowner Glenn Nielson in making this happen,” said Dana Sander, president of the Northwest Wyoming Off Highway Vehicle Alliance. “On May 9, we expect many volunteers to help us clean up the area and install informational kiosks and markers to define new legal riding areas. We invite the public to join us.”
The nearly 3,000 acre site is one mile south of Cody, Wyoming, off skyline Drive. Two open riding areas totaling more than 400 acres and more than 60 miles of trails, including a single track, will now be available for legal off road use.
“We’re pleased to add this new area to the system of trails available across the state,” said Joshua Milek, regional supervisor for the Wyoming State Trails Program. “This is the largest private land tract in Wyoming that is specifically available for motorized recreation and will provide access and opportunity for this sport that is enjoyed by more than 56,000 ORV permit holders in Wyoming.”
The opening of the Red Lake Motorized Recreation Area is a good time to emphasize the importance of outdoor ethics. The “RIDE ON Designated Routes Wyoming” campaign has been developed by Tread Lightly! and a coalition of partners to promote responsible motorized vehicle use on public and private land across the state. Tread Lightly! is a national nonprofit organization that promotes responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.
Tread Lightly! has created the statewide campaign in partnership with Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service to address problems caused by irresponsible behavior by a small minority of off road vehicle users. Littering and natural resource destruction has led to the closure of some areas in the state to public use in the past.
“We want to spread the message that Respected Access is Open Access,” said Domenic Bravo, Administrator for Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails and a member of the board of directors for Tread Lightly! “Riding on designated routes is the best thing ORV users can do to ensure continued access to riding areas in the future.”
Landowner Glenn Nielson is Chief Executive Officer of Mountain Holdings Inc. and an outdoorsman who has enjoyed motorized recreation all his life. He echoes the importance of the outdoor ethics message.
“It is unfortunate that in recent years we’ve seen more areas in Wyoming being closed to the public because of misuse by a few. We must all take responsibility for behavior on public and private land to help reverse this trend,” said Neilson. “Mountain Holding is glad to participate in promoting proper use and to assist in providing tax payers access to and use of the public lands they own. We really like the cooperative approach.”
The May 9 event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon. A free BBQ lunch will be provided to volunteers by Roger’s Sports Center and door prizes will be offered by local businesses. At 1:00 the riding areas will officially open to the public for motorized recreational use.