New Federal Report Shows Growth and Popularity of OHV Recreation - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

A national trail-based recreation group says a new federal report on off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation in the United States shows popularity of motorized recreation among diverse ethnic communities. The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) says that the study published by the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station shows OHV use is widely recognized now as one of the fastest growing outdoor activities.The report was prepared for the Forest Service in relation to a National OHV policy initiative expected to be finalized in August 2005. The policy will direct forests to designate roads, trails and areas available for OHV use. The source of the data is the National Survey on Recreation and Environment (NSRE). The NSRE is a collaborative project between the Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee.The study showed the proportion of people age 16 and older who said they participated in OHV recreation increased from 16.8 percent in 1999-2000 to 23.8 percent in 2003-2004. It also shows that Hispanic participation grew at the fastest percentage rate, more than doubling between 1999 and 2004. The African-American participation growth rate also outpaced that of caucasions, growing 50 percent compared to 36 percent for caucasions.NSRE data also noted that BRC and other groups may have different positions, but they typically share the concern that OHV use be carried out in a responsible manner.Don Amador, Western Representative for the BRC commented; "This report shows what many of us have known for a long time; that OHV recreation is growing and is popular among all Americans." Amador said the growth in popularity of OHV use is no mystery to the estimated 36 million OHV enthusiasts in America. "OHV recreation is a wonderful way to view and enjoy America's backcountry."Amador stressed that this report should send a clear message to Congress, the Administration, and agencies such as the Forest Service that increased management and funding is needed in order to help land managers better provide for this popular activity.Amador added; "I am proud the study recognized the effort that BRC has undertaken to promote and protect responsible OHV recreation on public lands. This report is of critical importance and will serve as a useful tool for all land managers."The report can be found at: