Taking the Initiative
The NEWtrails initiaitive.
Emerging from the past, recent, and potential trail closures and brought on in part by the dominating “Green” lobby, come 30 like-minded 4x4 enthusiasts willing to set a precedent for 4x4 clubs in the Northeast United States by purchasing a parcel of land to be dedicated to their own 4x4 use. The plan is to offer up $1,000 from each investor and purchase the best piece of land possible for $30,000 or under.
A Brief History:
Thirty years ago a group of Off Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) enthusiasts struggled to have a state and region wide system of trails set up for them to enjoy. These were the snowmobilers. For an untold time, they fought and finally succeeded in lobbying for their rights to use public lands in our area. They were finally successful by banding together creating associations of smaller clubs thus adding strength to their cries toward the politicians ears. There are now thousands of miles of trails for their enjoyment.
More recently, yet another group of OHRV enthusiasts have been successfully fighting to have the right of use for trails on State and Federal property. These are the ATVers, riders of smaller (under 1,000lbs.) wheeled vehicles. Recent legislation has passed in New Hampshire allowing OHRVs under 1000 pounds to have access and use our public lands.
Currently, all of us who enjoy the use of our 1,000 pound + vehicles, whether they be Jeeps, Chevys, Fords, or others, are limited to using private lands, with permission, and seasonal use of Class VI (NH) type, un-maintained, public roads. Recently, there have been great strides in having the over 1,000 pound vehicle recognized. Northeast Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc. (NEA4WDC) http://www.nea4wd.org/ continues to take our voices to the necessary ears. Unfortunately, we are still limited in our sport.
In the fall of 2001 on an online 4x4 club forum (NEOW), a discussion started on the topic of privately purchasing land for the expressed purpose of having a place to enjoy our 4x4 vehicles without restriction and without breaking any laws.
Through countless posts and many friendly arguments it was decided that anyone who was willing and had the funds would invest $1,000 each toward the purchase of a piece of land in the year 2002. To date there have been ~28 people from greater New England penciled in to take this step.
This is by no means a small feat. Many issues have yet to be set in stone and agreed by the majority of investors. Some of which are: What entity will hold the land, how exactly to deal with it’s use, yearly dues for taxes etc., and many more issues.
It is agreed by all involved that the must meet certain criteria. It must be the largest parcel for the money, combined with the best terrain for our sport, combined with a reasonably equidistant location from all investors.
The most current piece is located in Southwestern New Hampshire on the fringes of the scenic White Mountains. It is comprised of 90 acres of varied terrain and has been selectively logged thus making trail building a bit easier. Initial scouting photos are to the right.
This may not be the final parcel. Many things are bound to change including potentially finding more suitable acreage.
The Continuing Saga:
Please check out the The NEWtrails initiaitive discussion:
Feel free to comment here:
We encourage and invite you to read about our efforts, if you are so inclined to invest with us please post and let us know or contact: Paul or preach.
Please stay tuned.
Ideally, efforts such as the NEA4WDC NH lobby and others will open our public lands for our enjoyment, but it could be that individual clubs and associations of clubs will be purchasing land for their use and regulation.
It could be th
at larger organized groups will start their own Land Purchase Initiative and will follow in the steps of these pioneering NLP investors.
Time will tell.