BFGoodrich® Tires, in collaboration with Tread Lightly!® and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), today announced plans for its 2009 Outstanding Trails Program. This year, due to the current economic climate, the program will be reduced, but will continue to focus on helping off-road clubs and organizations by allowing trails and areas to be kept open and accessible for all to use. Launched in 2006, the Outstanding Trails Program is dedicated to the responsible use and preservation of off-road trails while providing aid for conservation efforts for the trails.
"The BFGoodrich Tires Outstanding Trails Program has enjoyed tremendous success for the last three years, thanks in part to the efforts of Tread Lightly!, UFWDA, plus hundreds of club members and enthusiasts," said Joe Mazur, light-truck brand category manager for BFGoodrich Tires. "However, due to the current economy, we have elected to reduce the amount of trails and focus on keeping the program dynamic and active so we may continue to grow once the economy stabilizes."
From coast to coast, BFGoodrich Tires has identified the most "outstanding" off-road trails. Nominated for uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast-following, the trails selected for this year's program are Fordyce Creek Trail, California., and Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area in Texas.
"We decided to recognize the Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area because although it is operated privately, we understand how difficult it is to maintain such an area for all to use with individual funds, and we want to continue to support the club and volunteers during these difficult times," Mazur added.
During the course of the program, which runs May through October, BFGoodrich Tires will be at club events associated with these trails and areas to highlight the uniqueness of each location as well as educate off-road enthusiasts on the responsible use of each trail. Below is a closer look at each trail and corresponding event dates.
- Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area (BMRA) (May 23, 2009) This beautiful 1,800-acre park located five miles north of Gilmer, Texas, is a shining example of what club members and volunteers can accomplish and has become one of the premier off-highway parks in the United States. The park's facilities and trail systems were designed and constructed strictly for motorized off-road purposes by the all-volunteer membership and is mapped and rated with proper signage.
- The Fordyce Creek Trail (August 8, 2009) Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Fordyce Creek Trail has a rich history, starting as a wagon trail serving the 19th century mining town of Summit City at Meadow Lake prior to evolving into the OHV trail it has become. The trail was lost for many years after the mines closed and is now accessible after many years of effort by a group of dedicated off-road enthusiasts. The trail has incredible high sierra beauty with five winch hills and four water crossings, ending at Meadow Lake, which is adjacent to Fordyce Lake.
"United Four Wheel Drive Associations is again proud to partner with BFGoodrich for the 2009 Outstanding Trails program. This program is a great opportunity for leaders in the four-wheel drive community to recognize enthusiasts and the impact they are making," said Todd Ockert, director of environmental affairs, UFWDA. "The Outstanding Trails program has recognized some great trails across the country and the enthusiasts that maintain those trails. United Four Wheel Drive Associations hopes to continue this partnership for years to come."
To help aid with costs associated with conservation efforts for each trail, BFGoodrich Tires will also present a grant to a selected off-road club at each trail event.
"Tread Lightly! is honored to partner with BFGoodrich as they truly make a worthwhile contribution to the world of responsible recreation by highlighting Outstanding Trailsacross North America," said Lori McCullough, executive director of Tread Lightly!. "BFG is demonstrating its commitment to the environment through this education, communications, and restoration initiative."
Both Tread Lightly! and UFWDA are nonprofit organizations dedicated to responsible and ethical outdoor recreation. BFGoodrich Tires collaborated with these two groups to select the finest North American trails, and will continue to work with these organizations on restoration and education initiatives.
Tread Lightly!® is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to proactively protect recreation access and opportunities in the great outdoors. Tread Lightly!'s strategic educational message, along with its training and restoration initiatives, is designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them. The program is long-term in scope with a goal to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with the needs of the environment. The federal government recognizes this by acknowledging Tread Lightly! as a sole-source service provider of education and training on how to be environmentally and socially responsible while using motorized and mechanized vehicles in off-highway settings.
United Four Wheel Drive Associations is the world's leading representative of all-brand four-wheel drive enthusiasts. UFWDA benefits, developed and tested true over the past 30 years, include: four-wheel drive safety and awareness education; user ethics programs such as adopt-a-road, conservation volunteer, and volunteer trail patrol; assistance with new club formation; education seminars to aid four-wheelers through complex state and federal programs affecting trail access; Internet forums designed to connect members globally and instantaneously; and unrestrained member access to its full-time legislative advocate and nationally recognized attorney working exclusively for four-wheel drive enthusiasts to protect access and prevent road and trail closures. For more information on the UFWDA, log on to www.ufwda.org or call toll free 1-800-44-UFWDA (800-448-3932).
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