(Phoenix, Arizona - April 2, 2013) - The Arizona State Parks Board authorized eight Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Fund projects totaling $778,563 at the March 20, 2013 Parks Board meeting. The statewide OHV Program uses funds from the state Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund and the federal Recreational Trails Program (motorized portion) to fund projects that meet the high priority needs identified in the 2010 State Trails Plan.
The Arizona State Parks Board's volunteer advisory committees (Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group (OHVAG) and the Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Commission (AORCC) review project applications periodically and make funding recommendations to the Arizona Parks Board. In addition to trail and facility improvements, the funds can be used for mitigation of damage caused by OHV activities, cultural and environmental compliances, and education projects/programs and law enforcement.
The eight projects approved for funding include:
· $61,410 to the Bureau of Land Management (Kingman Field Office) to complete route evaluations, install kiosks, and renovate trail within their management area;
· $289,826 to the Coconino National Forest (Flagstaff Ranger District) will develop a trail system and support facilities south of the Flagstaff airport;
· $12,585 to the Coconino Trail Riders (a non-profit OHV user organization) for tools and personal protective equipment to be used to assist the Coconino National Forest in construction their trail system;
· $97,000 to the Bureau of Land Management (Tucson Field Office) for improvements within the Middle Gila OHV area;
· $128,842 to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (Lakeside Ranger District) to continue trail renovation work on the Maverick OHV Trail;
· $113,800 to the Bureau of Land Management (Yuma Field Office) to complete route evaluation, install signs, and provide maps for the La Posa Management Unit;
· $72,100 to the Bureau of Land Management (Lake Havasu Field Office) to complete route evaluations and provide route signage and maps within their management area;
· $3,000 to the Arizona Game and Fish Department to install route signs within the Alamo Lake Wildlife area.
The Arizona State Parks OHV Recreation Fund (revenue from gas taxes attributed to OHV use) has been in existence since 1991 and has funded more than 100 projects totaling over $10 million to provide OHV trails, support facilities, trail signage, and OHV maps; mitigate resource damage; and support OHV education and law enforcement. In 2008 the Arizona Legislature authorized a new Off-Highway Vehicle "Sticker Fund" which started producing revenues in January of 2009. A $25 fee is charged for off-highway vehicles each year and that sticker is then attached to the license plates of these vehicles. Revenue from sticker sales has added over $2 million per year to the OHV Recreation Fund. The fund is shared with the AZ Game and Fish Department (35%) and State Land Department (5%). Projects are solicited two to three times annually and information about that schedule and the application process is available at the State Parks website at [url="http://AZStateParks.com/grants"]http://AZStateParks.com/grants[/url].
State Parks develops the OHV recreation plan every five years with input from land managing agency staff, OHV user organizations, individual OHV users, and the general public. The 2010 State Trails Plan can be viewed at: [url="http://AZStateParks.com/publications"]http://AZStateParks.com/publications[/url].
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at AZStateParks.com, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.