“We are elated that the Forest Service has begun the process of reopening these trails, and we want to thank the Forest Service officials and the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay member volunteers for their hard work that made this day possible,” said Dale Tallman Jr., volunteer coordinator for the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay.
The AMA became involved in the effort at Tallman’s request. Steve Salisbury, AMA government affairs manager for off-highway issues, assisted Tallman, Fred Pittman, Robert Rockco and other Mississippi riders in forming the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay to facilitate Forest Service negotiations with a unified voice.
The initial reopening was made possible by the February approval of a recreation fee structure from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee and cooperation between the USFS and Friends of Rattlesnake Bay. Volunteers from the OHV group helped USFS crews complete the needed repairs to the trails in late August.