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 OHV4TN

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ivarussell
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Joined : 2009-03-17
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Location : Monteagle, TN

PostSubject: OHV4TN   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:18 pm

Hello All,

A fellow ATV'er asked me to come on here and answer any questions y'all might have about upcoming OHV Legislation.

Just a little background, The Tennessee Off-Highway Vehicle Act was passed in 2004 after starting out as a Governor's initiative back in the late 90's. It was a long hard fought road, but the final legislation was beautifully written and included safety education and a statewide system of OHV Trails for Tennesseans. Unfortunately, the mandates of the Act have been stagnant and OHV4TN was reborn to see the Act become what it is supposed to be. TOHVA, a statewide OHV user organization, was incorporated in November of 2008 to Partner with the Agency that will move it forward so that all OHV interests will be considered and a seat at the table be perpetuated.

Ask away...I am here for you.
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http://www.ohv4tn.org
Rooster
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:20 pm

May I ask who the fellow ATVer was?
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Tennessee Tornado
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:59 pm

What position do you hold with the organization that qualifies you to answer our questions?
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ivarussell
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:07 am

Sorry, I thought my signature was on the initial entry.

Iva Michelle Russell
Exec. Director, OHV4TN
A Citizen Lobbyist Organization

iva@ivamichellerussell.com
www.ohv4tn.org
www.facebook.com/ohv4tn

The mission of the OHV4TN organization is to be the legislative advocate for the 880,000+ Off-Highway Vehicle users in the state of Tennessee. OHV4TN is dedicated to the creation of a diverse statewide system of sustainable OHV trails in Tennessee for current and future generations of OHV users.

Rooster edited this post. Removed the users phone number because of BOTS.
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http://www.ohv4tn.org
BigDaddy
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:10 am

so you have a 4whlr? and if so.....what kind? model? any mods done to it? or are ya a suit in an office wanting to see what we are up to?


Last edited by BigDaddy on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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GIP
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:18 am

per your web page:

TDEC is ready to get to work for us, TWRA is not. It is just that simple.



SB280,HB365 Switching the OHV Program from TWRA to TDEC

SB281,HB367 Tort Reform/Liability relief for OHV activities (mirrors current equine liability laws)

SB282,HB366 Proposes an Off-Highway Vehicle Specialty License Plate, raises funds to promote OHV education, safety and trail building resources in TN.



What are you smoking, TDEC..................OMG Poo Poo Crap Hit the fan


I say its petition time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Fatboy94
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:47 pm

think Sounds like more fees and even less places to ride is on the way. rant
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ivarussell
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Joined : 2009-03-17
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Location : Monteagle, TN

PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:05 pm

Actually I am a little of it all. When I ran for State Rep in 2006, my district encompassed 4 rural counties, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie and Van Buren. Beside the usual issues like jobs, education and infrastructure, one of the biggest quality of life issues dealt with the loss of rideable areas for OHV's due to development etc. I attended a SFWDA quarterly meeting in Tracy City, sponsored by a local OHV group called the "Damn Locals", and realized that there was a much bigger issue across the state and the country.

I didn't win the election, however, I was hired to Lobby for SFWDA and find a way to further the mandates of the Tennessee Off-Highway Vehicle Act which is already on the books. The more I delved into the issue, the more it really ticked me off. One of my pet peeves about government is that it gets in the way of itself and doesn't do what it is supposed to do...provide for the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. But that is a whole other topic for another day.

I am a problem solver and when I was hired to deal with this issue, I went to all the sources in question. TWRA did not want to further the mandates of the Act because it was not in their mission statement. Their Commission has voted each year (since 2004) on this premise. They are about hunting and fishing, not Trail Building. TDEC is a two-headed beast, with two mission statements, one of which is to provide recreation resources for all Tennesseans. That is their job. They build Trails. With 880,000 citizens being in the "critical unmet needs" category of the states recreational plan, we are forcing their hand and they are finally onboard to further the mandates of the Act. The hard part is already done, now we just need to hold everyone's feet to the fire.

This partnership between TOHVA and TDEC will allow the closest possible association with the OHV community locally. The preferable model for the proposed Trail Building Grant programs with be a Public/Private partnership between local government and local OHV clubs. We need to get big brother out of the mix and bring it down to the people who use the Trails and the local governments that benefit from the increased tax dollars. West Virginia is doing it, a county in Alabama is doing it, Kentucky is doing it...Why in the heck can't Tennessee do it? Rural counties desperately need the money that OHV activities can bring in.

As for me being an OHV person, that is a learning curve. I am an official member of my local "Damn Locals" group now and have ridden on most anything I can get my hands on. I attend OHV functions across the state and I learn as much as I can about the sport/hobby. I am also an associate partner for NOHVCC who has tons of tools for ATV club building etc.
If you invite me to an event, I will try to make it a point to get there if I can.

Keep it coming...
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http://www.ohv4tn.org
Dan
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:41 pm

IIRC, TDEC runs the state park system. Can you verify that?

In one of the new bills, the prohibition against OHVs is to be removed on state lands... if I read it correctly. Please correct me if I am wrong.

A lot of folks on here has had a run-in with TDEC's water quality regulations at Coal Creek that has left a bad taste in several mouths. The ATV club couldn't meet the requirements because of their business plan and Coal Creek had an "attitude" that TDEC had to overcome. Coal Creek finally rose to the occasion and appears to be doing much better now with a full time crew dedicated to maintaining the trails.

I agree that this is the right move. It is certainly a bunch easier the work with compliance agencies that trying to butt heads with them. I retired from the Y-12 National Security Complex. While there, I learned to how to get along with the oversight agencies. I found it much, much easier to comply with the regulations. Then all I had to do was demonstrate how I complied. Life got much better then.
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Stakk
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:11 pm

Dan wrote:
IIRC, TDEC runs the state park system. Can you verify that?

In one of the new bills, the prohibition against OHVs is to be removed on state lands... if I read it correctly. Please correct me if I am wrong.

A lot of folks on here has had a run-in with TDEC's water quality regulations at Coal Creek that has left a bad taste in several mouths. The ATV club couldn't meet the requirements because of their business plan and Coal Creek had an "attitude" that TDEC had to overcome. Coal Creek finally rose to the occasion and appears to be doing much better now with a full time crew dedicated to maintaining the trails.

I agree that this is the right move. It is certainly a bunch easier the work with compliance agencies that trying to butt heads with them. I retired from the Y-12 National Security Complex. While there, I learned to how to get along with the oversight agencies. I found it much, much easier to comply with the regulations. Then all I had to do was demonstrate how I complied. Life got much better then.

Absolutely Dan, folks the whole Coal Creek thing isn't what this is about.
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GIP
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:32 pm

TDEC has negatively effected more areas in regard to OHV riding than just CC
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Tennessee Tornado
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:10 pm

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Fatboy94
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:28 pm

I take it that you don't own a 4-wheeler, how about your children? With your help how many miles of trails has TDEC built any how many miles have been closed in the same time period? I'm sorry, but I get a little suspicious any time somebody in politics says "I just want to help".
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JodyT
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:35 pm

I smell a Rat!!!

Anytime the Goverment gets involved in anything it is doomed to failure, especially when enviromentalist are envolved. Evil or Very Mad

Almost sounds like TOHVA has gotten in bed with the DEVIL...

But this is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions....
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bigcat
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:27 pm

What a mess. Rolling Eyes
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ivarussell
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:38 pm

Trust me, I am about as anti-government as you can get, I would be more classified as a libertarian if anything. However, we are stuck with the government that we have until we change it, so we have to learn to work the system to our advantage.

The Tennessee Off-Highway Vehicle Act is on the books under Tennessee Code Annotated Chapter 70. You read it for yourself and tell me if any of it is being done by the current agency we are housed in (TWRA). TDEC has not been doing anything about building OHV Trails because currently TWRA is supposed to be doing it. If we are able to get under the TDEC heading then they will have to figure out a way to make it happen...which means reigning in some of the environmental anti-access people who have been left to their own devices. An yes, it is better to be a part of the system in order to know what rules to follow. It is so much easier then playing cowboys and indians.

The current legislation SB280 & HB365 will take out the wording that restricts access and allows the TDEC Commissioner to assess ALL Public Lands first. TWRA is fighting to restrict access to TWRA Lands so we will see how that compromise session goes. Those bills also take out the confiscation wordage that was put in by TWRA. Who the heck thinks that your vehicle should be confiscated because of a $50 fine?

There is also Tort Reform Legislation SB281 & HB367 which would help with frivilous lawsuits against people putting on OHV events etc, mirrors Equine Liability legislation currently on the books.

Finally, there is an OHV Specialty License Plate bill SB282 & HB366 that will give TOHVA money to assist in statewide safety education as well as trail building education.

If you want to keep updated on this legislation, go to www.ohv4tn.org and sign the guestbook. That will put you on the update list.

Keep them coming...
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http://www.ohv4tn.org
ivarussell
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:41 pm

PS. You can sit around b*****g about things, or you can do something about it. That is a life choice.


Last edited by Tennessee_Tornado on Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : EDITED BY TNT.... This is a family site and there are children here. Please choose your words more carefully.)
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http://www.ohv4tn.org
darkstar
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:09 pm

Are you coming to tomorrows ride at PC?
I have been the private eye in the sky for rock climbers and acess to rockclimbing areas for years.
ATV users and rockclimbers face the exact same problems except there are way fewer rock climbers.
We have found that once the state own the area or regulates it then its essentially off limits.
A major exception would be Tennessee wall at prentice cooper.
But even with the small population of rock climbers we have purchased many miles of cliff line.
Id like to meet you in person and hear what you have to say about several of the local coves.
Like real cove which is being destroyed by rock harvesting becaus CMX has leased out the mineral rights, Like rock is a mineral.
Anyhow the cove is small and tight and has life times of recreational use.
But not in our life time as it is being destroyed for the profit of very few.
When in fact the very Poor town of Whitwell could benifit DRASTICALY from some tourist dollars and the coves would remain in tact and stable.
What we have found is you buy it lease it or you lose it.
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Dan
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:17 pm

ivarussell wrote:
However, we are stuck with the government that we have until we change it, so we have to learn to work the system to our advantage.
Exactly... It is certainly easier to work with the government, and some form of government is here to stay.

TWRA has made very little progress for ATVers. They've had an opportunity to really make the North Cumberland OHV park a smashing success. In 2 years, TWRA has opened only 3 new trails on Sundquist. They have only managed to get ~25-30 numbered. They don't have a map that's useable. They have collected a lot of money in permits but they have no way of knowing how much because they allow hunting license holders to use the trails.

TWRA hasn't gotten the job done... not for the folks of Middle and West Tennessee. Let's give TDEC a chance.
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Rooster
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:35 pm

ivarussell wrote:

As for me being an OHV person, that is a learning curve. I am an official member of my local "Damn Locals" group now and have ridden on most anything I can get my hands on. I attend OHV functions across the state and I learn as much as I can about the sport/hobby. I am also an associate partner for NOHVCC who has tons of tools for ATV club building etc.
If you invite me to an event, I will try to make it a point to get there if I can.

Keep it coming...

Like Darkstar said, there is a big ride this Friday and Saturday in your neighborhood. Prentice Cooper which is on the North Side of Chattanooga. There will be approximately 50 wheelers there. From several different ride groups through out the area. Go down and meet some of these folks and see what they have to say.

And again, who was your fellow ATVer that steered you to our site?
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MailMan
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:42 pm

Yes please consider yourself cordially invited to this "event". I have personally been watching OHV4TN from the background and would like to know more. I love to ride in East TN gut live several miles west and would like to see some areas opened up in middle and west TN. But just so you know I am not very fond of TDEC myself but thats a whole 'nother story not related to riding.

I'm sure there will be several two-up or side x side machines if you would like to ride along if you don't have one to bring. I'll be sure to bring my back seat just in case.
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DREWFORCE
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:26 pm

COME ON CLOSE THE TRAILS LOL TAKE IT ALL WAY!!!!!! YOU KNOW THERE ARE WAAAY MORE HIKERS THAN ATV ENTHUSIATS!! AND PEOPLE WILL COME FROM ALLLL OVER THE UNITED STATES TO "WALK" ALL OVER THE MOUNTAINS...JUST MY OPINION IF IT WERE NOT FOR ATV'ERS THAN ALLLLOT OF SMALL TOWNS WOULD SEVERLY HURT BECAUSE WE HELP BY BRINGING PEOPLE TO HELP THERE TOWN BY RIDING THERE
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bigcat
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:53 pm

Dan wrote:
ivarussell wrote:
However, we are stuck with the government that we have until we change it, so we have to learn to work the system to our advantage.
Exactly... It is certainly easier to work with the government, and some form of government is here to stay.

TWRA has made very little progress for ATVers. They've had an opportunity to really make the North Cumberland OHV park a smashing success. In 2 years, TWRA has opened only 3 new trails on Sundquist. They have only managed to get ~25-30 numbered. They don't have a map that's useable. They have collected a lot of money in permits but they have no way of knowing how much because they allow hunting license holders to use the trails.

TWRA hasn't gotten the job done... not for the folks of Middle and West Tennessee. Let's give TDEC a chance.

You worked for the government so naturally you will agree with them. Sure it is easier to agree with the government but I know for a fact at the trails that TDEC closed in my area.
I agree that TWRA is not the best but at least you have some where to ride close to you , I have nothing.
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Dan
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:25 pm

Jeff, you're making assumptions with no knowledge of the situation. I did not work for the government. I did work for a prime contractor to the DOE/NNSA . We were under constant audit scruitny. With that much practice, one had to learn how to play the game, or go home.
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bigcat
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PostSubject: Re: OHV4TN   Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:42 am

OK, excuse me.

I will stay out of it.
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