Off-Roading in America is a recreational pastime enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts. Growing in popularity across all segments, off-roading is a multi-billion dollar industry and companies are deciding to give back and get involved for a good cause. BFGoodrich Tires, a long standing proponent of responsible and sustainable recreation, has announced that it is offering grants to off-roading clubs through its Outstanding Trails Program presented by Tread Lightly!
Do you know a trail that could use a little TLC? Each year, the Outstanding Trails program gives away thousands of dollars in grants for trail improvements and upkeep each year. Visit the Tread Lightly! Outstanding Trails website portal to find out more information on who is eligible, how much can an applicant receive, and when the application deadlines take place. Your trail could be this year’s grant recipient! Talk to your club about application and funding opportunities.
See the 2021 Tread Lightly! Q1 Impact Report, CLICK HERE!
BFGoodrich Outstanding Trails Program is a well established venture that has provided countless opportunities for off-roading clubs across America to nominate trails to receive stewardship grants for education and preservation.
For over 30 years, Tread Lightly!, a non profit based in Centerville, Utah, and its partners have led a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities. Their mission is to promote outdoor ethics and responsible recreation through stewardship, education and communication. Tread Lightly! balances the needs of people who enjoy outdoor recreation with the need to maintain a healthy environment through minimum impact education and on-the-ground public land stewardship.
Outstanding Trails had awarded $180,000 to 48 off-road trails
Together the two organizations are able to identify suitable candidates to receive funds and support. Helping off-roading clubs essentially help themselves. In 2018, it was reported the Outstanding Trails had awarded $180,000 to 48 off-road trails nominated by more than 40 enthusiast clubs.
Off Road Xtreme spoke to Jerrica Archibald, Communications Manager for Tread Lightly! asking about recent impacts they have been able to make through their coordinated efforts.
“Tread Lightly! works to instill a sense of responsibility and respect in trail users. These trails belong to every rider and it’s important that we work together as one off-roading community to protect trail access and conserve these areas for future generations.”
“Our last two major projects were during Easter Jeep Safari and King of the Hammers. During Easter Jeep Safari, Tread Lightly! and volunteers cleared 11 miles of tamarisk on Hey Joe Canyon to help make the trail more accessible. During King of the Hammers, we cleaned up 3,400 lbs of trash in Johnson Valley throughout the 10 day event.”
“To get more involved, clubs can become a member at treadlightly.org/support/member. Along with the opportunity to apply for grant funding, we also offer free educational materials to member clubs. Individuals who are part of the club can also get discounts on our Individual Memberships, which include a Tread Lightly! t-shirt, decal and some really great discounts from our partners. To apply for the grant funding, they just simply have to be an active member and apply for funding at https://treadlightly.org/bfg-ot/. They will fill out a quick form that describes their project and our Stewardship Manager, Evan Robins, will decide which clubs will be awarded funding based on need and impact to off-roading trails. These funds can pay for snacks for volunteers, tools for the project, new signage, trash bags and dumpster fees, and equipment.”
OFF-ROAD CONSERVATION TIPS:
- Travel Responsibly by staying on designated roads and trails, and going over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening trails. In soft terrain, avoid wheel spin and rutting by balancing your load, lowering tire pressure, and going easy on the gas.
- Respect the Rights of Others, including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers, and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. When encountering horses and pack animals, proceed with caution. Sudden, unfamiliar activity may spook animals—possibly causing injury to animals, handlers, and others on the trail.
- Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, taking recreation skills classes, and knowing how to operate your equipment responsibly to protect yourself and the environment. For example, knowing the lowest point on your vehicle will help in negotiating terrain and prevent vehicle damage resulting in oil and fluid spills on the trail.
- Avoid Sensitive Areas such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams, and seasonal nesting and breeding areas.
- Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species by washing your vehicle before and after a ride, and joining dedicated groups to help restore degraded areas.