OHV/Motorized Recreation

Date: August 2012
Call Number: IORT-PR-2012-1
Researcher(s): Scott Hoffmann and Mark W. Brunson
Summary: Unpaved roads are common recreation routes in western national parks.  With increased recreation use comes increased traffic on dirt and gravel roads.  Dust from these roads can have localized impacts on park resources, especially roadside plant communities and soil processes.  Chemical dust suppressants are often used to mitigate emissions, but these too may have impacts on the natural areas they cross.  This long-term monitoring protocol provides land managers and field technicians with a tool kit to measure the seasonal emission of dust from unpaved road surfaces, and assess the potential impacts on roadside vegetation.  While designed primarily for use on the Colorado Plateau, it is largely applicable to any arid or semi-arid landscape where unpaved roads can lead to dust emission.
Date: August 31, 2011
Call Number: IORT-PR-2011-2
Researcher(s): Douglas K. Reiter
Summary: The Bureau of Land Management Richfield Field Offices's 1982 Management Framework Plan Officially designated most of the area around Factory Butte open to cross-country motorized recreation. However, emergency restrictions in 2006 restricted use to designated routes and the Swing Arm City open area. These restrictions were put in place due to unacceptable OHV recreation impacts to the Winkler pincuchion cactus and Wright fishhook cactus species, one listed as threatened and the other endangered under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. Based on conversation with managers at the BLM Henery Mountain Field Station, it became apparent that managers possessed insufficient knowledge of current recreational use and recreation users of the Factory Butte Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA). Given the recent closure of much of the SRMA and the potential of re-opening portions, some of the most immediately pertinent information for BLM managers will be data regarding knowledge of closed and open areas, and recreationists' perceptions of the reasons for the closures and management restrictions in place. This will enable managers to evaluate current means of dissemination information about closed and open areas of the SRMA. A four page survey instrument containing 44 questions was developed by Utah State University, IORT social science researchers in collaboration with BLM personnel. Questions included respondent's residence, other demographic questions, familiarity with area, length of stay, recreation activities, impressions of facilities, reasons for area closures, and use of information kiosks. On-site interviews were conducted between August 26, 2010, and April 23, 2011. The surveyors approached visitors, asked them if they were 18 years old or older, and asked if they would answer some questions regarding management of the area. A total of 139 surveys were completed.
Date: October 2009
Call Number: IORT-PR-2009-2
Researcher(s): J.C. Norling, Paul Bowman, and Edward Ruddell
Summary:This report provides analysis of data collected from the Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) backcountry yurt rental program at Utah State University during the spring semester 2008 (January through April). This study was prompted by a number of discussions between the researchers and avid backcountry non-motorized recreationists (skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers) and ORC yurt users, all of whom suggested that they experienced conflict with snowmobile users at or near the yurts. The present study sought to identify whether or not the winter recreation travel plan for the Tony Grove/Franklin Basin area had effectively zoned out conflict by successfully separating the user groups.

Conflict Management Through the Implementation of a Collaborative Process: Travel Management Planning on the Logan Ranger District of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Date: September 2008
Call Number: IORT-PR-2008-3
Researcher(s): Douglas Reiter, Steven W. Burr, Elliott Hinckley, and Taral Hull
Summary: A collaborative process was used by USU researchers and recreational stakeholders to create a survey to inform Travel Management planning on the Logan Ranger District of Utah's Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Motorized/non-motorized recreation conflicts have been an obstacle to effective recreation planning in this area. The collaboratively created mail survey was administered to area residents targeting data on  demographics, recreational use of the area, opinions on motorized and non-motorized trail availability, implementation of user fees, and increased law enforcement on the district.

Date: April 2008
Call Number: IORT-PR-2008-1
Researcher(s): Steven W. Burr, Jordan W. Smith, Douglas Reiter, Paul Jakus, and John Keith
Summary: The use of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) for recreation and other outdoor activities has exploded in popularity over the past several decades. The number of registered OHVs in Utah rose from 51,686 in 1998, to 172,231 in 2006, a 233% increase. This increase has brought the issue of OHV use and management to the forefront for land management agencies in Utah. While becoming a key public lands issue, the social dimension of OHV use has received little attention from recreation researchers or decision makers. This research fills that critical knowledge gap, collecting and interpreting information around which policy and planning efforts can be centered. This link is critical to making more informed public lands decisions as OHVs are an integral part of many recreationists’ enjoyment of public lands.Information was solicited from OHV owners through a mail survey sent to a random sample of Utah’s registered OHV owners.  The sample consisted only of owners who had registered an OHV, meaning an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), dirt motorcycle, dune buggy, or other non-street-legal, four-wheel drive vehicle.  Snowmobile owners were not included. The information gathered centered around six primary areas: 1) basic demographics; 2) trip characteristics; 3) the importance and satisfaction in certain management actions (including use fees); 4) the motivations and benefits desired by OHV owners; 5) their general level of environmental concern; and 6) their level of specialization within the activity.
Date: May 2006
Call Number: IORT-PR-2006-2
Researcher(s): Nathan M. Wagoner, Dale J. Blahna, Steven W. Burr, and Douglas K. Reiter
Summary: Out of a desire to better understand recreation and recreationists in the area, the BLM, Idaho Falls Field Office asked the Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism (IORT) at Utah State University to conduct a study of visitors to the Saint Anthony Sand Dunes. Information that the BLM requested included: user preferences, use patterns, willingness to pay for use/facilities, visitor satisfaction, and perceived crowding/carrying capacity information. IORT was informed that this information would be used to draft new management plans and to make decisions regarding future on-site management actions. This paper presents findings of visitor intercept and mail surveys related to this information. Implications for future management and research needs are also discussed.
 A Review and Analysis of Five OHV Communication Programs
Date: March 2005
Call Number: RWU-4902 (USDA Forest Service Technical Report)
Researcher(s): Dale J. Blahna, Douglas K. Reiter, James D. Absher, and Angie Cannon
Summary: This study looked at five off-highway vehicle (OHV) communication and education programs: 1) “Tread Lightly!” by the national non-profit organization Tread Lightly! Inc; 2) “On the Right Trail” by USDA Forest Service, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association and National OHV Conservation Council; 3) “Protect Your Privilege” by USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Utah State Parks; 4) “The Adventure Trail” from the National OHV Conservation Council; and 5) “Sensible, Courteous Off-Road Enthusiasts” by the Pennsylvania Off Highway Vehicle Association.
Date: March 2004
Call Number: N/A
Researcher(s): Terry L. Sharik, Steven W. Burr, Michael F. Butkus, and Nathan D. Lewis

Summary: On January 9-10, 2004, over 40 people, including motorized recreationists, non-motorized recreationists, and natural resource managers from federal and state agencies, gathered in Soda Springs, Idaho, to participate in a Collaborative Learning Workshop regarding recreational travel management planning on the Soda Springs and Montpelier Districts of the Caribou National Forest. The workshop was sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and facilitated by Utah State University’s Department of Environment and Society and Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. These proceedings report on this Collaborative Learning workshop and responses from individual workshop participants and different stakeholder groups.

Results of a Statewide OHV Owner Telephone Survey for the Little Sahara Recreation Area and Surrounding Land
Date: June 15, 2001
Call Number: IORT-PR-2001-5
Researcher(s): Sandra J. Long and Dale J. Blahna
Summary: Reports results of a statewide telephone survey of registered Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) owners in Utah including an estimate of the number of OHV drivers who visit the Little Sahara Recreation Area and surrounding lands, their demographic characteristics and recreational use patterns, and preferences for management.

Off Highway Vehicle Uses and Owner Preferences in Utah
Date: January 18, 2001
Call Number: IORT-PR-2001-3
Researcher(s): Andrea L. Fisher, Dale J. Blahna, Rosalind Bahr
Summary: Reports the results of a telephone survey of registered owners of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) in Utah, including information on the usage of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), off highway motorcycles, 4x4 vehicles, snowmobiles, and other OHVs, OHV owner characteristics, their attitudes and opinions, and preferences for management.
An Economic and Social Assessment of Snowmobiling in Utah
Date: January 12, 2001
Call Number: IORT-PR-2001-2
Researcher(s): Nicole McCoy, Ikuko Fujisaki, Dale J. Blahna, and John Keith
Summary: The popularity of snowmobiling has increased dramatically in recent decades. In Utah there were 32,000 registered snowmobilers in 1998. The popularity of snowmobiling has a significant impact on Utah's economy, as well as on the management of resources needed to support snowmobiling. This study was commissioned by the Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation. The purpose of the study is to estimate the economic benefits of snowmobiling and identify snowmobiler satisfaction and characteristics. Specific objectives are to determine: 1) total and categorized household expenditures associated with the most recent snowmobiling trip; 2) total and categorized household annual expenditures associated with snowmobiling; 3) favorite and most recent snowmobiling trip locations; 4) number of registered snowmobiles and number of days each snowmobile was used during the 1999-2000 season; 5) opinions on current issues such as parking availability and trail grooming, preferred snowmobile riding styles, and perceptions of conflicts with other recreationists. 
Date: December 1998
Call Number: IORT-PR-1998-3
Researcher(s): Douglas K. Reiter and Dale J. Blahna
Summary: Reports the results of a mail survey of sample of registered participants in the 1997 Moab Easter Jeep Safari including information on their experience, information sources, motivations, and preferences for management.