NC4x4

Interested in helping keep public OHV trails open? There will be two cleanup events this weekend to remove trash and perform minor trail maintenance. The Uwharrie trail cleanup team, led by Chris Irving, will meet on Saturday, December 12, at 9AM at the Eldorado Outpost. On Sunday, Mike Burrell from the Trail Jammers will be leading the effort at Brown Mountain. Volunteers should meet in the Brown Mountain main parking lot at 9AM.

If you're interested in lending a hand, RSVP in the organization thread.
This is your last chance to make a difference in the Rescue Tellico fight before the Forest Service makes a decision on the appeals that have been filed. I'm trying to make this as easy as possible, it is up to YOU to follow through!

Go here:http://www.votesmart.org/index.htm, type in your zip and get a list of your elected officials email addresses. Copy and paste the following and send it to them ASAP!

Dear Congressman/Senator,

I know you are busy, especially at this time of year, but I wonder if you are actually aware of the issue at stake in the public’s struggle with the Forest Service over access to the Upper Tellico OHV trails! In short, The Forest Service has been negligent in performing maintenance on OHV trails at the Upper Tellico OHV area for 15 years. Now they have decided to close public access instead of fixing their mess! This type of shoddy work on behalf of the American public CANNOT be allowed to happen! WHO will be held accountable? If the FS is allowed to proceed with this closure it will open a door to closure of public access in the entire United States! Who will stand in the gap?

Here is a link to the appeal filed by the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association & Blueribbon Coalition:http://www.sfwda.org/forum/uploads/5/Tellico_215_appeal_11-30-09.pdf

Here is a link to the appeal filed by SFWDA Member Flint Holbrook, Flint is a Registered Professional Engineer in TN, KY, OH, WV, NC & SC and is a Registered Professional Hydrologist with over 25 years of experience in the field.http://www.sfwda.org/forum/uploads/3/Holbrook_Appeals_plus_FOIA_27Nov09.pdf

The FS has insisted on conference calls for contact instead of face to face meetings, has denied all off the requests in Flint's appeal including 1 day access to the trails by vehicle to confirm FS assertions and his FOIA requests.

The FS is stonewalling access advocates at each turn and "checking off their box" as having followed the rules of mandate if not ethics!

Both of these appeals are professionally written and contain numerous scientific, procedural and ethical examples of FS malfeasance in managing the Upper Tellico OHV area!

I know my elected officials are having a hard time in DC right now with everything else going on but if the FS is allowed to exhibit this type of malfeasance and get away with it where will it stop? Who will be held accountable to the American people for not doing their job and when?

Without some type of pressure from responsible agency USDA and my elected officials the FS will continue to close public access to public lands at their own discretion!

The 45 day appeal window is now closed. The FS Deciding Officer, one of their own hand picked representatives, will make a decision by January 14, 2010. PLEASE help motorized recreation Americans protect our access to public lands!
It's that time of year again. Christmas is only weeks away, and holiday charity fundraisers are in full swing. Dylan Wiles from theCarolina Trailblazershas organized a massive charity drive for this year. Rather than raise money for one particular organization, the goal this year is to divide the donations amongst five different charities. Four of those have already been picked:Toys for Tots,The Salvation Army,Susan G. Komen for the Cure, andOperation Homefrontwill each receive 20% of the donations. The final 20% will go to a charity picked at random from those suggested by contributors.

Dylan has also put together a few prize packages to help loosen people's wallets. Donations of $5, $10, and $20 qualify for small, medium, and large prize packages respectively. You can even divvy up your donation of $20 into four $5 entries.

If you'd like to donate, you can send money via paypal to Brooked@yadtel.net orcheck the threadfor additional options. The charity drive runs through December 24 at midnight. The fifth charity and the winners of each of the prize packages will be announced on Christmas Day.

Check below the fold to see what's included in each prize package.

A $20 donation qualifies to win:

RIDES Of Conover- 1 set of black Pyle 8'' wakeboard speakers and 1 Pyle amp
Ruff Stuff- 1 Diff cover
ECORS- 4 Event passes w/ 2 T-shirts
MudPro Metal Works- $250 Gift Certificate
URE Outpost - 2010 URE Season Pass
YOUR HOT DOG GUY - $25 Gift certificate that never expires and is fully transferable!
Oliver's Custom Drive Shafts - $100 gift certificate

A $10 donation qualifies to win the medium prize package:

Mid-Carolina Line-X - $100.00 Gift Certificate for a spray lining
4 Wheel Parts (Raleigh) - Tool bag w/ gloves and a Tow strap
4x4Cross Racing- May Jam DVD
MudPro Metal Works- 1 Awesome MudPro Hat
4x4Cross Racing- 1 Way Cool T-shirt
Oliver's Custom Drive Shafts - $50 Gift Certificate

A $5 donation is eligible for the small prize package:

Carolina Adventure World- 4 day passes to the park
MudPro Metal Works- 1 awesome MudPro T-shirt
4x4Cross Racing- 1 awesome T-shirt
MudPro Metal Works- 1 very cool and much sought after MudPro HAT!!
Oliver's Custom Driveshafts - $50 Gift Certificate
The Rescue Tellico coalition, SFWDA, UFWDA and Blueribbon Coalition have filed an appeal with the Forest Service asking for the Decision Notice to permanently close the Upper Tellico OHV trails to be overturned.

Blueribbon Coalition counsel, Paul Turke, filed an appeal on Monday, November 30th. The appeal can be readhere.

SFWDA member and registered Environmental Engineer Flint Holbrook also filed an appeal through his company's legal counsel last weekend. After reading both of these well written appeals, it is hard to imagine that the Forest Service will be successful in closing the Upper Tellico OHV trails permanently. Reason would argue that at the very least the Forest Service will need to do more studies to justify their position.

The appeal filing deadline was Monday, November 30, 2009. The Forest Service will now have 45 days do decide the appeals. After this 45 day process is complete, all of the avenues of due process will have been exhausted. If the Forest Service Deciding Officer affirms the Forest Service Supervisor's Decision Notice for the closure of the trails, the appellants can proceed with a suit in the courts of law as a final recourse.

SFWDA, along with their partners UFWDA and Blueribbon Coalition, is dedicated to fighting this unethical, illegal and immoral closure action by the Forest Service and will pursue any and all avenues available to support the public's right to 4wd recreation on public lands!

Be assured that SFWDA is actively involved in advocating and protecting your interests in this matter and needs your continued support!
I had the privilege of meeting with District Ranger Deborah Walker and Recreation Supervisor Theresa Savery November 16, 2009 regarding the OHV trial system at Uwharrie National Forest. I have spent more time on the trails there this year compared to years past and the overall condition of the trails was of concern to me so I scheduled a meeting with them to discuss trail conditions and what the 4wd community could do to help.

First of all, Ranger Walker assured me of her commitment to keeping the Uwharrie OHV trails open for 4wd enthusiasts to enjoy. She was very specific in mentioning that NC Forest Supervisor Marisue Hilliard is very aware of the animosity toward the Forest Service by the 4wd community and that both of them were desirous of continuing to provide a quality OHV experience on the OHV trails at Uwharrie National Forest.

One of my main concerns in meeting with Ranger Walker was the proliferation of bypass and spider trails in the forest. Just over the course of this year, major bypasses have appeared on the Daniel and Rocky Mount trials. Spider trails have sprung up, as usual, in many areas, especially in the high spectator areas.

Ranger Walker’s stance is that bypasses are a necessary part of the trail system. In order to provide access in the forest to all levels of motorized vehicles, bypasses around some of the more difficult sections are required. However, it is not up to the individual trail users to determine where bypasses are necessary and to create them. The Forest Service uses the winter closure period to survey the trail system and determine where bypasses are most needed and to perform the trail and signage work necessary to implement them into the OHV system. During the open season it is necessary that trail users to remain on signed trails and bypasses! One of the things the 4wd community could help with is to come up with ideas to improve awareness of all OHV trail users of the necessity of staying on marked trails.

Another area of concern we discussed was Forest Service Work Days. The number participants in these work days has decreased over the last couple of years to the point the work days have become ineffective. It is necessary that we, the 4wd community, give back to the effort to keep the trails open and clean. Just this weekend I witnessed members of the CNC club dumping several bags of trash collected on the trails at the double parking lot trash receptacles. This wasn’t a club trail cleanup project, just some good citizens doing their job. When was the last time you stopped on the trail, during one of your regular rides, and made the trails better for those coming behind you?

The Forest Service has several projects scheduled for the winter closure period including installation of culverts, erection of bypass barriers and a survey of the trail system to look at improvements and additions that could be made. If you are a member of a club that participates in keeping the trails maintained at Uwharrie, please be sure to attend your club work days in 2010. If you are not a club member, try to attend at least one Forest Service Work Day in 2010. At the very least, next time you are there; pick up one trash bag full of cans and bottles. Trust me, it won’t be hard or take very long to find an area to accomplish this small task which will help make the trails better for all of us to enjoy!
With 73 votes and an outpouring of support from board members, DieselWhale has been declared the winner of the NC4x4.com T-Shirt Design Competition.

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His prize is one gallon of Al's Liner and a Spray Gun from Triangle Specialty Coatings.


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mudder will receive an ARB 3" x 10' tree saver from ECGS.

These two entries led the run-off vote from the previous weekend, so their dominance didn't come as much of a surprise. The real battle was for third place, which was close until strange1 pulled ahead of Funkskunk #1 in the polls.

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The third place prize is a receiver shackle kit from Carolina Truggies.

The NC4x4.com team wants to thank everyone who participated, this was a bigger success than any of us could have possibly imagined! We'd also like to thank all the vendors. They work hard and are vocal supporters of the board, otherwise we wouldn't be giving their merchandise as prizes. Consider giving local shops and board member vendors your business.

We'll be working to get the design finalized for printing. Be on the lookout for further announcements.
The T-Shirt Design Competition voting is now underway. The top ten finishers in this round will move on to the finals next week. The polling closes on Monday, November 16, at 11pm. Remember, this is for top ten, so pay attention to the guys on the cusp, this is where most of the action will be. Check below the fold for the placing as of 1pm Friday.

First place, with 13 votes, entry #34, Dieselwhale #11:

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Second place, with 10 votes, entry #45, Mudder #7:

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Third, with 5 votes, entry #16, Dieselwhale #4:

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Tied for fourth with four votes a piece, entry #20, Dieselwhale #6, entry #42, strange1, and entry #52, Funkskunk #1.

Entry #20, Dieselwhale #6:

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Entry #42, strange1:

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Entry #52, Funkskunk #1:

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Tied for seventh place with three each, entry #14, Dieselwhale #2, #46 from RenegadeT, and #57 by MCJEEP.

Entry #14, Dieselwhale #2:

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Entry #46 from RenegadeT:

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Entry #57 by MCJEEP:

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There's a SEVEN WAY TIE for tenth place, each entry with two votes a piece. There's plenty of time left for shameless self-promotion to have a real impact.