Latest Newsletter


Latest Newsletter

Spring 2021 (pdf)

Latest News

Great American Outdoors Act

From Bob Walker

Earlier this year, President Trump called on Congress to send him a bill that would fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and restore our national parks. On August 4, 2020, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law, accomplishing those exact objectives.

The Trump Administration worked with Congress to secure the passage of this landmark conservation legislation, which will use revenues from energy development to provide up to $1.9 billion a year for five years to provide needed maintenance for critical facilities and infrastructure in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and American Indian schools. It will also use royalties from offshore oil and natural gas to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $900 million a year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country.

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2020 MTVRA Trail Tractor Maintenance Program Report

2020 MTVRA Trail Tractor Maintenance Program Report

By Mona Ehnes

MTVRA received its first $90,000 Recreational Trails Program grant for trail maintenance using a Sutter trail Dozer in 2014. The most recent work done during the summer of 2020 is the seventh year MTVRA performed trail maintenance on USFS OHV trails and BLM OHV trails on public lands across Montana.

2020 was a busy summer for the Trail Tractor Maintenance Program.  There were four new locations with trails that had not received motorized mechanized maintenance in prior years. The trail maintenance contractor working on the 2020 MTVRA trail maintenance grant projects also performed work on a project on the Lincoln Ranger District and another USFS trail construction project in the Little Belt Mountains.  The project in the Little Belt Mountains was funded by an OHV grant awarded to the Missouri River Off-Roaders, a four-wheel drive club from Great Falls. 

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Survey Results

Previously I asked you to participate in a survey of Montanans to identify your priorities for the future of outdoor recreation, conservation, natural resources and access.  The survey is a success with more than 11,000 Montanans completing this first important step.  For the formal announcement go top
Now comes the challenging job of analyzing the survey responses and planning for the future.  The Project team will release a report of the survey findings in October.  We will keep you posted as the Montana Outdoor Heritage Project moves forward.  In the meantime get out and enjoy our beautiful Montana outdoors and share your experiences with a friend!
Bob Walker, Chair
Montana Trails Coalition

Montana Trail Rider News Summer 2019

Montana Custer Gallatin NF Releases Draft Plan & EIS for Public Comment

From Ric Foster, Policy Director BlueRibbon Coalition

The Custer Gallatin National Forest Plan Revision Team has released the Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement initiating a 90-day public comment period running March 1 to June 5, 2019.   

The Forest will be hosting 10 public meetings, 8 webinars and 10 resource-specific podcasts available for download (March 18th). Maps and other materials will be available for review at public meetings, and planning team members will be available to answer questions.

Upcoming Public Meetings, Webinars & Podcasts

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Latest Announcements, Etc.

Motorized Recreation Grant Programs Available!

By Bob Walker

We've talked for the past 30 years about the need for more funds to adequately address the needs of motorized recreation in Montana.  Unfortunately, by the time this article gets published in the MTRN the February 1st deadline for applying for grants will have passed, however the information in this article is still newsworthy and can help raise awareness of the program. The information that follows from Michelle McNamee helps explain the program and how to apply for the grants, albeit for next year at this point.

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MTVRA Membership Information

From Cathy Covert, Membership Chair

For MTVRA, I keep the membership data base updated by entering new members and removing non-renewing members.  We try for five years to get a non-renewing member to respond and pay the membership dues.  If after the fifth consecutive yearly attempt there is not a paid renewal, then the inactive membership is removed from the data base.

MTVRA has added a convenient “Pay Online” feature to the MTVRA website for renewing your membership.  You can go to if you would like to renew your membership on-line.

Unfortunately, since I have been filling this role as Membership Chair, I have removed 5,586 non-paying memberships our MTVRA data base. This equates to a potential $129,492 in annual revenue.

There are two things that make an association successful: Memberships and money-period.

Use Amazon.Smile to Get Donations to NOHVCC

From NOHVCC and Carl Siroky

Do you shop on Amazon?  If so, you could help support NOHVCC with your purchases!  The screen captures below show what this means to NOHVCC.

From Amazon’s website:  “AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.  NOHVCC is one of the organizations that you can choose to support.  As noted above, Amazon makes the donations – at no cost to you.  Simply, visit, login or create an Amazon account and follow the on-screen directions to select NOHVCC as your charity of choice.  Once you are finished – all your purchases through will include a donation of 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to NOHVCC. when you shop on AmazonSmile.  For more information about the AmazonSmile program, go to

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The RTP (and CRT) Still Needs Your Help!

Sign Your Club/Association/Agency Up To Support RTP Moving Forward

The importance of the Recreational Trails Program cannot be overstated. It is likely the most important government program for OHV recreation. For any who may not be aware of the RTP, it is a grant program administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The program embodies the user-pay, user-benefit philosophy by utilizing a portion of funds generated by motorized vehicle users who pay the gas tax on any fuel they purchase for use in their off-highway vehicles to provide grants to fund trail building, maintenance and other trail-related projects. For more information click here.

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Montana Trails Rider News Editor Needed

Bob Walker notified MTVRA Board that he will serve as the volunteer editor of the Montana Trails Rider News through the Fall-Winter 2018 edition.  He said, “It has been a pleasure putting the newsletter together since 2012 and I will always be dedicated to and a supporter of MTVRA!”

“I find myself overwhelmed by all the work still needed and demanded to enhance trails in Montana.  I volunteer my time to an array of trail recreation organizations, both motorized and non-motorized, and to the department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks which manages your OHV grant program as well as snowmobile and RTP.  I was recently appointed to your OHV Advisory Committee to assist FWP with the OHV grant program.  I also was recently elected Chair of the Montana Trails Coalition, an organization that brings all statewide and some regional trail organizations together to address fiscal and programmatic needs of trails in Montana.  I plan to dedicate the majority of my volunteer time to those efforts.”

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Latest Articles

Four Questions with AMA Board Chair Russ Ehnes

From AMA Magazine

Russ Ehnes has a long history of fighting for off-highway rights. He continues that work as AMA Board chair.

Russ Ehnes, who has been an AMA member for 23 consecutive years and spent decades advocating for off-highway access rights, was selected as Chair of the AMA Board of Directors during a meeting in February 2020.  In addition to serving on the AMA Board as the member representative from the Northwest Region, Ehnes is the former executive director of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council. He also has led the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association and the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association. He has chaired the Montana OHV Grant Advisory Committee and has served on the Federal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule.  Ehnes replaced outgoing chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, former member representative from the Northeast Region. McNally-Bradshaw served on the board since 2009 and had been the AMA board chair since 2013. She exited her position due to term limits. 

We asked Ehnes a few questions to help members get to know him better.

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The Montana Trails Coalition Membership

Finding Common Ground for Trails and Recreation 

By Bob Walker, Chair, Montana Trails Coalition Board of Directors

The Montana Trails Coalition (MTC) works in partnership with individuals, organizations, and communities to support trails and outdoor recreation opportunities on lands open for public use in Montana.  The Coalition’s many objectives include, among others, sharing information about existing sources of funds and securing adequate resources to meet Montana’s trails and outdoor recreation needs.  The MTC’s immediate primary efforts involved studying the potential sources of funds for trails in Montana and recommending actions to secure funds.  We published the Montana Trails In Crisis report that clearly describes the demand for trails in Montana and the dire lack of adequate funding.

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