Sustained forests; sustained profits

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The 4 x 4 Group

Hypothetical: The 4x4 Group grew from a student organization at Virginia Tech in 1999. The group incorporated, rather than remain a self-centered temporary, always-changing group of students with variable leadership over the years. Effective in some years, almost disbanding in some years (as other student groups) the Group adopted a concept of the profitable enterprise. It became the basis for student income, motivated learning, advanced meaningful student projects, increased the student resume, and in some cased provided an opportunity for employment in a field of great interest after employment. Some students picked up on concepts and proceeded through graduate school, several even returned after grad school to lead the Group.

Markets are suggested in maps and services.

Profit oriented, the Group initially engaged in:

  1. Developing a procedure for scoring trails and routes
  2. Developed a software unit for locating and selecting areas within large parts of Virginia and West Va. for desireable use of 4-wheel drive vehicles
  3. Developing a GPS unit for use within vehicles
  4. Developing an open organization with newsletter and meetings for 4-wheel drive enthusiasts
  5. Developing a tagging program, offering a tag for vehicles based on special inspections (at reduced rates for members)
  6. Arranging for a special insurance with reduced rates for members or those who have taken a course
  7. Conducting a course for fees (safety, first aid, repairs, emergency work, driver safety, driver health)
  8. Developing trails or routes with maps and advice for members.
  9. Conducting trail rides (for fees) with educational stops, and catered meals at destinations (winter and fall rides are highlights)
  10. Conducting night rides (in connection with Owls Group and Coyote)
  11. Conducting shows (for fees)
  12. Conducting contests (entrant fees)
  13. Being available for rescue missions
  14. Being ready for fire-fighting assistance
  15. Conducting reduced maintenance and care with 1-2 garages under contract (with discounts for members)
  16. Conducting instruction in road layout, erosion control, care and maintenance for bulldozer operators, loggers, land owners (in connection with forestry dept.)
  17. Selling parts
  18. Selling special paint products and services
  19. Creating and selling software
  20. Selling publications
  21. Creating and managing a web site with sales of memberships, books, supplies, trips, tours with other groups, vehicle parts, videos of driving, safety, insurance, vehicles themselves (the e-auction).
  22. Inspecting road sections and filing reports on conditions in the local news or over the web for members…and security forces.
  23. Lobbying (supported by vehicle sales groups, parts retailers, etc.)
  24. Research grants (overhead) in connection with Tech, with results plowed back into the enterprise.
  25. Commissions on parts sales inspired by the Group.
  26. Becoming the transportation unit for Lasting Forests within System Central
I'm just dreaming. What if a major vehicle manufacturer or a parent group was given a business plan that looked like some of the above and they invested in your new enterprise…venture capital to help pay a few people to get it started? All members could participate. The club could continue (or disband). It could be separate from (but I'd think it might have greater chances if included within) Lasting Forests. It too is a dream, so which comes first...I do not know. I'm trying to get the ideas started.


Baltimore 4 Wheelers/OHV
21000 York Road
Parkton, MD 21120

A concern: received 11-16-99

BLM want to restrict cross-country travel on federal lands.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management want to ban all-terrain vehicles from motorized off-trail and off-road travel on most federal lands in Montana and parts of the Dakotas.

Officials have said the current travel plan was developed before the dramatic increase in all-terrain vehicle use. The preferred plan prohibits motorized cross-country travel on federal lands, but allows for a few exceptions, including handicapped access and firewood cutting with a permit. Concern has been expressed about those who have carved tracks through roadless areas. Proposals may allow them to keep using those routes unless a review by the federal agencies determines the trails should be off-limits to motorized vehicles. Such review would be very expensive and time consuming and disputed.

Cross-country travel it has been claimed can spread noxious weeds, cause erosion, damage cultural sites, disrupt wildlife and create conflicts among land users.

Motorized cross-country travel tends to be prohibited but may be allowed on roads and trails that are constructed and maintained by the agencies and on clearly evident two-track and single-track routes established by the regular use and continuous passage of motorized vehicles.

There are claims that owners are concerned about not angering off-road vehicle users more than in listening to those who use lands without leaving marks behind.

Continued use of an illegitimate network of roads, it has been claimed, will destroy wildlife habitat and send more game animals onto private property where the public has no hunting access.

Professor says trail riders cause environmental harm

By JOHN LUCAS, Courier & Press Western Kentucky Bureau 2-19-01 (270) 333-4899 or --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CADIZ, Ky. — A 2,500-acre area in the Land Between the Lakes can remain a refuge for four-wheel and trail bike enthusiasts, but riders should become better informed about the environmental consequences, said retired university professor Paul Yambert. Yambert believes riders in the Turkey Bay OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) cause environmental damage.

The area, popular with off-road enthusiasts, is one of few available for the often unwelcome vehicles

The hills in the area which borders Kentucky Lake show the effects of erosion as bike paths on the steep hills have become gullies.

"Nobody can look me in the eye and say what they’re doing on the OHV is sustainable. They’re filling in the lake," said Yambert, a member of Concept Zero, an advocacy group formed in the mid-1990s to oppose development in the LBL.

But rather than close the Off-Highway Vehicle area, Yambert says the U.S. Forest Service, which took over operations of the 170,000-acre LBL in late 1999, should partner with off-road manufacturers such as Honda and Yamaha to educate riders.

He suggested working with manufacturers to develop tires which would create less erosion and teaching riders to stay off the hills when they are muddy and prone to rutting.

Yambert discussed his ideas outside a meeting of a newly reconstituted LBL Advisory Board, which met for the first time Thursday at Lake Barkley State Resort Park.

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Last revision January 17, 2000.