Stewardship

AOHVA at Work

AOHVA Directors and Member Club volunteers are trained and skilled in trail building, assessment and rehabilitation according to NOHVCC Guidelines, enabling them to lead important stewardship activities.

Whether it is installing a new bridge to protect waterways, reclaiming damaged trails or cleaning up after a wild wind storm, volunteers from the OHV community are on the ground, working hard to support the recreation of Albertans.

Read on to learn more about a few of the many projects led by AOHVA and our Member Clubs.

Case Study #1: Preventing Erosion

This series of Before and After photos illustrates the outcome of what happens when trails are not designed for OHV use and are not maintained over the course of 15 – 20 years. The primary cause of the severe erosion was run-off.

This particular section of the trail was assessed to be unsafe and impassable for beginner users and to be environmentally unsustainable with future use. Over 5 km in length, this section was part of a larger 40 km span that was repaired in the area.

Following NOHVCC standards for trail management, the trail was reconstructed with all of the original materials (including soil) on site. A track-hoe and a Cat were brought in to fill the holes and to strategically place water bars taking into consideration the slope of the trails.

This project was funded by the National Trails Coalition (NTC) and supported by in-kind donations from industry and local businesses. OHV users, many of whom are trained in NOHVCC best practices, volunteered their time and expertise to bring this project to a successful close.

The final result as shown above is a properly engineered and constructed OHV trail.

Case Study #2: Trail Reconstruction

This series of Before and After photos illustrates the outcome of what happens when trails are not designed properly and what the lack of trail maintenance looks like. This trail was affected by water coming off the hill from the side as well as from underground seepage.

Water on a trail is never a good thing because if people continue to drive through it, more damage can be caused to the trail. Some people may choose to go around the water causing a wider trail which is also not a good thing. For these reasons, it was important to repair the trail.

Approximately 200 km of trails were affected by similar puddles and this particular project repaired an 8 km stretch of the trail.

Following NOHVCC standards for trail management, the project team had to dig out all of the mud to the solid bottom, fill it back in with soil from the area and then slope the trail appropriately.

This project was funded by the National Trails Coalition (NTC) and supported by in-kind donations from industry and local businesses. OHV users, many of whom are trained in NOHVCC best practices, volunteered their time and expertise to bring this project to a successful close.

The final result as shown above is a properly engineered and repaired section of the OHV trail.

Case Study #3: Protecting Underground Springs

This series of Before and After photos illustrates the outcome of what happens when trails are not designed for OHV use and are not maintained, despite experiencing significant run-off and seepage from underground springs. NOVHCC has guidelines and standards for trail management specifically related to protecting underground springs.

Following NOHVCC best practices, the project team had to build the trail bed up to a higher elevation, protecting the spring and the surrounding area. A track-hoe dug everything up and re-worked the soil from the side area to raise the trail. A CAT was then used to elevate and level out the trail, ensuring that water was no longer pooling. The trail was then assessed to be both rideable and sustainable.

A 500 km span of the trail was included in this particular project. The work was funded by the National Trails Coalition (NTC) and supported by in-kind donations from industry and local businesses. OHV users, many of whom are trained in NOHVCC best practices, volunteered their time and expertise to bring this project to a successful close.

The final result as shown above is a properly engineered and constructed OHV trail.

Case Study #4: Clearing Tree Falls

Each year, volunteers head out to clear trees from the trails. This annual activity is punctuated by the occasional and severe windfall experienced in the back country every three to four years. In these cases, significant damage is inflicted on the landscape.

These photos illustrate the damage seen in extreme cases. The tree falls in this area covered approximately 1 km of trails with roughly 500 trees down.

OHV riders came across the devastation while out for a ride - which is usually how problems on trails are first detected.

In this particular case, it took a team of volunteers three days to clear the affected 1 km length of trail - with their chainsaws. All costs associated with this type of work are borne by OHV Clubs their members – volunteers.

This work was undertaken to ensure the continued access to and enjoyment of the back country by many Albertans – OHV users, hikers, mountain bike riders and even the animals.

Yes, animals use trails too.

Case Study #5: Bridge Construction

One of the most important principles of responsible OHV use is to keep wheels out of the water, reducing erosion and protecting the fish habitat.

An average OHV trail might have 3 – 4 bridges, spanning a length of anywhere between 30’ and 80’ each.

According to NOHVCC guidelines, there are certain specifications that must be met and considerations that must be made to ensure proper trail management and bridge integrity as well as responsible recreational activity.

In general, it takes one month to plan and prepare for a recreation trail bridge installation, and one day to actually install it.

Key considerations include:

Selecting the best location for a bridge, making sure it connects to a trail on both sides of the water, the height required to accommodate ice flow and high water run-off.

Engineering and design specifications address the width and weight requirements, the materials required – including the steel structure, wood decking and wood runners to protect the decking.

Installation of a bridge in the back country is a big deal – a VERY big deal. In addition to the preparation of the site, heavy equipment, most often a crane or a large track hoe is required to set the steel structure in place. There have even been infrastructure projects where a helicopter was utilized.

Be informed. Get engaged. TAKE ACTION

We send IMPORTANT – TIME SENSITIVE – ACTION ORIENTED information to OHV riders and concerned Albertans.

Help us out and share this information with your family and friends.

Subscribe to our mailing list