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Transcript of EVALUATION OF ATV USE - · PDF fileEvaluation of ATV Use On Groomed Snowmobile Trails Project...

  • EVALUATION OF ATV USE ON GROOMED SNOWMOBILE TRAILS

    Part 1 Summary of Findings and Management Practices

    Produced by the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators

    2006

  • Evaluation of ATV Use On Groomed Snowmobile Trails

    Project Manager:

    Kim Raap Trails Work Consulting [email protected] 4015 S. Brady Court

    Sioux Falls, SD 57103 (605) 371-9799

    Copies available from: International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA)

    www.snowiasa.org

    or

    American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA) www.snowmobilers.org

    271 Woodland Pass, Suite 216 East Lansing, MI 48823

    (517) 351-4362

    This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for the contents or use

    thereof. The contents of this manual do not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

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    mailto:[email protected]://www.snowiasa.org/http://www.snowmobilers.org/

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS and DISCLAIMERS This evaluation project has been produced with financial assistance from the Recreational Trails Program administered by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA) and the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA), as well as the individuals within those organizations and others are recognized for their input, project coordination, support, and suggestions in the development of this evaluation project. Project management, field testing, evaluation and analysis, writing, and photography were provided by Trails Work Consulting. Special recognition and a very special thank you are given to Polaris Industries and MidAmerica Moto Plex in Sioux Falls, SD for providing the two ATVs and two snowmobiles used as control vehicles for this project. This assistance was extremely vital to the successful completion of field testing which evaluated side-by-side impacts of snowmobiles and ATVs on groomed snowmobile trails. A special thank you also to the many staff and volunteers in the states of Idaho, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming who helped make the field tests possible and successful and to staff in the state of Maine who diligently made arrangements for an additional testing site, only to have Mother Nature not cooperate with adequate snowfall. Additionally, thank you to the 66 trail managers in the United States and Canada who responded to the Survey of Trail Managers. The objective of this project was to collect information to help local decision makers: 1) identify potential impacts to the groomed and compacted snow surface from ATV use in varying conditions during the winter season and provide Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help minimize or mitigate potential conditions that could affect trail user safety and the quality of groomed snow trails, 2) identify potential safety issues that may result from mixing snowmobile and ATV vehicle traffic on the same groomed trail during the winter season and provide BMPs to help minimize or mitigate any potential effects, and 3) identify potential off-season impacts to snowmobile trail routes from unauthorized ATV use and provide BMPs to help minimize and mitigate any potential effects. The projects scope was limited to evaluation of use during the winter season when trails are compacted and did not include funding to evaluate potential shoulder season ATV management issues. The decision as to how to use this information and whether to allow concurrent ATV and snowmobile use on trails groomed for snowmobiles must be made at the local level by landowners, trail providers, and political jurisdictions. The intent of publishing this document is not to either encourage or discourage concurrent use but rather to provide entities with information to help them with their local decisions. All decisions regarding ATV use on groomed snowmobile trails are reserved for implementation by local jurisdictions and local trail grooming managers consistent with local priorities and resources. The sole purpose of this publication is educational only, with no other intent but to help expand trail managers and local decision makers knowledge base. It should not be assumed by the reader that all contributors agree with every written word, but are opinions only. The authors, contributors, FHWA, Trails Work Consulting, IASA, ACSA and their members accept no liability resulting from the compliance or noncompliance with the findings or recommendations given herein, or for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein. Sponsors of this project do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers names appear in this document only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

    Copyright 2006 Owned by the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators

    All Rights Reserved.

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  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Part 1 Summary of Findings and Management Practices ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND DISCLAIMERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 PART 2 APPENDIXES TABLE OF CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 LIST OF PHOTOS WITH CREDITS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY OF FINDINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Survey of Trail Managers Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Field Testing Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Summary of Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CHAPTER ONE: SUGGESTED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND DECISION FACTORS . . . 13 Twelve Factors to Consider Regarding ATV Management and Concurrent Winter Use . . 13 1. Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 2. Shoulder Season Regulation and Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 3. Liability Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 4. Landowner Permission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 5. Geography of the Trail System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 6. Trail Compaction and Grooming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 7. Snow Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 8. Local Weather Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 9. Potential Use Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 10. 2WD versus 4WD ATVs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 11. Off-Season Trail Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 12. Potential for Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Management Practice Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Examples of Laws/Regulations that Prohibit Concurrent ATV Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Examples of Shared Operation Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Examples of Laws/Regulations/Policies that Allow Concurrent ATV Use . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Concurrent ATV/Snowmobile Use Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Recommendations for Managing Off-Season ATV Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 CHAPTER TWO: SURVEY OF TRAIL MANAGERS RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Concurrent Snowmobile/ATV Use Where is it Allowed or Not Allowed? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Conflict and Crash Rate Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Ranking of Potential Off-Season Impacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 CHAPTER THREE: FIELD STUDY RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Background and Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Field Study Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Field Study Procedures and Testing Protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Field Tests Range of Actual Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 The Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .