Actually, March’s meeting was very encouraging. It was really mind blowing to learn that the DNR is serious about using WMA's (Wildlife Management Areas) for OHV. Mind you, it would mean closure during hunting season. Honestly though, it seems like a very small price to pay. I honestly believe that would work in our favor in two ways.
We are looking at doing a field trip to these areas, tentatively in April. I’m planning to go and will take pics.
Antietam is stalled out. Not looking too promising. No one's fault in the group, for sure. Just not working out. It is what it is.
There is a “mine” property at I-70 and I-68 which still holds hope and the owner really wants to make it happen.
One of the group members is working with a Mine property owner in Allegany County. To start with, we are looking at 300 acres. The county commissioner is all for this. The DNR group leader has to see if the State can help us with the liability end of it. If that were to happen, the County would help to establish management. The State and the County are now seeing $$$$ signs.
Barton is still on the table. St. John's Rock is a real possibility.
The tone was very upbeat! It was encouraging, as some members from the Baltimore 4 Wheelers, Inc. four wheel drive club were there. Nice turn out.
One of the group members has been speaking with Donelle at the Nature Conservancy, (with extreme caution). Still, she was very polite during the meeting and even supportive at times with our game plan. Another member with ‘well-known’ land use group was at odds with the plan. You could take the most wasted of waste land and there would still be a problem. We made it clear, we are not looking for waste land. We appreciate the finer aspects of nature, too.
At the evening's Public Trails meeting was about 8 to 1 OHV people there. Mind you, many were clueless and really not so much help to our cause, but they count too. A number of very elderly citizens there were very vocal FOR OHV access! Some OHV folks there were pretty loud, but not out of control. A consulting firm was used to run this meeting and gather data. Given the crowd, they were doing the best that they could and put up with some tough folks. Keeping folks on topic was a main difficulty. Still, they stayed tough.
For those of you asking how to help out, let’s just say keep Memorial Day
, 4th of July
and Labor Day
weekends open. We may
need some ready hands…we will be focusing on pre-engineering design phase ideas.
Truly, very exciting times for Maryland's OHV community!