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West Virginia Bill to Establish an OHV State Trail Authority Introduced

Posted in News on March 21, 2018
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4x4 enthusiast and West Virginia State Senator Mark R. Maynard, representative for West Virginia’s District 6 bordering Kentucky and Virginia, is at it again. Last year he sponsored a bill moving to digitize maps of the state and designate roads and trails that are off-road–vehicle friendly—West Virginia Senate Bill 691. That bill broadened the definition of all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles to include Jeeps, SUVs, and pickups. Now Senator Maynard, along with West Virginia Senator Naomi Sue Cline, have introduced Senate Bill 508, which establishes a separate West Virginia state trail authority. Currently, there is no specific management of public trails in the state. The bill has already passed the state Senate and awaits placement on the House Calendar by the Rules committee.

Senate Bill 508 amends the Code of West Virginia, 1931, by setting up a state trail authority to establish and protect public trails across the state. The state trail authority will be designed to allow the governor to appoint a statewide trail coordinator and hire district trail coordinators. The bill recognizes that there is interest within the state for additional well-managed trails and facilities for motorized and non-motorized recreational vehicle enthusiasts and other recreational users, and it’s set up to provide funds for generating a map of all the public trails in the state.

West Virginia provides a vast expanse of diverse terrain and is a popular destination for 4x4 and OHV enthusiasts. For Senator Maynard, OHV recreation is important to the state’s economy and the happiness of its citizens; he’s always been supportive of off-road recreation, a subject politicians are often wary to support due to environmental concerns. Maynard’s Senate bio lists him as the President of the Eastcoast Streetcar Association; an NHRA crewmember; a SEMA, National Muscle Car Association (NMCA), and Tread Lightly member; and founding member of the Appalachian Ridge Runners Off Road Club. If you want to know more, here’s the text from Senate Bill 508 and this link will help you get in touch with West Virginia lawmakers if you’d like to voice your opinion on the bill.

Photos: Jay Kopycinski, Hatfield-McCoy trails, West Virginia

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