Spotlight: The Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association of Nevada

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October 11, 2013 7:35 PM

Check out what BRC Member Organization, The Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association, is up to in Nevada! It's awesome groups like this one that are getting things done at the local level, and helping us at BRC to keep our finger on the pulse of national recreation issues. Check out their story, as provided by Doug Holcomb, PNMTA President.

Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association.

‬The Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association (PNMTA) was founded and incorporated as a Nevada non-profit corporation in September 1998, when the Carson City District Office of the BLM proposed radical changes to the Travel Management Plan for the Pine Nut Mountains Management Unit. The BLM was proposing to limit OHV usage to handful of the existing roads. The proposed policy would have restricted usage to only the dirt roads officially maintained by the BLM, closing the majority of the existing dirt roads as well as all the single track and two track trails that had been established over the last 40 years.

Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association.

‬The BLM offered us only three choices: leave the travel management plan as it was; close the Pine Nut Mountains to all motorized recreation; or limiting motorized recreation to a little over 100 miles of existing dirt roads you could drive the family sedan over. The Carson City District was seeking local comments before. They weren't asking for alternatives, they were asking us to let them know, in our opinion, which plan was best. Kevin Walsh, a Carson City attorney and dirt biker, set up a town hall meeting to discuss this proposal with the BLM. At the meeting the BLM told us that keeping the current management plan was not acceptable. The days of unrestricted OHV usage were over. They had only included that option to help them build their case as to why it was not an option. They stated our only choice was keeping a 100 miles of dirt roads or eliminating motorized recreation.

Our response was to create the Pine Nut Mountains Trail Association with the goal of grandfathering in the existing network of dirt roads and trails as the centerpiece of the proposed Travel Management Plan. Our first official act was to organize a "Pony Express Ride" to deliver our proposed management plan to the Carson City District Office. We got the BLM's attention, causing them to rethink things. But they still have yet to finalize their Travel Management Plan.

Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association.

‬Despite this, we have worked with the BLM to establish OHV trail heads at Dayton on the Back County Byway, in Carson City at the Silver Saddle Ranch, at Johnson Lane in the Gravel Pit, off Pine Nut Road at the Single Tree and kiddie track across from the Douglas County Transfer Station. We have also partnered with the BLM and the Great Basin Institute to mark a set of existing roads that will form the backbone of the existing roads and trails system that should become part of the Travel Management Plan.

When the BLM tried to close the Ruenstroth area to all OHVs based on this area being a critical dinosaur archeological site, we fought back. We worked an agreement with the BLM that left the existing roads and trails open to OHV use. The BLM has marked these trails as being open, with a current map being displayed at the Single Tree Staging Area Kiosk. We hope that this can become the model for any future travel management plan.

Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association.

‬The PNMTA is currently working to map all the known trails and routes in the Pine Nut Mountains with the help of members and trail volunteers using GPS technology.

PNMTA has pulled together a wide and diverse group of people, with greatly differing recreational interests, but with a shared love of the Pine Nut Mountains. Our membership is a multiple-use group that enjoys riding motorcycles, quads, mountain bikes, horses, and driving jeeps and buggy's. We are target shooters, rock hounds and geocachers. Pretty much any excuse to get out and enjoy our backcountry is utilized. We are trying to break down the long standing animosity between user groups by getting to know one another, and understanding each other.

We have also been working hard to improve the public image of motorized recreation. PNMTA organizes garbage cleanups once or sometimes twice a year to remove illegally dumped garbage. In June, 2013, with the help of our local jeep club--The Sierra Stompers (and many locals who came out to help) we collected 34,000 lbs of garbage. All hauled and dumped free of charge due to the generosity of the local refuse center, Douglas Disposal & Recycling, Bing Materials and V&C Construction.

We have helped with local equestrian endurance races, and numerous motorized events through out the general area.

PNMTA also has club rides and camping trips, many of which you can review online (http://www.pnmta.org).

PNMTA's goal as a land advocacy group has always been "preserving public lands for public use." Visit us online for even more information.

Whatever you do, get Involved!

Doug Holcomb
President, PNMTA

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