CYPRESS, Calif. – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., employees joined members of the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA) by volunteering more than 500 hours to improve off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails and staging areas and plant 2,250 trees in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF).
As part of its OHV Access Initiative, Yamaha works closely with the SBNFA sponsoring a number of OHV trails and adopting trail 3W14 as well as the Pinnacles Staging Area in the SBNF trail system near Lake Arrowhead, Calif. On Saturday, April 24, members of Yamaha’s ATV & Side-by-Side (SxS) department along with representatives from the ATV enthusiast press participated in an OHV area clean-up led by staff and volunteers from the USFS and SBNFA in and around Yamaha’s adopted areas. Throughout the day, teams worked around Pinnacles and across miles of adopted and nearby trails clearing brush, removing litter, cleaning culverts, building water breaks and generally improving the areas.
“The OHV Access Initiative is a major priority for Yamaha, and we understand the future of our business and lifestyle depends on supporting this mission of safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas,” said Mike Martinez, General Manager of Yamaha’s ATV & SxS Department who also serves on the SBNFA Board of Directors. “The SBNFA, in conjunction with the USFS and corporate partners, has a multifaceted and model OHV program. We encourage other OHV groups to take a look at what we’ve doing here in Southern California and consider how they might implement similar programs in other parts of the country.”
On Sunday, nearly 90 Yamaha employees along with family and friends joined a second-year program by the USFS, the SBNFA and the Los Angeles-based TreePeople organization to help reforest burn areas in Southern California. This joint effort was launched in response to the devastating Southern California wildfires in 2003 and 2007 where 185,000 acres burned in the SBNF. The program’s goal this year is to plant 25,000 bareroot seedlings, and Yamaha’s group planted a single-day record near Big Bear Lake, Calif. Through its efforts the past two years, Yamaha’s groups have planted more than 3,400 seedlings.
“It was exciting to see so many Yamaha employees get involved in Sunday’s tree planting efforts,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV & SxS Department Marketing Manager and OHV Access Initiative Review Committee Member. “Supporting our local and OHV communities is important to Yamaha, and we plan to continue growing the OHV Access Initiative and supporting more outdoors areas across the country. By putting our best foot forward, we can set a positive example for everyone who enjoys outdoor recreation.”
The SBNF is the mountain playground to 24 million Southern Californians -- or 10 percent of the nation’s population. Given its proximity to this population base, the SBNF is an “urban” forest and, consequently, is the most recreated and populated national forest in the system. Over 15 million people recreate annually on the SBNF and 60,000 reside full- or part-time.
About the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative
Since launching in 2008, the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative has injected more than $1.4 million into its mission of supporting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas. Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from non-profit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding clubs and associations, national, state and local public land use agencies and other members of the OHV community in the United States. A committee then reviews each application and awards GRANTs to deserving projects.
Examples of appropriate projects for GRANTs include, but are not limited to:
· Trail development, restoration and maintenance
· Trail signage and map production
· Staging area construction, renovation and maintenance
· Land stewardship, trail safety and education
The next GRANT application submission deadline is June 30, 2010. Updated guidelines, an application form and information on the OHV Access Initiative are available at: www.yamaha-motor.com/ohvaccess. For specific questions about the OHV Access Initiative, call Yamaha’s dedicated OHV Access Initiative Hotline at 1-877-OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email OHVAccess@yamahamotor.com or write to: Yamaha OHV Access Initiative Review Committee, 6555 Katella Avenue, Cypress, CA 90630-5101.