Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., volunteers completed a three-year project at one of the nation’s most popular multi-use off-highway vehicle (OHV) staging areas located in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF).
As part of the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative and with support of the Southern California Mountains Foundation’s (SCMF) OHV program, volunteers gathered recently for a final round of planting, cleaning and maintaining the popular Cactus Flats staging area and surrounding trails.
This was the final project in a three-year commitment by Yamaha to help restore Cactus Flats and save the staging area from misuse and erosion. Thanks to the combined efforts and critical work done by the SCMF and SBNF – and including the Yamaha volunteer projects – Cactus Flats is no longer at risk and is back to its old self as one of the premier staging areas in the forest.
More than 60 volunteers, comprised of Yamaha employees and their family and friends, along with members of the SCMF, contributed more than 325 hours of volunteer service on Sunday, September 22. Activities to improve the area included planting and watering 300 native seedlings. Cactus Flats and its surrounding trails are a popular location hosting thousands off-road enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikers each year.
“The Mountains Foundation and San Bernardino National Forest have been great partners of Yamaha’s OHV Access Initiative, helping shape our grassroots efforts locally and across the country,” said Mike Martinez, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS Vice President. “The Access Initiative continues to improve riding areas and opportunities thanks to volunteers and the hundreds of GRANTs and more than $2 million awarded. Yamaha will continue this work promoting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas, and we encourage riding groups to use our program to support their local efforts.”
Over the past six years, Yamaha volunteers have restored more than 12 acres of land in the San Bernardino National Forest. Work has included the Cactus Flats project and planting 3,600 native seedlings through SBNFA’s Forest Aid initiative, a partnership with TreePeople and the U.S. Forest Service in one of the largest volunteer-led restoration projects in Southern California addressing the burn areas from the 2003 and 2007 wildfires.
“Yamaha is a valued partner of the Mountains Foundation helping to support our OHV program and many of the 2.4 million visitors who come to the mountains each year,” said Sarah Miggins, executive director of the Southern California Mountains Foundation. “For more than six years, Yamaha volunteers have made a real impact on the San Bernardino National Forest completing projects from the Big Bear area across the mountains to Lake Arrowhead.”
How to Get Involved
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
Updated guidelines, an application form and information on the OHV Access Initiative are available here. 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@yamaha-motor.com or write to: Yamaha OHV Access Initiative Review Committee, 6555 Katella Avenue, Cypress, CA 90630-5101.
Images courtesy Yamaha