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Polaris grant to aid Forest Service in trail maintenance

Thanks to a grant from Polaris, the work of maintaining and improving the Arapeen Trail system will be enhanced. Polaris recently awarded the Manti-La Sal National Forest an $11,000 equipment grant, which will provide a Polaris RZR to use for trail improvements, education, and to ensure safety of visitors.

The RZR will allow the forest to increase patrols on the trail system in an effort to increase safety, and improve maintenance. The new equipment will also make it possible to respond more quickly to emergencies and trail damage.

"By awarding this grant, Polaris is supporting quality recreation and helping to ensure future OHV access on the Arapeen Trail System," said Jedediah Hancock, a recreation specialist on the Sanpete District.

The grant is provided by the Polaris T.R.A.I.L.S. program, which promotes land access, safety and trail development programs. Its objective is to provide grants to national and state ATV organizations for trail development and maintenance projects, safety and education initiatives, lobbying and other projects to increase or maintain land access.

The Arapeen OHV Trail system, on the Wasatch Plateau, was developed by the Forest Service in cooperation with local users in nearby communities. It is maintained and patrolled by volunteers and Forest Service employees. With more than 350 miles of designated routes, it provides riding opportunities for novice and experienced riders.

A 2006 National Visitor Use Monitoring Survey for the forest showed that nearly 23 percent of visitors come to the forest to participate in motorized trail activities dominated by OHV use.

Although the Arapeen is probably the most used OHV trail system on the Manti-La Sal National Forest, there are more than 1,000 miles of motorized trails and more than 2,500 miles of roads available for public use and recreation. Motor vehicle use maps are available at all district offices and at the Supervisor's Office in Price.

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