One of the most important roles the Silver State Off-Road Alliance has taken on is to help new and existing Off-Road groups build their relationship with their land managers, take on a more impactful stewardship role on their home dirt, and access the funding to make that all happen.
With COVID shutdowns, Land managers and other governmental stakeholders are on reduced hours if open at all. Many clubs are not meeting or meeting virtually. Organized Off-Road club level events, Poker Runs, Swap Meets, Club Rides Picnics, and a myriad of other volunteer led events, have been pretty much canceled or rescheduled as well.
This doesn’t mean that there is no Off-Road events going on , the competitive segment, has been able to implement reasonable precautions and BITD, SNORR, VORRA, and MRAN all have been able to put together some races. Kudos to Best In The Desert in addressing the frustration we all have had this year by temporarily re-named the 2020 race series as the COVID-19 Championship.
One surprising result of the COVID shutdowns with the Off-Road recreation community is the explosive use of public lands by small groups and families. One avid backwoods camper recently noted,” people are everywhere – I was out past Austin 15 miles into the mountains and there were already people set up and camping I haven’t anyone out there in years!” It is this type of use that highlights one of SSORA’s primary focus, the development of Nevada’s Statewide Trail system, the increased use, often by people from outside of Nevada escaping their home state’s restrictions to recreate on Nevada’s open public lands. The increased usage by riders unfamiliar with the local area has its own issues, reminding us the best way to minimize damage to the desert, reduce conflict between users, and keep the adversaries to Off-Road recreation at bay is to have a genuine trail system that provides for a quality, enjoyable and interesting ride for all users.
Hopefully the increasing COVID infection rates begin to level off before the fall, as many of the spring 2020 events moved to later in the year are hanging on. SSORA will be developing a Calendar of events for Nevada over the coming weeks to help everyone keep track of what is still on or been moved.