The National Forest Foundation (NFF) announced an expanded partnership with Polaris Industries Inc. Through Polaris’ $108,000 donation, the NFF will improve motorized-recreation opportunities on two existing off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails in Minnesota and Florida.
“Sustainable OHV trails provide millions of Americans the opportunity to enjoy their National Forests,” said Mary Mitsos, NFF president. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Polaris to sustain some of the diverse recreational opportunities contained within the 193-million-acre National Forest System.”
“A partnership with NFF is a great way for Polaris to improve the riding experience on shared public lands, while ensuring that ATV and OHV trails don’t impact forest health,” said Stacy Bogart, president of the Polaris Foundation.
In Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest, Polaris is supporting critical trail maintenance activities on the Soo Line North Trail. The popular Soo Line North Trail traverses 52 miles of the Minnesota northwoods and crosses portions of the Chippewa National Forest and Bowstring State Forest. Upgrades to the Soo Line North Trail will focus on brushing the trail right-of-way, re-grading the trail surface, and removing debris from impaired culverts. These activities will help ensure safe and accessible riding opportunities for OHV enthusiasts in north-central Minnesota, while also reducing trail-caused sedimentation from area streams. This marks the second year that Polaris has contributed to this project in its home state.
Polaris and the NFF also will improve the trailhead area of the Silver Lake OHV trailhead on Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest. Polaris’ support is part of a larger effort to better accommodate OHV users in the area. This project will rebuild the trailhead and transition zone, improve signage throughout the recreation area, and perform maintenance on trails leading from the trailhead. The new trailhead area will serve as a hub for the 55 miles of riding opportunity within the popular Silver Lake OHV area.
In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and local community organizations, the NFF will begin implementing these projects this year and continue through the 2018 field season.
This donation marks the fourth year the NFF and Polaris have partnered to improve OHV and multi-use trails on National Forests.