A group of about 30 people gathered at the main trailhead at Logandale Trails area on Saturday, Oct. 28, to celebrate the completion of a long-time goal. Representatives from the BLM, Partners in Conservation (PIC), Clark County and the Nevada Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) Commission attended an opening event for two newly constructed visitor restroom facilities at the large trails area just west of Logandale.
Earlier in the morning, volunteers had gathered at the site and done a cleanup of the trails area. Assisting in this effort were members of the Vegas Valley 4-wheelers organization who were also doing advance prep work for their upcoming Hump N Bump event which will take place this weekend on the trails.
A brief grand opening ceremony was then held at the main trailhead at about 11 am.
The restroom buildings began construction late last spring and recently came to completion. They were funded by grants from the Nevada State OHV Commission and the federal Recreational Trails Program.
“It’s true that it seems a little funny to have a grand opening event for a public restroom facility,” said Elise McAllister of Partners in Conservation. “But this really is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people. And it was so needed here. So we felt like the completion of the project deserved some attention.”
McAllister was instrumental in writing the grants and overseeing the projects. The new restroom at the main trailhead cost about $100,000 in grant funding from Nevada OHV Commission. A second restroom facility, further down the road in the lower part of the trails system, cost about $85,000 in Recreational Trails Program grants to complete.
Sue Baker, one of the nine commissioners of the Nevada OHV Commission, said that the opening was an exciting first step forward for the Commission. She pointed out that the Logandale Trails main trailhead restroom building was the first project funded and completed by the state grant. The grant program is funded by OHV registration fees in the state.
“This is really the perfect example of OHV registration fee dollars coming right back to directly improving trail areas in your area,” Baker said. “We just encourage everyone to register their OHVs because it is that funding that allows things like this to be done.”
BLM Assistant Field Manager Shonna Dooman, of the Las Vegas Field Office, said that the need for the new facilities at Logandale Trails had been the subject of discussion for many years, but had taken a long time to complete. She recognized McAllister and the Partners in Conservation organization for their stewardship and cooperation in managing the trails area.
“PIC has been an amazing partner I am excited to work with you on a daily basis,” Dooman said.
Dooman added that other improvements were also in the works for the Logandale Trails system. The BLM is working with McAllister on writing additional Nevada OHV Commission grants for new shade structures, picnic tables and trash receptacles at the main trailhead area, she said.
PIC board member Gene Houston, who also serves on the Moapa Valley Town Advisory Board, said that the project went along perfectly with the foundational goals of PIC.
“PIC was started as a way to have people be a part of public lands,” Houston said. “When people are engaged, they share in the work and they are invested and take pride and ownership of the land. That has been a good thing.”
Attendees gathered at the entrance to the new restroom facilities for a brief ribbon cutting ceremony. Then they enjoyed a picnic lunch together provided by PIC with pizza donated by Pirate’s Landing in Logandale.
The Logandale Trails area is visited by more than 200,000 people per year. According to visitor surveys taken in the area, about 25 percent of those visitors are new to the area. The new buildings replaced older facilities which were built more than 25 years ago and were nearing the end of their lifespan.
This article was originally posted in the Moapa Valley Progress on 9/3/14, and reposted here with permission. Photo Credit and Article Credit: Moapa Valley Progress