Celebrating A Collaborative Accomplishment At Logandale Trails

logandale-trails-new-restrooms

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

Logandale Trails History

logandale-trails

Logandale Trails is a multi-use trail system that consists of well marked trails, restrooms, information kiosks, and primitive camping. It encompasses over twenty-one thousand acres.

The area has always been very popular with Moapa Valley locals for Easter egg hunts, family reunions, Scouting events, and of course, trail riding.

In 1998, the Nevada Trails Coalition, working with the Nevada United Four Wheelers Association and the Las Vegas District of the BLM, announced the groundbreaking of the first of several projects funded by a grant from the Nevada Recreational Trails Program. The projects consisted of surveys and renovations of existing trails, construction of a restroom, installation of trash receptacles, and loading and unloading areas for people with disabilities. The BLM estimated that approximately two hundred people per month visited the Logandale Trails at that time.

Over the next fourteen years, the popularity of Logandale Trails increased tremendously. A 2012 estimate from the BLM put the visitor count at 168,248, or 7.97 visitors per acre that year. Contrast that with the figure of .83 visitors per acre for ALL public lands open to recreation in Clark County, and one can see that Logandale Trails is one very popular place. While no official counts have been done since then, estimates put the annual visitor count around two hundred thousand.

In 2014, after nearly six years of planning, Partners in Conservation (PIC) was designated as site steward for Logandale Trails. PIC is a local Moapa Valley nonprofit administered by Elise McAllister. The designation was the first recreational stewardship program in the region.
While the BLM is still in charge of Logandale Trails, and all permitting is still under their jurisdiction, PIC became responsible for much of the day-to-day upkeep, including dumpster services, caring for and improving restrooms, cleaning up campsites, monitoring sensitive areas, and establishing more of a watchful presence in the area.

PIC relies on funding from the BLM, as well as various grants, but by far PIC’s most important source of labor and materials to implement their projects for Logandale Trails comes from their many supporters, volunteers, and their unique and interactive fundraisers. These fundraisers always include a Trail Clean Up, and it is partly through these clean-ups that PIC has been so successful in keeping the area looking as spectacular as it does.

In January 2017, Logandale Trails had a ground-breaking ceremony celebrating the first ever on the ground project funded by State OHV registration fees to replace the original restrooms.

On March 25, Logandale Trails held its First Annual Fundraiser, Beauty and Beast, in which participants decorated their vehicles in hopes of being awarded the Most Beautiful or Most Beastly in their categories. This event was a success, with many prizes awarded. And of course, a cleanup of the trails followed.

Logandale Trails has become incredibly popular, not just for local and out of town off-road enthusiasts; it also attracts various businesses and other entities.

JP Magazine, Self-billed as the largest Jeep magazine in the world, had a trail run in early April with the Vegas Valley Four Wheelers as a planned stop on their way to the Jeep Fest in Moab, Utah. Also in early April, a commercial for a perfume was filmed there. A mule riding organization from Colorado spent a few days on the trails in 2016, and a manufacturer of remote controlled OHVs utilized the trails for building courses for their vehicles.

Of course, the biggest event for Logandale Trails is the annual Hump-N-Bump held in November and sponsored by Vegas Valley Four Wheelers. This event celebrated its thirty-fifth Hump-N-Bump last year. The Vegas Valley Four Wheelers are a huge supporter of PIC and Logandale Trails, and they generously donate each year to show their appreciation.

Logandale Trails is one of the finest examples of a multi-use trail system in the region, and all of us who use it owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who make it possible for us to enjoy such a diverse trail system for FREE: BLM, Partners in Conservation, Moapa Valley Rotary, Moapa Valley Chamber, MVRP, Local Scout groups, Moapa Valley businesses, and all of the hundreds of volunteers who spend their leisure time supporting the trail system.

This article was originally published in View On Magazine April 2017, reprinted with permission.

Logandale Trails

logandale-trails

Article and photos from Elise McAllister

This past 3-day weekend is a perfect example—200 marathon runners held a permitted event through the trails system; over 40 camps spread throughout Logan Wash; 10 plus equestrian riders trailered to ride amongst the glistening rocks and damp sand; several commercial tours guided visitors through the area; almost 30 jeeps from a Vegas group enjoyed rock crawling; too-many-to-count ATVs, RZRs (or side-by-sides), and dirt bikes to count as folks found their favorite dirt and played in it.  People also hiked, walked their dogs, kids climbed rocks, groups enjoyed picnicking, and, as always, photography is a popular activity.

Volunteers from the Moapa Valley Rotary Club rode throughout the area, visiting with folks, handing out maps and goodie bags with information from local businesses, and providing a friendly, helpful contact to all.

Logandale Trails is busy during the weekends with many visitors, which is beneficial to local businesses, but during the week, it is a local’s paradise.  Hardly a person out there and you feel like you have the place completely to yourself—cause you do!

That’s why Logandale Trails is so MUCH better than that other ‘red rock’!

PIC To Be Site Steward For Logandale Trails

pic-site-steward-logandale-trails

After nearly six years in the works, local non-profit organization Partners in Conservation (PIC) is celebrating its new role as site steward of the Logandale Trails area. Last week, the Bureau of Land Management Las Vegas Field Office announced that it was awarding PIC with the first recreational stewardship program in the region as part of a three year pilot initiative.

“We are so excited about this,” said PIC Administrator Elise McAllister of Moapa. “It is an opportunity to reconnect the Logandale Trails area with the community, its businesses and residents.”

Site stewardships are not new for the BLM on western public lands. A stewardship program over sensitive cultural and archaeological sites in the state of Nevada has been very successful in recent years, McAllister explained. But the Logandale Trails stewardship program is the first that deals with a recreational component.

“It is being called a pilot project,” McAllister said. “We have the opportunity to create a successful template that might be applied to other heavily used recreational areas in the state and other BLM lands.”

The BLM has allocated funding for the project for the first three years. At that point, PIC plans to have formulated a business plan on how the project can become more self-sufficient through fundraising and volunteer efforts, McAllister said.

McAllister explains that the stewardship doesn’t include authority over permits for special events in the area. Those things will still be done through the BLM Las Vegas field office. Rather PIC will handle much of the day-to-day upkeep of the area. That includes things like providing dumpster services, caring for and improving restroom facilities, cleaning up campsites, monitoring sensitive areas and establishing more of a watchful presence, McAllister said.

To do all of this, PIC will rely on a model it has used before in carrying out other public lands projects. It will recruit community groups and organizations to become engaged and volunteer in nearby public lands.

McAllister specifically points to the success that PIC had in 2002-2008 with installing 27 miles of retrofit tortoise fencing along the I-15 corridor across Mormon Mesa. In that project, PIC mobilized a small army of local volunteers from various community organizations to help get the huge job done.

“PIC’s model has been to keep our overhead as low as possible so that the funding isn’t eaten up by anything not directly project related,” McAllister said. “Then we engage the community in the project and donate back funding to help groups that have helped us get it done.”

McAllister said that PIC plans to organize at least one volunteer event per month out at the trails. These projects will include things like keeping restroom facilities clean and in good repair, cleaning up trash from the area. repairing roads and trails washed out by storms, establishing needed infrastructure in the area and more. As additional grant funding is obtained, improvements could be made to existing campsites and picnic facilities and additional restroom facilities could be added, McAllister said.

Moapa Valley communities could also see even more substantial economic benefits from involvement in the project, McAllister said. Included in PIC’s planning is an effort to connect the Logandale Trails more effectively with the nearby Moapa Valley commercial districts.

“There is the impression that people coming to the Logandale Trails come here, ride their ATVs around and then leave without ever knowing what the town has to offer,” McAllister said. “To some extent that impression is true. We will be working to find ways of drawing the local business community into that circle of activity.”

McAllister plans to organize an effort to set up an information booth on busy weekends at the trailhead area. This booth would let visitors know what is available in the community both in commercial services and in local events. McAllister’s vision is that local business owners and organizations would have an opportunity to promote themselves with special offers and sales in drawing Logandale Trails visitors.

“We are working to find ways of letting visitors know about the local businesses and goings-on in town while they are here,” McAllister said. “People like to come here to hit the trails during the day. But during the evenings, they often want something else to do. Small town events can be a big draw for them.”

Of course, all of this will involve a balancing act between the job of maintaining and enhancing the area for its recreational uses and the need to protect the natural and cultural resources in the area.

The Logandale Trails area has seen a sharp increase in public use in recent years. In a 2012 study, the BLM found that the 21,128-acre Logandale Trails had received 168,248 visitors. This equated to 7.97 visitors per acre that year, the report stated. By contrast, all public lands open to recreation in Clark County averaged only around .83 visitors per acre. No other recreation area in the region even came close.

So McAllister recognizes stewardship of the area for its natural resources will be a challenge. And the key to success will be education of the public, she says.

“For all the heavy use it is getting, the area is actually in very good shape,” McAllister said. “Most people that come out generally want to follow the rules and just enjoy the outdoor area.”

PIC doesn’t like to take the negative approach and use the word ‘no’ when it comes to public land use, McAllister said. Instead the group has found better results in laying out the valid reasons for the rules; so that it makes sense to the people using the land, she said.

In any case, McAllister said she is looking forward to the work of improving one of the Moapa Valley’s greatest outdoor assets, both as a recreation area and as a natural treasure.

“It’s really remarkable,” she said. “Here in this area we have the endangered tortoise; a number of plant specimens that are sensitive or listed; the gila monster and bighorn sheep which both have protected designations. And the fact that we have recreation going on right in the middle of all that habitat is just unique. There aren’t many places left like that. This is an opportunity to show that we can take care of the habitat, and even improve it, while recreation is going on all around. It is a great challenge.”

This article was originally posted in the Moapa Valley Progress on 11/14/17, and reposted here with permission. Photo Credit and Article Credit: Moapa Valley Progress.