By February 2, 2020 Read More →

W.Va. legislators’ Jeep ride draws attention to public interest, economic value of off road recreation

By W.Va. Press Staff Report

More than 160 Jeeps participated in Saturday’s Legislative Jeep Ride.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —  The parking garage at the West Virginia State Capitol provided a dry start to a rain-soaked Legislative Jeep Ride Saturday morning as supporters of off-road recreation gathered at the Capitol to demonstrate the activity and discuss its popularity and potential economic impact.

More than 160 Jeeps participated Saturday.

Sen. Mark Maynard, R-Wayne, who helped organize the event said they group wanted to show the need for policy and make lawmakers aware that they have a voice and want to be heard.

Maynard, who has done previous work with off-highway recreation vehicles legislation but has been met with pushback, contacted the West Virginia Jeep Club to help make Saturday’s event possible.

Sen. Mark Maynard

West Virginia has zero recognized motorized trail access on public property and falls way behind other eastern states in this type of recognized recreation, Maynard said.

Maynard said he was appreciative of all the help and how everyone came together to made this event happen.

Numerous legislators, candidates and elected officials were present to show their support, including Mike Folk, gubernatorial candidate, legislature husband and wife team of Senator David Sypolt and Delegate Terri Sypolt, House Majority Leader Amy Summers, Delegate Gary Howell, Delegate Danny Hamrick, Delegate Evan Worrell, Senate candidate Kathie Crouse and Cabell County Assessor Irv Johnson. 

Ben Burr, policy director for the Blue Ribbon trails coalition, flew in from Utah just to attend this rally.

“It was great to see so many enthusiastic supporters for off-road recreation in West Virginia. With its phenomenal terrain and trails, strong grassroots support, and innovative leaders, West Virginia has all the ingredients it needs to build a thriving off-road recreation economy. Off-roaders are finding their voice in West Virginia, and Blue Ribbon Trails Coalition is excited to be a part of it,” said Burr

Maynard recognized Sgt. Chris Burford of the Charleston Police Department for “treated the team of jeeps like the Presidential Motorcade as they traveled out of town to the scheduled ride in the back country of nearby Campbells Creek, viewing the scenic beauty of West Virginia.

Maynard said that until this form of recreation gets recognition and support for access to public-owned land, the legislative ride will be an annual event held at the Capitol every first Saturday in February. 

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