The Annual (OHV) Trail Grant Program
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division’s (CPW) Trails Program, a statewide program within CPW, administers grants for trail-related projects on an annual basis. Local, county, and state governments, federal agencies, special recreation districts, and non-profit organizations with management responsibilities over public lands may apply for and are eligible to receive non-motorized and motorized trail grants.
The OHV Program seeks to improve and enhance motorized recreation opportunities in Colorado while promoting safe, responsible use of OHVs. The grant program combines OHV registration and permit fees with federal Recreation Trails Funds (RTP) to fund the annual OHV trail grant process. OHV Grants are available for projects related to recreational use of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on lands open to the public.
Application and Review Process
OHV trail grant applications are sent out by e-mail, ground mail, and are posted on the CPW’s Trails Program website each year. Trail grant opportunities are publicized annually through press releases, newsletters, the state website, and e-mail information networks. Technical assistance for grant preparation is provided by CPW Trails Program staff to potential applicants. The submission deadline for OHV grant applications is the first business day of December each year. CPW offers two types of OHV Trail Grants:
Good Management Trail Crew Grants
Programmatic (competitive) Project Grants
To solicit public comment, all grant applications are posted on the CPW Trails Program’s website and every public comment is evaluated as part of a subcommittee’s grant review and ranking process. CPW’s trail grant application review and ranking process follows a four-tiered review and approval protocol. All grant applications are first reviewed by CPW’s regional field staff. This process allows CPW to flag potential environmental or wildlife issues prior to the review by the subcommittees. While concerns may be identified during this review, CPW’s field staff will make every attempt to resolve these concerns with the applicant prior to the subcommittee’s review.
Next, applications are evaluated by the OHV Grant Review and Ranking Subcommittee. The subcommittee evaluates OHV Good Management trail crew grant applications as a first priority then the subcommittee scores and ranks the OHV competitive grant applications in order of their recommended funding priority. The Good Management and ranked grant applications are then passed to the State Recreational Trails Committee to evaluate and recommend funding strategies for the Parks and Wildlife Commission. The Commission provides the final approval to the funded projects.
This process invites public review and comment at four separate stages; upon submission, before the subcommittees, before the State Recreational Trails Committee and before the Commission. To view grant applications from previous years, please visit the
OHV Grant Submissions page.
Good Management OHV Grants
(CPW’s policy on the Good Management Program)
In 1985, the new federal Travel Management Rule (36 CFR 212) was adopted to provide resource protection by eliminating open, cross-country motorized travel on federal lands nationwide. The Travel Rule directed the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to designate roads, trails and areas for public motorized use. The intent of the Travel Rule was to insure long-term sustainable use of federal lands by eliminating unmanaged OHV travel.
The OHV Good Management Program was borne out of a need to proactively maintain these newly designated, high-use, motorized recreation areas and to aggressively implement adopted travel management plans for those areas. The OHV Good Management Program was formally initiated with the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding titled “Good OHV Management: A Program for Continual Operations and Maintenance” between Colorado’s Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation and the USDA Forest Service in 2001. The agreement acknowledged the need to actively manage motorized recreational opportunities in Colorado and the benefits in addressing those needs when and where they occurred.
The OHV Good Management Program institutionalized OHV grant funding mechanisms for federal grantees and their direct supporters who demonstrated an exceptional ability in the managing, operating and maintaining Colorado’s most popular OHV riding areas. The program provides a consistent and predictable level of funding so that federal agencies can attract and retain experienced trail crews for the operation and maintenance of their OHV riding areas. Since its inception in 2001, the trail crews supported by the OHV Good Management Program have grown from three (3) to twenty-three (23).
Eligibility Requirements for CPW’s Good Management Program
Successful OHV Good Management Program grant applicants must demonstrate, over a consecutive period of three or more years, their ability to fulfill the fiscal and field objectives as presented in their annual OHV grant proposals and achieve all aspects of a Good Management Program. Good Management crews must take a holistic management approach that preserves riding opportunities while protecting sensitive resources within the areas they service. Service includes trail and support facility maintenance, and reconstruction, monitoring, signing, trail and signage inventory, education, mapping, compliance checks, and, in the case of the Forest Service, law enforcement. These trail crews use “best practices” to maintain and restore OHV riding areas.
Review of Good Management Program
CPW audits and reviews at least four OHV Good Management crews each year. The review generally includes an audit of the condition of the riding areas, trails, and support facilities serviced by that OHV Good Management crew. ICPW also reviews the grant management practices practiced by the OHV Good management crew to insure the grant funds, equipment purchased and required reports have been managed efficiently and conform to all applicable state and federal fiscal rules. CPW will conduct random inspections of Good Management projects as the need arises.
Programmatic (competitive) OHV Project Grants
OHV programmatic or competitive project grants address the full spectrum of OHV recreation support needs in Colorado. Eligible grant funded activities include:
Construction, reconstruction or maintenance of OHV routes or multi-use trails that allow for motorized use
Crossing structures, bridges, railings, ramps, and fencing
Bank stabilization and retaining structures
OHV trail corridor re-vegetation and erosion control
Trailhead development and/or support facilities related to OHV or multi-use trails including parking areas, restrooms, and related facilities
Project Materials, Tools and Supplies
Equipment needed to build or maintain OHV trails
Fleet vehicle(s) for trail crew members - fixed and variable expenses, fuel and fluids.
Normal maintenance and repairs on trail machines (trail bikes, ATVs) and equipment (dozers, chainsaws, generators, etc.), fuel and fluids.
Signs - directional, regulatory, and interpretive signage for OHV routes
Printing - maps/guides, safety and educational materials Programs, publications and videos on safety and OHV recreation
OHV trail or system planning, engineering, or design
Land acquisition or easement projects. NEPA review and environmental compliance work required under NEPA or other statutes
Restoration of closed trails or damaged areas where a nexus exists between OHV misuse and needed repairs
Salary, compensation and benefits for crew members or project employees
Employment-required immunizations, background checks
Law enforcement wages for enforcing State OHV Law (CRS 33-14.5)
OHV Education and safety programs
Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance required for OHV projects.
Insurance coverage for physical damage and theft on equipment purchased with OHV funding that is valued at over $10,000