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Big Cypress National Preserve Backcountry Volunteer Program. An educated Off-Road-Vehicle user is a responsible ORV user. Jill Wilson and Isobel Kalafarski, March 2009 ORV Advisory Committee Meeting. Goals of the Backcountry Volunteer Program. Increase visitor safety

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Big Cypress National Preserve Backcountry Volunteer Program

Aneducated

Off-Road-Vehicle user

is a responsible

ORV user.

Jill Wilson and Isobel Kalafarski, March 2009 ORV Advisory Committee Meeting


Goals of the Backcountry Volunteer Program

  • Increase visitor safety

  • Increase compliance with regulations

    • Including TREAD Lightly!

  • Increase agency (National Park Service) visibility

  • Additional Backcountry staff is available for assistance in day to day operations and in emergencies


What is a Backcountry Volunteer?

  • Works in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS)

  • Are responsible Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Operators

  • Are stewards of the resource

  • Provide education and educational materials

  • Assists with trail maintenance

  • Aids in minor emergencies


Why We Need a Backcountry Volunteer Program?

  • Primarily due to an increase in ORV use

    • 1,500 ATVs/ORVs are sold per day in the United States!

    • Each year up to 2,000 ORVs permits are sold in Big Cypress National Preserve

  • There is limited ORV access to other public lands in FL

  • Educated Volunteers help to protect the resource

    • They teach other individuals that if they want access, they need to protect the areas they are permitted to access

  • Volunteers provide education

    • About ORV regulations, hunting regulations, and trail orientation

    • About safety

    • About natural history


What are the Benefits of Becoming a Backcountry Volunteer?

  • Opportunity to meet other ORV enthusiasts

  • Protecting ORV opportunities by promoting responsible riding

  • Taking pride in public lands by educating others and providing assistance to ORV users and the NPS staff


Backcountry Volunteer – Who is Right for the Job?

  • Good communicator

  • Safety conscious

  • Professional demeanor

  • Even-tempered

  • Education oriented


Program Building Blocks -

  • Training

    • ORV training

    • First Aid and Emergency Training

    • Natural History training

  • Quarterly Backcountry Volunteer meetings

  • Teamwork Activities with NPS staff and other Backcountry Volunteers

  • Easily identifiable to ORV riders as Backcountry Volunteers by wearing a designated uniform


Training / Skill Requirements

  • Big Cypress ORV Course

  • ASI Riders Course

  • Tread Lightly Training

  • First Aid and CPR Training

  • Radio and GPS Training

  • Data Collection Training

  • Successful and Safe Visitor Contacts Training

  • Small Equipment Repair Skills


ORV Safety Equipment Needed

ATVs:

  • Approved helmet

  • Protective eyewear

  • Gloves

  • Long pants

  • Long sleeved shirt/Volunteer Uniform

  • Boots

  • Other:

  • First aid kit

  • Portable radio

  • GPS - Global Positioning System

  • PLB - Personnel Locator Beacon

  • Cell phone


Next Steps

  • Finalize Backcountry Volunteer Handbook and Training Course

  • Finalize Position Description for Volunteer Work

  • Begin Recruitment of Volunteers

  • Designate Equipment needs and look for Funding for Program Needs

  • Conduct First Training Sessions


Ultimate Goal for Backcountry Volunteer Program

  • To recruit a corps of 10 – 15 local volunteers, to work as pairs on a regular, continuing basis.

  • To find one or two volunteers to assist the NPS as “leads” for the program.

  • To have a well trained corps of volunteers to:

    • Assist visitors in the backcountry

    • Help with maintenance, resource and emergency needs as they arise

    • Protect ORV opportunities by promoting responsible riding

    • Educate others about the Preserve and the NPS


Aneducated

Off-Road-Vehicle user

is a responsible

ORV user.


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