65,700 miles of motorized roads and trails, 54 riding areas, and 4,700 miles of non-motorized trails across 40 individual trail systems mapped, annually held off-highway vehicle summits, and community outreach; these are just some of the accomplishments of the Nevada Mapping Collaborative. State Recreation Mapping Coordinator Holly Smith has this to say about the one-of-a-kind project GBI is excited to be a part of:
“The Nevada Mapping Collaborative began in 2018 as a grant from the Nevada Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program and the State Recreational Trails Program (RTP) to The Great Basin Institute. The scope of the project was initially … to manage a field crew which gathers GPS data on the OHV trails across the state of Nevada, and to build a statewide trails database of authoritative trails for all activity types, [and] to create and post maps and trail information which would be available to the public from a OHV Trails website where users can download GPS data and georeferenced maps for each trail system. It is the goal of the Team to provide the public with a single source of authoritative trails data across land manager and governmental boundaries, over the entire state.
“In 2019, the Recreational Trails Program approved a third grant application to provide additional funding for the creation of a single, “Nevada All-Trails” website application. The crew plans to continue with field work with an emphasis on verifying the existing trails data, identifying suggested Adventure Routes, and creating Points of Interest. The focus will be on Tourism and providing the public ideas for new adventures in Rural Nevada.
“As the Applicant and Grantee for this project, The Great Basin Institute has provided the team with funding, program and administrative support, personnel recruitment and payroll services, and has provided needed equipment and supplies. GBI’s management and oversight ensures the necessary support, tools and environment which the Mapping Collaborative Team requires to create a needed and usable mapping product for the citizens of Nevada.”
To be part of a project so expansive is amazing regardless of the topic, but knowing the Nevada Mapping Collaborative could change the way OHV riders find and use trails statewide is incredible. We hope this work helps keep both people and the environment safer while giving Nevadans another route to explore and enjoy the outdoors!
To see motorized riding areas mapped by the Collaborative, go to ohv.nv.gov/trails. For complete data on mapped waterways, go to the National Rivers Project site at nationalriversproject.com/directory/NV. [To watch this video in full go to youtube.com/watch?v=NPN58eYlA-4. A transcript of the clip shown here is provided below. (Video was filmed pre-pandemic.)
“Our grant from the Nevada OHV Commission’s main goal is to go out and map all the trails available for OHV and motorized use in Nevada. There are tens of thousands of trails and it’s really easy to get lost and having these high quality geo-referenced maps is really beneficial.”
“We were having a lot of problems with people not staying on trails, trails were in poor condition, the Great Basin Institute started doing assessments. I don’t believe that the Great Basin Institute could do the surveys that it’s doing unless it works with the public and with the land managers. The land managers are able to tell us where the official roads are, what maintained roads are out there. And then the public tells us which roads are really in use, which routes are popular. So that’s why we try to reach out to OHV clubs, to the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, to private individuals, as many voices as we possibly can.”