CYPRESS, Calif. – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has taken a leading role in supporting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas by GRANTing nearly $2 million through its OHV Access Initiative since 2008. This financial support has proven critical in areas such as building bridges over fish-baring streams, improving thousands of miles of trails, and renovating staging areas.
In addition to financial support from the OHV Access Initiative, Yamaha employees out of the company’s Cypress, Calif., headquarters have taken on a personal obligation to support this mission as well.
Earlier this October, more than 60 employees, family members and friends convened in the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) volunteering more than 200 work hours and kicking off a long-term restoration project at the popular Cactus Flats staging area near Big Bear Lake. Volunteers reached some initial restoration goals through weeding, grubbing, seed collecting, planting native shrubs, watering and other important clean-up projects.
“It’s exciting to see so many Yamaha employees volunteer their weekend and get their hands dirty in support of our local mountains and OHV areas,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV and SxS group marketing manager, who participated in the volunteer project and helps spearhead the OHV Access Initiative. “The San Bernardino National Forest Association has a model OHV program that garners thousands of volunteer hours every year. We’re happy to do our small part for our local trails, and we encourage OHV enthusiasts across the country to continue to keep their riding areas safe and sustainable, as well as look to our OHV program for support.”
The weekend’s activities were hosted by the Yamaha ATV/SxS Group, as part of the OHV Access Initiative, and in conjunction with the San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA), a long time Yamaha partner and beneficiary of the OHV Access Initiative. SBNFA staff have helped lead past Yamaha volunteer projects in the forest and many volunteers from its own OHV program have helped out onsite as well.
“Yamaha’s partnership continues to grow as do our restoration initiatives on the San Bernardino National Forest,” said Rick Lavello, SBNFA OHV program director. “They set a high standard for employee teambuilding events with enthusiasm and pride in giving back to their local forest land and trails. The SBNFA appreciates their commitment and hard work.”
In previous years, Yamaha employees conducted a number of volunteer projects in this area, offering their time and energy planting trees, clearing brush, pulling weeds, picking up trash and generally cleaning up riding areas and the surrounding forest. In 2009 and 2010, close to 200 volunteers including Yamaha employees, their family and friends, donated approximately 1,000 hours and planted more than 3,400 trees to help reforest burn areas. This is in addition to Yamaha’s ongoing work on the company’s adopted and sponsored trails in the SBNF system (downloadable maps are available here: http://www.nationalforestassociation.org/ohvmaps.php).
The SBNF is the mountain playground to 24 million Southern Californians — or 10 percent of the nation’s population. Given its proximity to this population base, the SBNF is an “urban” forest and, consequently, is the most recreated and populated national forest in the system. More than 2.5 million people recreate annually in the SBNF and 60,000 reside full- or part-time.
The SBNFA is seeking additional support from corporate, community and nonprofit organizations interested in creating a restoration event for their employees or members to add their legacy to a healthier and sustainable San Bernardino National Forest. To inquire, contact Stacy Gorin, restoration director, at 909-382-2794.