Outdoor access initiative
The Yamaha Motorsports company wants us to have safe access to recreational trails, public lands, and riding and hunting areas. If you’re out there on an ATV or UTV, they’re hoping you know how to handle the machine so nobody gets hurt.
Steve Nessl is a division marketing manager with Yamaha. He says the company’s Outdoor Access Initiative provides funding to help develop, restore, and maintain trails and public lands and improve access to them. It’s also designed to help promote safe and responsible use of off-road vehicles, especially for the next generation of riders.
"It’s enabled us to do things like fund proficiencies through FFA, so we involve the kids in some of that safety messaging," says Nessl. "We’re funding safety training facilities like at Oklahoma State University, so it’s pretty wide-spread. And it needs to be, because that’s a good message to be promoting across-the-board."
The grants are given to non-profit and tax exempt organizations. But off-road vehicle safety training is available online or in person for anyone including farmers, hunters, and outdoorsmen.
"You can take an online module, and that’s something we promote through the FFA advisors to get their kids through these online modules. Anywhere you find a computer screen you can take an online version, but you can also go through a Yamaha dealer and ask about hands-on training," says Nessl. "So we do have in the field, get behind the wheel, throw your leg over an ATV and spend the better part of a day learning the basics, refreshing your memory probably on what the safety gear is and when you should wear it, and why you should wear it."
Nessl says they’re always looking for projects to support and accept applications each quarter. Last year, they awarded over $350,000 in funds and equipment to 26 grant recipients.
Click here to see who has received the Outdoor Access Initiative awards
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