Recreation Advocate

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First phase of Mississippi’s Rattlesnake Bay OHV Trails reopens

“We are elated that the Forest Service has begun the process of reopening these trails, and we want to thank the Forest Service officials and the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay member volunteers for their hard work that made this day possible,” said Dale Tallman Jr., volunteer coordinator for the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay.

The AMA became involved in the effort at Tallman’s request. Steve Salisbury, AMA government affairs manager for off-highway issues, assisted Tallman, Fred Pittman, Robert Rockco and other Mississippi riders in forming the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay to facilitate Forest Service negotiations with a unified voice.

The initial reopening was made possible by the February approval of a recreation fee structure from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee and cooperation between the USFS and Friends of Rattlesnake Bay. Volunteers from the OHV group helped USFS crews complete the needed repairs to the trails in late August.

(Left) Riders Nathan Tallman, Justin Robinson, Robbie Robinson, Bob Silles, Fred Pittman, Thomas Gut, Bradley Bryant, Mark Langston and Dale Tallman celebrate the reopening of phase one of the Rattlesnake Bay OHV Trails in Mississippi’s DeSoto National Forest.

(Left) Riders Nathan Tallman, Justin Robinson, Robbie Robinson, Bob Silles, Fred Pittman, Thomas Gut, Bradley Bryant, Mark Langston and Dale Tallman celebrate the reopening of phase one of the Rattlesnake Bay OHV Trails in Mississippi’s DeSoto National Forest.

The trails that reopened consist of a 7.6-mile loop and a 1.9-mile loop. A second section of trail, encompassing nearly 28 miles, is in the planning stages and may open in the spring or summer of 2015.

“This is, indeed, an important milestone for the individuals and clubs that ride in the Rattlesnake Bay area,” Salisbury said. “And it is equally important to keep the lines of communication open between the riders and the Forest Service as we all work toward the goal of reopening all the closed trails in the DeSoto.”

The Rattlesnake Bay trail system is in the special use permit area for the Camp Shelby Military Training Site near Hattiesburg, Miss. Mississippi Tourism, a division of the Mississippi Development Authority, supported the reopening of the trails.

Trail rules include a 1-inch maximum tire tread depth and an OHV sound limit of 96 dBA.

The approved fee structure provides for the continued maintenance and operation of the trails. The fee includes a $10-a-day per person fee for trail use and a $60-a-year annual operator fee, which will be valid for all OHV trails on national forests in Mississippi. The annual pass is expected to be available early in 2015. 

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Thursday, 17 October 2019
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OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting. Copyright (c) 1999-2019 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission. You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material. All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.