Phoenix, ARIZONA (January 21, 2009) – The nonprofit organization Tread Lightly! and General Motor's HUMMER division have teamed up to fund an important research project in Arizona to help reduce the dust caused by off-highway vehicles (OHVs).
Although several trails across the country have dust-related problems, little research has been done to test the effectiveness, longevity, and cost of dust suppressants and dust abatement management, especially in Western environments.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, small dust particles kicked up by motorized vehicles can pose a health risk to riders and those nearby. Some riding areas are in danger of closing if dust is not reduced.
"This project is extremely important, not only for these Arizona trails, but also for all of outdoor motorized recreation," said Lori McCullough, Tread Lightly!'s executive director. "We are glad that HUMMER has stepped up to help us reduce health and environmental risks, while still keeping riding areas clean and open."
The Bureau of Land Management's Phoenix District and the Maricopa County Air Quality Division are testing three commercially available, non-toxic dust suppressants along sections of the popular L6 Trail, northwest of Phoenix. The testing began in October and will run through March 11, 2009. The trail will remain open to evaluate the longevity of each suppressant in a real world setting where vehicles drive on it daily. Results will be made public for other land managers to utilize.
The Arizona Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and The HUMMER Club provided several volunteers to help with various aspects of the project. Additional work included the development and installation of an educational kiosk at the trailhead and the rehabilitation of grounds near the staging area.
The study was funded by a grant initiative called HUMMER's Restoration Rescue, which was created in 2008 under the umbrella of Tread Lightly!'s Restoration for Recreation program.
For more information on HUMMER's Recreation Rescue, please visit www.treadlightly.org
. For maps and detailed information about the project, contact the BLM Hassayampa Field Office at 623-580-5500.
# # #
Tread Lightly!, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to proactively protect recreation access and opportunities in the outdoors through education and stewardship initiatives. Tread Lightly! is the nation’s signature ethics message for outdoor enthusiasts that use motorized vehicles. The organization also offers unique training and restoration programs strategically designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them. www.treadlightly.org
HUMMER is a division of General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, which employs about 252,000 people globally. HUMMER is a premium off-road vehicle manufacturer with sales in 37 countries and a product line-up that consists of the H2, H2 SUT, H3, H3 Alpha and all-new H3T. Information on HUMMER products is available at www.hummer.com