February '19

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10 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2019 states combined. And what that means is that we have a terrific opportunity and great responsibility," she says. As of late, Granat and the CORVA team have worked on a long-term program that grants off-roaders access to desirable, desig- nated trails across California, while devel- oping a plan that is mindful and protective of endangered species, nesting sites and plant populations in the process. "We have created an extremely environ- mentally sensitive off-road program that offers what we call state vehicular recre- ation areas," says Granat, who credits the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) division for working collectively with CORVA to establish it as a permanent program within California state parks. "This program has given us consistency in funding and direction, but also a con- sistency in environmental protections for the parks," she explains. Federal, county and city entities are working closely to increase environmental responsibility in a way that appeases all parties. "We wanted to show that off-road rec- reation is sustainable, and it can be man- aged and mitigated in a way that preserves what is important to environmentalists," says Granat. Today, the program is a gold standard for other states to emulate. "California has some of the strictest laws in the nation," she adds. "If we can accomplish it here, then it can be done anywhere." For Granat, the goal should always be sensible regulation, but policies need to be designed and managed from the ground up by the local communities they affect; otherwise they are inherently flawed. With this improved mindset, Granat has witnessed a shift over the past decade from combative to more collaborative efforts among 4x4 enthusiasts and law enforce- ment agencies. Because of programs like CORVA's, many law enforcement personnel are also being trained on these vehicles and often end up becoming enthusiasts themselves. "I have to say, I am so impressed with the off-road community," says Granat, who notes that CORVA represents many forms of recreation, like mountain biking, hiking and camping, with most team members living the lifestyles themselves. "I have found the off-road community These days it's common practice for off-roaders to adhere to accepted tactics that lessen the environmental impact as they en- counter challenges on the trail. Off-roaders are all about protecting the land they love. Common shop requests that come prior to the start of another off-roading season range from axle strengthening, an investment in air lockers and custom fabrication, to the latest accessories to get Jeeps down the trail in style. RESPONSIBLE F-ROADG

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