Tread Lightly! held the first of four stewardship projects funded by a $20,000 grant from the Overland Expo Foundation. On May 18, 2023, 85 volunteers gathered to clean up and improve the Cinder Hills OHV Area in the Coconino National Forest. This was a multi-faceted project that included signage installation, the removal of old signage, brush removal, and trash cleanup.

Together volunteers removed 2,000 pounds of trash, improving the 13,500 acre area. Volunteers also removed dry brush and tumbleweeds from the area which acted as a potential fire hazard. Finally, volunteers replaced old signage and outdated trail markers with up-to-date, new signage and educational kiosks. Many of our Industry partners showed up to support this event, including KC HiLites, DMOS Shovels, and Canyon Coolers who donated gifts and raffle items to thank volunteers.


Fostering Relationships

The Cinder Hills OHV area project was a huge success bringing together a diverse group of supporters including local neighbors, land managers, industry partners, and enthusiast groups. By bringing these groups together, Tread Lightly! is fostering relationships that lead to a greater turnout and stronger partner collaboration. 

Keeping this area maintained benefits not only the motorized community who utilize the area but the surrounding neighbors who also hike and enjoy other forms of outdoor recreation.

Positive Impacts

A positive result of the project was diffusing tension among individuals who do not enjoy OHV use in the area. One local volunteer who lives in the adjoining neighborhood said, “I didn’t realize people who drive offroad really cared this much.” Witnessing 85 volunteers, 60 plus 4×4 and overland vehicles, working diligently to clean up and improve the area was a testimony to Tread Lightly!’s dedication to preserving our public lands. This effort showed neighbors the OHV community is committed to minimizing the impact on the forest.

The Cinder Hills project left this popular 13,500-acre OHV area refreshed and ready to be enjoyed by the overland community. As overlanding and outdoor motorized recreation grows, it is important to protect public lands for the enjoyment of these lands, for now, and for future generations. Both education and remediation of sensitive or abused/overused areas are key to keeping these lands open and accessible for generations to come. In addition, the visibility and impact of this project changed the attitudes of those that may not be favorable to this type of recreation. This type of grassroots impact spreads positivity about the overland community and will work favorably to help keep other similar areas open for use.

Tread Lightly! Cinder Hills clean up group photo

Get Involved

Read the full impact report from Tread Lightly! here and visit their website to learn about ways you can volunteer. 

The next stewardship project will be Monday, July 11th, following Overland Expo PNW. Look for more details coming soon!