Yamaha Volunteers Protect Public Lands

Yamaha takes seriously their responsibility to inform all motorized recreational vehicle (MRV) users of where they are welcome to ride, and where they aren’t. In doing so, they partner with non-profit organizations to prevent and mitigate damage to public lands. The company’s goal is to keep those lands accessible.

Yamaha Heads to the Hills

Yamaha’s latest effort took place in the San Bernardino National Forest near Los Angeles. It is one of the most visited in the country, which creates huge impacts on the forest. Unfortunately, the effects of thousands of MRVs requires mitigation and improvements beyond the forest’s budget. This is where Yamaha, in concert the Southern California Mountains Foundation (SCMF), steps in to help. Recently, 50 Yamaha employees from the corporate offices in Cypress, California, and two locations in Georgia worked side-by-side with U.S. Forest Service employees and SCMF members.

Public Lands Require Public Care

Linda Stamer, OHV and Restoration Partnership Director for SCMF, stated, “The constant use of this area is fantastic as more people come to enjoy the natural spaces offered on the San Bernardino National Forest. However, that use often places a real burden on the land and it needs consistent care and attention to keep it safe and accessible for everyone. We are grateful to Yamaha for its support which provides resources such as the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grants, as well as bringing its peoplepower to work here onsite.”

Yamaha / SCMP Set an Example

Their latest project centered on the popular Pinnacles OHV Staging Area. The work ran the gamut from critical trail maintenance and fencing to trash pickup, removing invasive plants, and installing signage. Passersby on foot, bicycles, and MRVs all took note of the improvements. Seeing that, some may one day join in the gratification of protecting their forest. That’s the hope of Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports group marketing manager.

Nessl said that “Ensuring public lands remain accessible is paramount to their preservation. Yamaha is committed to fostering a culture of outdoor exploration and inspiring others to join us in creating lasting memories. Through collaborative projects like these, we’re not only enhancing our public spaces but also safeguarding them for future generations. Our longstanding partnership with the Southern California Mountains Foundation reflects our dedication to this cause.” And, “We take great pride in the collective impact of our ongoing efforts over the past 15 years.”

Yamaha’s Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) support of SCMF exceeds $120,000 over those 15 years, ensuring the partnership will endure. That’s good news for SCMP’s future work mapping trails, conducting OHV program projects, and attracting trail volunteers. As a result, both the forest and its users will benefit.

Any group that meets Yamaha’s simply stated criteria can apply for and OAI grant.

Read more: Yamaha’s Public Lands Support

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Arden’s first motorcycle was a Yamaha Enduro, obtained while in high school. It set the stage for decades of off-pavement exploration on dual-sports and adventure bikes. Camping in the middle of nowhere became his favorite pursuit. As a former whitewater river guide and National Park Service seasonal employee, Arden believes in wilderness, wildlife, and being kind to the earth. A self-taught writer who barely passed English classes, he has contributed adventure stories and tested motorcycles and accessories for Rider Magazine and other outlets for nearly 30 years. In that time, he’s worn out two KLR 650s and is currently following the road to the middle of nowhere on his Ténéré 700 and an aging but reliable DR-Z 400S.