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Old May 22nd, 2007, 08:14 AM   #1
clarkstoncracker
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Default Anybody doing this KOTARO project? Looks like a good idea.

(hopefully Pat will not mind me posting this to non GLFWDA members)



Hello All,

You are receiving this email because you are a Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association (GLFWDA) Member; a Member of GLFWDAs Land Use Committee and/or expressed interest in learning how to help inventory roads and trails in Michigan via GPS. Below is a letter explaining what the KOTARO Team project is and how it works (KOTARO stands for Keep Our Trails And Roads Open). The bottom of this e-mail is a questionnaire that we would like you to fill out and return to *trail_fanatic@hotmail.com*if you are interested in becoming a KOTARO Team member. The GPS project the KOTARO Teams will be working on will be state wide, and you will receive information on how to GPS the trails accurately in order for the project to work effectively. Please refer to the letter for further details.

Thank you all for supporting Our Trails/Roads!

Pat Brower
GLFWDA Vice-President
GLFWDA Land Use Committee Chairman



Dear Interested KOTARO Team Member,

Thank you for offering to help save our OHV roads and trails. In November 2005 the U.S. Forest Service was directed to create a designated system of roads and trails on all national forests and grasslands. This process is a part of the Travel Management Rule. The Travel Management Rule allows for public collaboration in identifying and recommending those routes for designation. You need to be aware that this process is not uniform from forest to forest. The Travel Management Rule culminates in a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). The MVUM will be derived from the agencies baseline existing roads and trails. There are at least two ways for the agency to arrive at the publication of this map. The first approach allows the forest to use existing decisions involving routes that remain open to create the MVUM; placing them in full compliance with the Travel Management Rule. The second approach allows the forest to use GPS to add important historical roads and trails to a data base roads so they may be considered for future designation.

For our purposes, the most important approach involves the second approach. We are seeking volunteers for two types of participation at this time. The first type is the creation of GPS data information on existing, historical roads and trails that do not appear on the agencies baseline inventory of roads and trails. Your role, as a volunteer in this instance, is to help build this database so that the routes identified by you, although not currently open, may be considered in future travel management decisions. In short, we are creating an undeniable record that these routes existed, were used, and should be considered for designation in the future.

The Hiawatha and Huron-Manistee National Forests are NOT going to open the process to public comment. Because they have been closed to cross country travel for twenty years and have a current transportation system, they are going to publish their baseline map as the 2008 MVUM. The decision not to have a public comment period is in contradiction to how the MVUM scenario was sold to the public. This issue is being addressed separately. It is required that the MVUM be reviewed annually. We will submit our data, just not until the review process in 2009. That means 2008 will begin a year of almost NO legal trail riding on the Hiawatha and Huron-Manistee National Forests. We need your help in collecting the GPS Data now, while we can still legally travel via our vehicles in the collection process: before we are forced to walk each trail or to be considered in conjunction with the development of the new Travel Management Plan. As you can see, these trails and routes you identify can be open as a part of the plan.

The second role that you can play involves participation in active Forest Travel Management planning. The Ottawa National Forest is a prime example of this approach. Although the Hiawatha and Huron-Manistee National Forests will go directly to the publication of the MVUM, forests like the Ottawa will be open for GPS data information to be considered in conjunction with the development of their new Travel Management Plan. The routes you identify can be open as a part of the initial MVUM.

Now that you have a basic understanding of why GPS data on roads and trails is critical to collect, allow me to introduce you to the KOTARO Team concept.
KOTARO stands for Keep Our Trails And Roads Open.
This letter is to start the creation of these teams. The intent is to cover all Forests in Michigan. After several meetings with the Forest Service, we have derived a system and format in which the Forest Service will accept this information.

Volunteers are needed for the KOTARO Teams across the state. Ideal candidates will possess some of the following:

 Knowledge of the majority of trails in a specific area; historic knowledge is a plus
 How to read the latest Forest Service map to see where the gaps in data occur
 Know how to use a GPS to gather trail information
 The capability to gather the needed information by legal means if a road or trail is non-motorized route (ex. by foot, horseback, mountain bike, etc.)
 Utilize the NOHVCC educational DVD provided by NOHVCC, at no cost, (also available from the GLFWDA Land Use Committee) to learn the procedure
 Include audio or written detail support of the GPS routes as stated in the DVD
 Know how to download that GPS information in the format required and transfer it to the person collecting it for preparation for the Forest Service
Most of the communication in this process will take place via the computer.

If you have not already received the training DVD, you can order it by contacting the NOHVCC (National Off Highway Vehicle Organization) at 1-800-348-6487 or e-mail them at trailhead@nohvcc.org.

As a KOTARO Team member you will be heavily involved in the process of collecting route information and partnering with the local ranger district. Partnership and collaboration are the keys to making this a successful project and it will be critical in every step to ensure that all parties involved understand what will occur, how it will occur, when it will occur, and where.

To help with the KOTARO Team project, please choose which region or riding area you can cover and learn how to prepare your information for the person that will be organizing it and sending it to the Forest Service via e-mail (again - view the DVD for details).

If you are interested in becoming part of the KOTARO Team project and can provide this service, please contact the KOTARO Team project managers ASAP so we can start the process. The KOTARO Team project managers will coordinate the collection of trail and road data, and assist in keeping as many miles of roads and trails open in Michigan.

Regards,

KOTARO Team Project Managers:




KOTARO Team Screening Questionnaire

Name:

Email Address:

Phone:

Address:

National Forest(s) and Ranger District(s) of Interest:

Type of GPS Unit:

Level of Experience with GPS:

Mapping Software Used:

Do you know what ephemeris data is, and how to obtain it?

Internet Connection - dialup or broadband?

Availability (Do you have a day job, or are you retired? Can you gather GPS data on weekdays?)

Do you have an affiliation with a club?

If Yes, which club?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 09:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkstoncracker View Post
(hopefully Pat will not mind me posting this to non GLFWDA members)
NOT AT ALL!!!

I planned on doing it too.
You just beat me to it!

THANKS!

(Oh, and I plan on participating in this too )
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #3
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Want to move this to the GPS Forum???

KOTARO is essentially a group of people who all agree to use the same format to gather their data and turn it into the same centralized collection point to be added to the 'master map' we need to create.

Sign up and we'll get you the information.

I'd post it here, but we're still creating and revising it to match what we're learning from our 'test runs' in the M Triangle.

It's an EASY way to help.

When we're finished, we'll have an accurate map of the trails for the first time in history.
. . . and intend to make it available to the public.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #4
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A+ for technology, that's flippin' cool.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:34 AM   #5
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So do we have to be a member of GLFWDA to help? Correct me if I'm not understanding this correctly, but they want not only motorized vehicle trails but every type of trail out there?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #6
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No, you don't have to be GLFWDA.

NO, we only want trails that ARE or WERE for full sized 4x4s.
Trails that have been bermed, stumped, or redesignated as hiking, skiing, or horse trails, etc.

We're mostly interested in what's still open, but the closed stuff was probably our best for 4WD use, so if you can get the data, that would be great.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 12:04 PM   #7
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So basically if we can walk or bike the bermed redesignated trails that would be good, correct? Because they were at one point driveable trails.

I have talked to Roger Hobbs about this and would love to help and be involved.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 12:59 PM   #8
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Right.

I'm hoping the final map will show open trails in one color/line and closed in another.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 01:33 PM   #9
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Instead of waiting to order the DVD (you can order it by contacting the NOHVCC (National Off Highway Vehicle Organization) at 1-800-348-6487 or e-mail them at trailhead@nohvcc.org) or waiting for it to arrive, here are the basic directions (from the DVD) for setting up your GPS to allow synchronization with the forest service:

Configure Your GPS

1) Start by adjusting the Position Format parameter.
2) Navigate to the Main Menu Section on your GPS.
3) Select Set Up, then Select Units,
a) Scroll to the Position Format Drop Down List and Press Enter,
b) Select hddd.dddddo and Press Enter,
4) Next Scroll to Map Datum and Press Enter,
a) Select WGS84 and Press Enter.
5) Next Set Distance Speed to Statute Miles
6) And Elevation to Feet.
7) Finally, if your GPS Unit has a Wide Angle Augmentation System (WAAS), you will want to Disable it.

To RECAP:
Position Format = hddd.dddddo
Map Datum = WGS84
Distance/Speed = Miles
Elevation = Feet
WAAS = Disabled

At the Trail Head

1) Clear your GPS Memory.
2) Use the Page Key to Navigate to the Trip Computer Screen.
a) On this Screen, Push the Menu Button, Reset will be highlighted and Press Enter to Scroll to Select All and Press Enter,
b) Scroll to Apply and Press Enter.
3) Next Set Up the Track Logs.
4) Navigate back to the Main Menu.
5) Select the Tracks screen.
a) On this Screen, Push the Menu Button and Select Set Up Track log; Make sure “Wrap” when full is NOT checked,
b) Scroll to Record Method, Press Enter,
c) Select Auto and Press Enter,
d) Next Scroll to Interval, Press Enter and Select Normal.
6) Now Clear the Track Logs one last time to make sure you haven’t gathered any unwanted tracks.
7) Navigate back to the Main Track Screen and Ensure the Track Log is Off,
a) Scroll to Clear and Press Enter,
b) When the Warning Box appears, Select Yes.
8) Finally, before starting your Track Log, you should check your Satellite Coverage.
9) Maintain your GPS in its starting position with a clear view of the sky for at least two minutes.
10) The goal is to have a signal from at least five satellites. If this cannot be achieved, it would be better to try again on another day.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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we did a bunch of the m triangle project with trail fanatic. the m triangel is going to be a new trail system in the huron manistee forrest. it was alot of fun! we made a day of it. 2 trucks, 2 gps's mapping, and taking notes at each point of intrest. ran about 8 hours then called it a day. went to camp had a few beers and some great conversation. trail fanatic or jarhead know alot about how to do this kinda thing so all the gps information will meld together correctly. the usfs and dnr are picky about how the info is submitted to them so it can be easily downloaded and and can be used by all parties easily. the video jarhead talked about will show you how to set up the gps unit the way the usfs wants it, so everybody does it the same way.
that way all the info is able to be downloaded onto one map easily. took me about 20 mins to set up the gps i borrowed, and im totally clueless about gps's. im sure the guys that use them alot could do this in 5 mins. other than that its just go hit the trails and have fun! a passenger to take notes at the crossings, corners, campsites, and points of intrest is a big help. a digital camera would be a good idea but not mandatory. if everyone did just a little of this stuff it would be alot easier than justa few of us doing alot of it.
its a great way to hit the trails, have fun, and do your part to support the sport. if you have any questions or just wanna help out pm trailfanatic, jarhead, or myself. thx
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Old May 9th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post

7) Finally, if your GPS Unit has a Wide Angle Augmentation System (WAAS), you will want to Disable it.

Why do you disable WAAS?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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WAAS helps pin-point your location when you have strong multiple satellite signals, but when sat coverage gets questionable it tends to actually distort your location more than without it on.
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