September 6, 2016
Dear NOHVA Supporter and Friend of NOHVA,
With great regret, I am sorry to announce that the Nebraska Off Highway
Vehicle Association/TBQ Sport Club, Inc. has been dissolved. By vote of
our Board of Directors our organization no longer exists. The
corporation has been registered as officially dissolved with the State
We had to discontinue the organization because of liability concerns for
our officers, directors, volunteers and members. Over the last year and
one-half we have been faced with three lawsuits. Two law suits involved
an accident at Headworks Park near Genoa on the open sand involving
riders from South Dakota. Both of these suits were dismissed but could
be re-filled again.
The latest law suit involves a rider from Ogallala who was riding on a
practice track south of Sutherland Nebraska that was maintained by one
of our former chapters, the Flat Rock Riders. This suit is active and in
the courts, the insurance company that we had at the time of the
accident is representing us.
All of the accidents occurred to riders who were not NOHVA members and
none of the riders had insurance on the machine they were riding. In
each case they blamed NOHVA (and sometimes others) for their injury even
though we did not own the land, they were riding free from charge, we
did not cause the accident and they knew of the rules.
Fortunately for us we did have liability insurance at the time of all
three accidents. However, because of these law suits, we can no longer
purchase general liability insurance to protect our officers, volunteers
and members from accident lawsuits. As our attorney put it, it is very
unusual to have to contented with this may law suits. He was concerned
that considering that three suits have been filed against us over the
last two years, another lawsuit could happen at any time. Since we no
longer liability insurance, if a law suit is filed against NOHVA or any
of our officers, volunteers or members, the NOHVA officers and
volunteers could be personally responsible. If this were to happen, it
could cost those involved tens of thousands of dollars, and could
endanger their life savings, home or business.
With no insurance and the fact that a new law suit will be filed sooner
or later, the only way to protect our officers, volunteers and members
is to dissolve the NOHVA organization. Over the last year and a half,
most of NOHVA’s energy has been used to getting together materials to
defend ourselves from these suits and trying to find a solution to
insurance difficulties. We would rather spend time working on trails and
Before the ending of NOHVA, we were involved with two places to ride in
Nebraska. These two places are the Headworks OHV Park near Genoa and the
Nebraska National Forest near Halsey. With the end of NOHVA and upon
talking to the land owners and managers of these two areas, there are no
plans to close trails. However both Loup Power District owners of the
Headworks OHV Park near Genoa and the U.S. Forest Service who manage the
land for the trails near Halsey want riders to continue to be involved
in helping with both of these places to ride.
As I have told others, dissolving this organization is like having to
put down your favorite dog because you had to. Many have put their
hearts and souls into this organization and the places we helped to open
and maintain. We did not want to do this, but it had to happen to
protect everyone involved from irresponsible people.
At one time NOHVA was involved with
seven riding areas.
* The TBQ Sport Club was formed in 1987 by Dan Nitzel and Gary Gibbs in
Grand Island with about 30 members.
* In 1988 we started with managing and holding races at a motocross race
track, the TBQ Raceway north of Gibbon Nebraska. The track closed in
* In 1990 we organized riders at Headworks to save the riding area from
closure. We helped Loup Power and the Nance County Sheriff’s Department
manage the riding area from 1990 to 2016.
* Also in 1990 we began meeting with the U.S. Forest Service near Halsey
to plan for and eventually fund, build and help maintain the Dismal
River Trail and other trails.
* In 1994 NOHVA organized the River Valley Trail Riders as a chapter
that worked to find a place to ride near Omaha that eventually turned
into the River Valley OHV Park in Council Bluffs in Iowa.
* In the 2001 we helped organize riders into a chapter to create the
moto-cross track south of Sutherland called the Flat Rock Riders track.
The chapter was removed from NOHVA in January of 2015 due to lack of
communication from the chapter and member ship numbers below the agreed
* In 2005 we created the Alliance Motocross Association chapter in
Alliance Nebraska to help keep their track open by sharing insurance
with them. The chapter was removed from NOHVA in 2015.
* In 2006 while meeting with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at the
Harlan County Reservoir near Republican City, I suggested that the
owners of the land the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers develop an open area
into an ATV trail that is now the Cedar Run ATV trail system. A new
chapter was formed to help with the riding area in 2007 and was merged
with the Halsey Trails club in 2015.
For the trail system at the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, the
local management with the U.S. Forest Service does a great job of
keeping trails open, managing riders, keeping alcohol use in check and
coordinating maintenance. They have staff on site that is there with
riders to answer questions, monitor trails, control night riding and
enforce the rules. The Halsey Trails Club has helped with trails at
Halsey in the past. I feel confident about the future of this riding
area provided the recreational capacity of the facility is not
For the Headworks OHV Park near Genoa, the situation is different. I am
very concerned about the future of the riding area. Parking is over
crowed. Headworks Park is unsupervised and there are no funds to pay for
someone to be there all the time. Alcohol use is high and only
occasionally monitored or controlled. Injury rates and rescue calls are
increasing. Even though the riding area is closed at 11 PM, most people
don’t follow the curfew rule and ride late into the evening or all night
- which is causing a big problem. The trails and parking area can have a
lot of trash at times. Enforcing the rules and answering emergency calls
for the riding area is placing a big strain on limited resources of the
Nance County Sheriff’s Department. The local Genoa Rescue Squad, who are
all volunteers, are over worked with covering local rescue calls and
frequent rescue calls to the riding area. This is especially a problem
late at night after 11 PM and they are called to respond to rescue calls
at the riding area often times at 2 or 3 in the morning.
While the law suits are the main factor
forcing NOHVA to disband, rider support for what we do at Headworks was
falling. The majority of those who ride at Headworks chose not to
support NOHVA with a membership. Since 1990 we have asked people to
support us with a voluntary membership to help pay the bills and to
obtain hold harmless release signatures for liability protection. This
worked for the 1990s before Internet use was wide spread. However when
social media and web sites like RiderPlanet.com and Trailsource.com
started to publicize the park, more and more people found the park,
fewer people followed the rules and fewer riders supported NOHVA’s
efforts to help with the riding area.
Since we became involved at the Headworks OHV Park in 1990, we organized
riders to prevent the riding area from permanently closing two times. Up
to the year 2010 we built a strong membership and most riders supported
us with a membership. We built an effective communication network. We
organized volunteers to help with what need to be done. Most
importantly, NOHVA provided the land owners, the Loup Public Power
District and the Nance County Sheriff’s Department with a dedicated
group of concerned enthusiasts that they could call upon to help for
funding and support.
My intent when I offered NOHVA’s help with the riding area 26 years ago
was to make operating the Headworks OHV Park easier for all those
involved and try to make it easier to keep the riding area open. We
helped ease the load of dealing with injuries by making donations to the
Genoa Rescue Squad and tried to implement a late night curfew to reduce
middle of the night rescue calls. But with the falling memberships, this
became more and more difficult.
Everything that NOHVA has been involved with over the 28 years will stop
September 1, 2016. The only business we will be conducting is what it
takes to wind up the organization. A closeout committee consisting of
myself, Tim Zabka, John Brooke, Gary Gibbs and Randy Leiser has been
formed to oversee the final closure of the corporation. Any claims or
bills due need to made in writing to the address on our letter head no
later than November 1, 2016.
There will no longer be any NOHVA jamborees. Our web site and Facebook
page will close soon and emails will cease sometime this year. It will
take some time to sell our property and we plan to have everything
liquidated by the end of 2016. We stopped taking memberships in April
and people who renewed or joined after the fall jamboree last year will
receive a full refund soon. Even though our by-laws and the release
that members sign upon joining state that memberships fees are not
refundable, AND DEPENDING UPON THE AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE FUNDS. All
unprocessed membership applications and donations, and applications and
donations received after January 1, 2016 will be refunded. We hope to be
able to refund membership payments to people who joined after the 2015
fall jamboree. For those that joined for more than one year during the
last jamboree and before the last jamboree, we hope to give them a
partial refund as funds will allow.
Any funds and assets left over after
paying the final bills and membership refunds will be donated to a new
separate Headworks, Halsey and Eastern Platte Valley Riders support
groups, if any are formed. If no groups are formed, then the treasuries
of each of our three remaining chapters will be directly donated to land
managers who manage off road vehicle (ATV, UTV and dirtbike) trails in
Nebraska or an OHV trails group near Nebraska.
The Halsey Trails Club (Chuck McCarty president) and the Eastern Platte
Valley Riders OHV Club (Omaha area, Mike Carrick, president) will have
to hold meetings and determine if they desire to stay intact as stand
alone Clubs and retain their treasuries.
The future for off road trails in Nebraska is not good without some kind
of support group like NOHVA. Nebraska needs new laws that help protect
groups who work for the public good like NOHVA from frivolous lawsuits.
Many other states (not including Nebraska) have a state government that
offers registration programs and support. Over the last 28 years NOHVA
members have tried to get a state registration program to fund trails
and manage trail like Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Wyoming and many other
states. I am concerned that any kind of Nebraska registration program
would be perceived as another government intrusion in people’s lives and
would be very difficult to pass. A state agency could use all of the
registration funds for other uses and little if any would trickle to
benefit the riders.
We all hope that new clubs and groups can be formed to replace the void
that is left by NOHVA. New groups are needed to help ensure that the
places we now ride will stay open.
Lastly, I would like to THANK all of our 25,000 (past & current) member
riders for their support of the TBQ Sport Club and NOHVA over the last
28 years. Also I would say that it has been GREAT to work with the
following land managers over the years and providing places for people
to ride in our state:
Loup Public Power District (Headworks OHV Park)
The Nance County Sheriff’s Department
The Genoa Rescue Squad
The U.S. Forest Service Nebraska National Forest (Halsey)
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Harlan County Reservoir)
NOHVA was indeed a very successful organization, all because the land
managers we had the pleasure to work with, our fantastic volunteers and
our fine supporting members. THANK YOU AGAIN!
Co-founder and Former President