As the sport or recreation of 4 wheeling caught on, friends and those that didn’t want to go out by themselves formed many clubs around the country. Sharing an experience is a lot more fun!
After bumping into other 4 wheeling enthusiasts on the various trails, it became evident to these new recreationists that there were lots of areas to go to, but…where were they? So, loose associations of these clubs formed with each other as a way to exchange information.
The 1970’s brought an awareness of Nature and the intricate intertwining of the environmental world. The tree huggers advocated strict and immediate legislation to protect the Natural World. There were those among them who understood how to organize, and get contributions from grandmas and grandpas, corporations, recreational hunting and fishing organizations, and even school children. As the millions of dollars flowed in, the environmental organizations influenced and lobbied to close down motorized trails and supported wilderness legislation. Trail riding was threatened as a form of recreation.
Some 4 wheelers formed a national organization called National 4 Wheel Drive Association and after a promising start, the organization folded within a few short years.
Out of the ashes of the National 4 Wheel Drive Association was born the United Four Wheel Drive Associations. The dictionary definition of being ‘united’ is a confederation of persons or parties for mutual interest. United was started by two of the old National board members who continued to believe there was a need for a national organization of mutual interests and the incorporation was done in Indiana. Through members of the Montana Association and Pacific Northwest Association, a bond was formed with a Canadian association and United became international.
United’s purpose is defined in the bylaws as: “United shall be a non-profit association organized primarily to assist and represent member associations in issues as they relate to the use of motorized vehicles on public and private lands. No financial obligation is intended by this declaration.”
The purpose is achieved through stated objectives in the bylaws. These include working with member clubs and associations on land access planning and activities affecting motorized recreation; promoting, developing, and coordinating educational programs pertaining to safe and responsible 4 wheeling, and informing members of pending and/or proposed legislation or other activity affecting motorized recreation. United strives to assist government agencies to formulate policies concerning trail use, and improve recreation, friendship, and unity of the member groups through closer communication and organized activities.
United is a delegate-driven organization where the delegates give the Board of Directors information and direction for the Board to implement for continued growth of the organization; always working within the guidelines of the Bylaws and Standard Operating Procedures. The Board is tasked with putting the information and direction into action.
Delegates are elected by the associations they represent. The Delegates in turn elect the Board of Directors who serve for two year terms.