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Young ATV, motorcycle riders need training

With the season for riding all-terrain vehicles right around the corner, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is reminding parents that they need to get their younger riders through a required online course and a hands-on training before they can ride their ATVs or off-road motorcycles on public land.

This marks the second year of the dual requirements for youth riders younger than 16, and it will be expanded next year in an effort to reduce wrecks and cut down on injuries among young riders.

Phase one of the safety program, which began in 2009, requires anyone younger than 16 who operates an ATV on public lands in Oregon to carry an ATV safety education card, demonstrating they have completed a free online safety awareness course, such as the one found at www.rideATVoregon.org.

Last year, a second phase of the safety requirements was added requiring young riders on public lands to complete a hands-on training course designed for the type of ATV or motorcycle they ride.

The cost and length of the course varies. Jackson County classes last two hours and begin April 13 at Lily Prairie near Jacksonville.

For more information or to register for a class, check the website at www.rideATVoregon.org/training.

Since the program began in 2009, more than 190,000 ATV riders have completed the online course and more than 4,500 kids have received the training endorsement, according to parks officials.

The safety requirements will expand in 2014, when all riders on public lands, regardless of age, will need to complete the safety course and carry an education card.

For questions or to have forms sent in the mail, call the ATV hotline at 1-877-772-3359.

Eagle Point fly-tyer Dave Roberts recently was named Fly Tyer of the Year by the Oregon Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Roberts, a member of the Rogue Flyfishers Association and Southern Oregon Fly Tyers, has conducted classes and tying sessions in Jackson County for several years.

Roberts was given the award during the council's banquet March 9 as part of the Northwest Fly Tyer and Fly Fishing Expo in Albany.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.