Desert Roads and Trails Society
Organized in 2014, Desert Roads and Trails Society (Desert RATS or DRATS) is a non-profit (501(c)(3), volunteer organization committed to the enjoyment of off-road recreation opportunities and experiences for all ages and levels of physical abilities. They actively promote the wise use, conservation, and prudent stewardship of our public lands.
This mission is accomplished through cooperative endeavors with Federal, State, and local agencies as well as other related Clubs and Organizations such as the Utah Public Lands Alliance (UPLA) to fundraise, educate, advocate, and implement projects that serve to enhance their goals.
DRATS and UPLA were founded concurrently in March 2014. The missions of the two organizations were intended to be complimentary. DRATS would focus on raising funds from hosting and managing the annual Winter 4X4 Jamboree while UPLA would use the bulk of these funds to protect Sand Mountain and other trail networks in Utah from being shut down for motorized and non-motorized sports.
A Brief History
On January 23-24, 2015, DRATS hosted the first annual Winter 4x4 Jamboree. The objectives of the Jamboree are to promote recreation on Sand Mountain in Hurricane, Utah, and to raise funds to promote and support public land use and protection throughout Utah and northern Arizona (Arizona Strip). At the first Jamboree, 284 vehicles registered for the event. A barbeque supper was enjoyed by 550 attendees. About two dozen trails were offered, which has expanded to over thirty trails. In 2022, 970 participants registered and $77,000 was distributed to the organizations that DRATS supports.
DRATS donates 60% of Jamboree net profit to UPLA. UPLA has been instrumental in organizing and conducting efforts to preserve our regional treasure, Sand Mountain, and other threatened public lands throughout the State.
At the discretion of the DRATS Board of Directors, the remaining proceeds are donated to Utah 4WD Association, (U4WDA) Washington County Search and Rescue, Blue Ribbon Coalition, Tread Lightly and any other related organizations as determined by the DRATS Officers and Directors.
Working With Others
DRATS is committed to participate with other cooperating organizations such as the US Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Utah Department of Natural Resources, U4WDA and other off-road organizations and businesses to develop and maintain trails, signage, toilets, and other related development on Sand Mountain.
DRATS conducts and/or participates in litter cleanup projects throughout the year. This is accomplished through collaboration with public land managers; (Utah and Arizona BLM, USFS and SITLA), Washington County (Give Your Land A Hand), Department of Transportation (UDOT), other off-roading groups, sporting, and conservation groups.
As a mechanism to help fellow off-roaders get to know each other and to support our local Jeep dealer, DRATS participates with Stephen Wade Jeep to organize and promote at least two Meet and Greet events annually at their facilities. Stephan Wade Chrysler Jeep is also the Presenter of the 2023 Winter 4x4 Jamboree.
- Jeff Bieber - President
- Dale Bauer - Vice President
- Bob Poulson - Treasurer
- Chelsey Gregory - Secretary
- Michael Groeger
- Jay Malinowski
- Kent McKee
- Tim Nelson
- Bud Sanders
- Jim Ward
Joint Projects with Utah Public Lands Alliance (UPLA) using Jamboree funds
- Successfully fought proposed housing development on Sand Mountain
- Composting Toilet on Sand Mountain
- Trailhead signs on most Sand Mountain Trails
- Obstacle signs on major obstacles
- Intersection signs on Sand Mountain
- Signpost at the Top of the World
- Second composting toilet to be completed by 2023
- Annual cleanups in cooperation with the BLM