Occasionally we get asked the question, save the Maah Daah Hey from what? EXTINCTION is our honest answer! Just ask anyone who visited the trail between 2010 and 2015, especially after the spring and early summer rains. The trail was underused, overgrown, washed out, un-enjoyable, and in some places un-usable or even un-findable due to overgrown vegetation and erosion.
The first year we wanted to host the MDH100 the trail was so overgrown that we had to cancel our plans of a point to point event and do a small out and back ride on the more traveled section of trail near Medora. Since nobody seemed to be doing anything to change the terrible trail conditions we started brainstorming what we could do. The very name of the trail itself, Maah Daah Hey, means; something that will be around for a long time, but we were watching miles and miles of the trail disappear. We came to the conclusion that the best way to keep the trail alive was to host the MDH100 MTB race, but in order to do so we would have to put in the hard work of getting the trail in race shape.
Technically it is the USFS’s job to take care of the trail. Due to a “perfect storm” of events, including multiple years of unusually high precipitation, the rise of the oil boom in western ND, and no USFS trail crews, the MDH was in the worst shape ever and there was nobody working on it. We put out an S.O.S. and a brave handful of mountain bikers answered the call to save the trail. We didn’t know it yet, but that summer the #SAVEtheMDH movement was born. From 2012 to 2015 these diehard souls have put in over 2,400 volunteer man-hours improving the condition of the MDH for the benefit of all trail users. Using nothing but hand tools, weed whackers, and brush mowers these volunteers have transformed the MDH back into a findable and enjoyable world-class single track trail.
Due to the vegetation of the Little Missouri National Grasslands and the erosive nature of the badlands soil, the MDH will forever need annual maintenance. We want to continue our efforts to improve the condition of the trail. This is where YOU come into the story. Our volunteers are unpaid but we try to at least feed them a little while they work, weed whackers and brush mowers need fuel and so do the vehicles that get us all to the trailheads. Each year we have used nearly all of the funds from the MDH100 event in our efforts to keep the trail in race condition for our participants. The better the condition the trail is for the race, the better it is for everyone. So why should we be the ones paying for the maintenance of the trail? We shouldn’t, but we do it anyways. Because we believe it is the best single track trail in the world and IT IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!
We understand that not everyone can make the sacrifice to come and be a part of the actual trail work, and that is ok. We wanted to create a fun way for more people to be a part of our efforts to save the trail, so we came up with these #SAVEtheMDH clothing articles to help raise awareness of our efforts and fund our costs. 1000% of the proceeds from the sales of these products go directly to our trail work costs. Tyler Huber made the sweet design for the #SAVEtheMDH logo, inspired by a MDH post on one of his long strenuous and treacherous adventure on the trail when it was terribly overgrown and washed out. Please know that when you buy one or more of these articles of clothing you are supporting a movement to keep the Maah Daah Hey alive for us, and future generations to experience and enjoy.
Visit our store and join our efforts to #SAVETHEMDH!
– Nick Ybarra, LAND Founder