What is the SFWDA?
We’re the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting 4WD recreation, responsible land usage, conservation, and education. SFWDA is an association of 4WD clubs located in the southeastern United States (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee).
How long has the SFWDA existed?
SFWDA was formed in 1987 to unite four wheel drive enthusiasts and clubs under one regional organization.
Who is a Member?
SFWDA is made up of local “Member Clubs” of any number of vehicles and membership usually includes the entire family. There are “Associate Members” – businesses and other organizations who share the common interest in the promotion and sustaining of good 4 wheel drive practices. Also, there are “Individual Members” – those persons who wish to join 4 wheeling recreation without belonging to a club. Most members belong to the association by being a member of one or more of the Member Clubs.
What is the structure of the SFWDA?
TheSFWDA consists of the President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Director of Membership, Director of Legislative Affairs, Director of Conservation and Land Management, and Director of Public Relations who are elected by the SFWDA membership. In addition, there are additional volunteer posts such as the Trail Mix newsletter Editor and land use personnel. All officers and committee members are unpaid volunteers. The officers run the day-to-day activities of the association. The Member Clubs are the primary policy and decision making body of the association.
What about meetings and events?
Business meetings are held quarterly on a Saturday, usually in conjunction with trail rides. Meetings are hosted by a member club and the location is determined by the member club. All members and visitors are invited to business meetings and trail rides. Going to the quarterly meetings is a great way to make new acquaintenances and learn about new trails. Our Dixie Run is held in Murphy, NC with trail rides in the famous Upper Tellico ORV Area each year on the first weekend in October. This is our main fund raising and membership drive event of the year, with hundreds of attendees. Besides trail rides, we have manufacturer reps, dealer booths, games, dinner, contests, raffle, and trophies. A registration fee is required for this event and it is open to anyone with a capable 4WD vehicle. Our annual Summer Convention is held in conjunction with the 2nd Quarterly Meeting every June. The event is located in different areas each year depending on which Club is hosting it. There are Trail rides with games, dinner, door prizes and awards on Saturday night. A registration fee is required for this event and it is open only to members and their guests.
What has the association accomplished?
The association has gained recognition and respect of state and federal agencies. Lands have been kept open for vehicle use and favorable rules and decisions have been made regarding the administration of these areas. The association has actively opened new trails and deterred many unwanted and unjustified land closures.
What are the programs offered?
- Conservation – Projects are executed throughout the entire year at club and state levels. The purpose is to respect and protect our valuable resources. This is accomplished in part by a close cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The SFWDA and the associated clubs contribute thousands of man-hours each year on projects with the USFS through the Challenge Cost Share program. Through the Adopt-A-Trail program, clubs adopt one or more trails and help the Forest Service with maintenance throughout the year. Each of these projects encompass working with land use agencies regarding conservation in our states and helping in identifying unsafe roads which should be closed as well as informing those organizations of which roads we would like to remain open.
- 4WD Awareness Program – A strong emphasis is placed upon the provision of guidance to all 4 wheelers to help ensure safe and courteous driving and proper vehicle use off-highway. The SFWDA under the United Four Wheel Drive Associations has a 4WD Awareness education program which is held on a regular basis for novice drivers. The 4WD Awareness program intends to educate the 4×4 owner about general off-highway techniques and courtesies related to 4 wheeling and more specific skills related to driving skills, elementary vehicle mechanics, recovery techniques, and recommended equipment to carry on trips. This not only encompasses 4 wheel drive safety, but also emphasizes environmental concerns and the “Tread Lightly” philosophy. In addition, members of the SFWDA are sensitized to the environmental concerns of today, passing that knowledge onto others as we observe their off-highway habits.
- Fellowship – The promotion of friendly activity among people who share common interests of vehicle oriented family recreation is of prime importance to the SFWDA. Four wheeling is a sport that is enjoyed by all people of all ages and walks of life
Why should you become a member of SFWDA?
In unity there is strength. The SFWDA is dedicated to upholding the rights of the citizen in the continued use of public lands. Public Lands for Public Use — But there is a need for proper direction in the use of these lands. The SFWDA supports the principles of freedom and with your support of these principles you will add your voice to the millions of other enthusiasts who are striving for the same goal. To find out more about membership, click on the “Membership” button on the top left.