Carman Klaber Jr
The Kansas All-Terrain Vehicle Association (KATVA) began March 1987 with seven individuals concerned about ATV Safety and the Bad Rap that the three-wheelers were getting from the press. They couldn't have ever imagined that the KATVA would grow into a active Club with over 250 enthusiastic members and still be going strong many years later.
Kansas had no State operated ORV (OFF Road Vehicle) areas, but the Corps of Engineers had four ATV/Motorcycle riding areas and one ORV area in Kansas . With limited public riding area the KATVA set out to do something about it. IN the spring of 1988 the KATVA began working with the project manager at Lake Perry to expand the ATV/Motorcycle riding area. The small 18 acres at Lake Perry was increased to almost 200 acres. KATVA members eager for new areas to ride put in many hours building fences, posting signs, painting toilets, improving creek crossings, and clearing trails. Lake Perry is now one of the most ridden public areas in Kansas.
In December 1988, board member Roger Harmon discovered and area at Pomona Lake, another core of engineers project, designated for motorcycle riding, but it had never opened. Roger put in many years of hard work to open up the area. The first attempt was to make Pomona a "public" ride area with KATVA providing the labor and materials but the Corps said no due to liability issues . After many letters to the Corps and elected officials plus considerable negotiations , the Corps then proposed that the KATVA provide insurance and lease the property . In June ,1990 the KATVA signed a five year lease on fifty-seven acres for a private club riding area . This was the first in Kansas .
As in the lake Perry Riding Area , KATVA members sprang into action once again . Gates ,fences were built and trees were cleared for camping and ATV trails . this area was small but offered a play ground for kids ,benches around a fire pit , hard surface areas for tow vehicle parking , camp sites with electricity and a rest rooms . This area was designed with the family in mind . A few years later the KATVA successfully acquired some grant money from the National Trails Act to purchase additional acreage surrounding the original riding area bumped up the total to approximately 105 acres . Another first for a ATV based club .
The KATVA has always made riding safety the number one priority of the club .Nonmembers are often surprised to see a large group (KATVA) riding with safety gear (helmets, over the ankle boots ,long pants and shirts ,and goggles etc). This required use of the safety gear has resulted in many years and many members being injury free. In the beginning the KATVA adopted two slogans; "Protecting our right to ride" and " Family fun with safety number one ". The KATVA will continue to live up to those slogans by helping keep open riding areas and a "Safe" family oriented non profit club .