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By: Matt Atnip, Executive Director
11/05/15 02:10:43 PM

Looking at financial results can answer and raise many questions. The charts linked here - CHARTS - are taken from the 2014 Statement of Activities report which in the “for profit” world may be called a Profit and Loss Statement. The purpose is to show the total revenues and expenses of the organization. The figures are on a cash basis so they do not include money spent that may be reimbursed in the following period (accounts receivable) or explain that revenue received is balanced against an expense from a prior period (spent the money last year, got reimbursed this year). The charts further break down the streams by source on the revenue side and by use on the expense side.

But that is not the entire picture! Revenue streams come in 3 different varieties – unrestricted, temporarily restricted and permanently restricted. We’ll cover these in more depth in the next article but the short story is that we cannot spend every dollar of revenue as we please. As you may guess, unrestricted funds are the hardest to come by. Expenses also fall into categories - Programs, Fundraising and Administration. You might imagine that the largest expense on the chart, Staff, is allocated to basic overhead admin tasks, fundraising, and a large portion goes directly to programs (planning events, managing sign-ups and registration, designing trail, outreach, managing volunteer efforts and paid crews, etc.). More detail on that in an upcoming article.

What you will see immediately, the OTA spent $29,000 more than it took in for 2014. Over the past four years, we have been operating at a deficit. As a trail building machine, the OTA has produced great results. We have built miles of trail, expanded our reach into trail communities, increased maintenance efforts tremendously through re-routing derelict trail segments, increasing Adopt-a-Trail participation and dedicating many more volunteer outings to maintenance. As a business, we are challenged to pull in sufficient unrestricted funds to support the current level of operations. This is a struggle for all not for profits.

This is why the OTA Board has initiated a fund raising effort to raise $30,000 by year end. We do need your help in the field investing your sweat equity and we need your help financially to support the business of the OTA. The revenue chart shows that in 2014 we brought in almost twice the revenue selling OTA gear and trail maps (11%) than from memberships (6%). Your local PBS station is not kidding when they talk about how important memberships are to a not for profit organization!  Had Membership been at 20% of revenue, the deficit would have been covered.

We’ll dive deeper into revenue in the next article. But if you like what the OTA has been able to accomplish, please help us keep the momentum going by donating at this link - DONATE - or become a MEMBER – or send a check by mail – Ozark Trail Association, 406 West High St., Potosi, MO  63664

By: Kathy Atnip
11/06/15 04:05:53 PM

Deer Firearms Hunting Season opens 11/14/15. Please take precautions on the trail!

  • Be aware of the starting and ending dates of hunting seasons and about the regulations in the area where you plan to be on the trail.
  • Be seen by wearing safety orange clothing and use reflective panels for additional visibility early and late in the day.
  • Talk to local hiking/cycling/equestrian and hunting organizations about areas to avoid during hunting season.
  • If you hear hunters or shots fired nearby, shout to let them know you're on the trail.

Deer season may be a good time to visit a State Park such as Johnson’s Shut-ins or Taum Sauk Mountain, where hunting is not allowed.

For information on Missouri's hunting seasons, see

Safety tips from the American Hiking Society.

By: Matt Atnip, Executive Director
10/16/15 12:16:49 PM

We received word today that our 2015 RTP grant has been awarded! This is a Federal grant funded through the Federal Highway Admin. The grant will fund Phase 4 of the Berryman Trail rehab project we started working on back in 2010. This grant will cover many direct costs for two additional miles of re-routes on the east Berryman. When completed, the OTA will have rebuilt almost 10 miles of the original 25 mile loop. Our friends at GORC have pledged 275 volunteer hours to assist us with this project - Thanks!! Look for outings to be posted soon to prepare the corridor for construction!

The grant will also supply funds to support volunteer based mowing including 4 new trimmers and consumables to operate them.

By: Kathy Atnip
10/12/15 07:30:57 AM

Ninety-nine riders competed in the second annual point-to-point cross-country endurance bicycle trail race sponsored by the Ozark Trail Association (OTA). Taking place on the Ozark Trail in south-central Missouri, the strenuous course spanned 29 hours and netted top finishers in three categories.

Men’s OT100 Open winner Micah Gordon from Kansas City MO defeated the field of 59 riders in a scorching 9 hours, 48 minutes, 22 seconds, shattering the previous course record by nearly 38 minutes. The 100 Single Speed Open winner was Hunter Henry, St. Louis, who rode at 11 hours, 14 minutes, 4 seconds. Women’s Open winner, Maria Esswein of St. Louis, finished the OT100 in 23 hours, 18 minutes, 51 seconds.

New this year, race organizers offered a 50-mile OT MTB option and 40 riders rode this course with winners in three categories. Christian Hon of Wildwood MO, Men’s 50 Open winner finished in 5 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds. Dan Furhmann, Rolla, was the 50-mile Single Speed Open winner and completed in 5 hours, 34 minutes, 3 seconds. Women’s 100 Open winner, Laura Scherff of St. Charles MO completed her race in 5 hours, 57 minutes, 5 seconds.

Both OT MTB races covered a rigorous single track backcountry route on the trail with the 100-mile course starting line in Reynolds County, near Bunker. Four checkpoints with refreshments were placed on course at roughly 25-mile intervals with additional water stations. The OT50 route kicked off at U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Council Bluff Recreation Area in Crawford County. 50-mile riders had a checkpoint at the USFS Berryman Campground at mile 31 and additional water stops. Both races finished at Bass’ River Resort, near Steelville and both routes included uphill climbs, multiple switchbacks, rocky terrain with several creek crossings and in the case of the OT100 MTB, a substantial distance to race in darkness.

First place OT100 winner Micah Gordon is an accomplished cyclocross rider who competes in 40-50 road and mountain bike races and cyclocrosses each year. He described the mental aspect of racing: “I just see myself winning. It’s physical, but mentally pushing yourself the whole time is the hardest part…mentally, just tell your body what to do.” As for overcoming pain and exhaustion: “You can keep that down by pacing…I just go back to the basics.”

100-mile finisher Peter Rajcani has ridden in over 30 off-road races. He said, “The OT100 definitely has more singletrack than any other 100-mile race that I’ve participated in. The other unique aspect of this race is that it is point to point. The Ozark Trail 100 stands out as a unique race.”