Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Green Wheeling

GREEN WHEELING

By Del Albright, BlueRibbon Ambassador

(Re-posted from BlueRibbon Coalition Magazine, Issue #4, 2016)

I don’t want you to frown at the title of this article and think that I am going to suggest you recycle your toilet paper or any other extremist radical-enviro malarkey, because that’s not the case.  What I do suggest is that we all love four-wheeling and going the places we go, seeing the things we see.  But we don’t enjoy seeing a pile of trash left behind or some idiot getting off trail and tearing up the countryside.  “Green” wheeling is actually an acronym as well as a concept that help solve these problems. 

Admittedly, I have some “green” concepts that make full sense to me and what I leave behind for younger folks, such as 1) conserving and using our resources wisely; 2) keeping our outdoors clean; 3) cutting back on waste a bit; 4) using common sense to reduce air and water pollution; 5) making America more energy self-sufficient; and 6) curtailing illegal and outlaw behavior on public lands and water ways.

So when it comes to four-wheeling, here’s my suggestion for “GREEN.”
G = Get serious about land use.
R = Read the riot act to outlaws.  (or Read from the Good Book?)
E = Educate yourself and others.
E = Eradicate trail trash.Whee
 = Never be the drip.

Getting serious about land use means three things: JOIN, DONATE and VOLUNTEER. Join everything you can afford to join, including national, regional, state and local clubs/associations that make sense to what you believe in.  Donate (beyond membership) at tax return time or when you have some extra cash.  And volunteer your time and energy at least a few times a year to those causes/groups doing what you know makes a difference.

Read the riot act to outlaws means not letting someone tear up your recreational opportunities and trails. Ask them to stop; show them the error of their ways; or just report them (with pictures) to the nearest law enforcement authority.  If there is a trail patrol or trail watch program, be a part of that.  STOP the outlaws, AND the ill-informed from ruining our future.



Educate yourself and others on good trail behavior such as the BlueRibbon Coalition Recreation Code of Ethics and Tread Lightly principles.  Carry handouts and freely offer ideas to others on how we can keep our trails open by “doing it right.”

Eradicate trail trash is just that – carry a trash bag and pack out more than you brought in.  Set the example for others and stop and pick up that can alongside the trail when so many others may have driven by it. Proudly display your trash bag and fill it up as often as you can!  Clean up messy left-behind camp fire rings, even those you did not create.

Never be the drip and set the example for having a rig that does not leave a fluid trail or sit and drip in camp. Maintain and fix your 4x4 so it doesn’t pollute the trail.  Fix your muffler; tighten up hoses; replace seals; and stop any fluid leaks on the trail.


If we all practice this idea of Green Wheeling, our trails will be in better shape than ever, our image will improve immensely with those who watch us (or even don’t like us), and our future will be brighter.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Moab Easter Safari Underway

EASTER SAFARI MOAB, UT
It's About Freedom

By Del Albright

The 50th Annual Moab Easter Safari is underway this week and wow, is town hopping.  No matter what you wheel or drive, Moab and the surrounding incredible scenery represents a lot of what our motorized sport is about.

While the town itself and some of the businesses may be confused about who brings the money to this small town, four-wheelers are not!  We explode the local economy and bring more focus than any other activity to this Utah community.

And it's about freedom.  Taking a drive around the red rock country, or challenging your rig in some big rocks, Moab area has it all. And the freedom to do this adventuring is what we love.  Unfortunately that freedom is always under attack by, as Stacie my wife says, exclusionary elitists who would rather not have rubber tires anywhere on the red rocks.  I say let's tell them to pound sand!

There are several groups fighting to keep Moab motorized trails alive and well for us all.  BUT it takes all of us doing our part -- whatever your part is in this tangled web of politics, meetings, letters and fight back efforts, you MUST be doing your part if you love Moab for four-wheeling.

I recommend you realize that all fights for trails begin at the top -- Washington DC and national politicians.  So being a part of national groups like BlueRibbon Coalition and United Four Wheel Drive Associations is essential to saving our sport -- from the top down.  Then also join regional, state and local groups that make sense to you and that you see fighting for your freedoms.  WE MUST BELONG and be counted to make a difference.

JOIN and get your name on those rosters of enthusiasts who are really doing something and not just being virtual where your name (and voice) never really shows up.  Take another step and BUY only from businesses in our sport who are doing the same and are on the land use team.

It's about freedom; Easter Safari in Moab represents that freedom.  Go have fun; but BE part of the solution.
Del
BlueRibbon Coalition Ambassador, http://www.sharetrails.org

Monday, February 15, 2016

TDS Desert Safari News 2016

TDS New Location; New Fun; Huge Raffle; and New Obstacle Course


This year TDS Desert Safari is located down the road 8 miles east of the old location at the Training Area. CA State Parks are not issuing permits this year so don't blame the club for the move. 2016 Safari HQ is at Johnson's Landing,  a private RV park facility.


There is limited dry camping north of the HQ. Camping and normal recreation (that doesn’t require a permit) is still available on the State Park lands. TDS club folks are building an obstacle course at the new HQ, complete with a mud pit. And, as a bonus this year Johnson’s Landing will have a BEER GARDEN for your enjoyment. 



Let’s not forget the Fireworks Show! The club promises it will be LOUD and in-your-face fun this year. Finally, our famous Raffle is now up to $150,000.

One more note: as you get close to camp, dial your radio to FM 99.9 to hear the club broadcasting directions/information about the new HQ.




And with so many new folks coming to TDS Desert Safari these days, the club has established some “rules” around HQ/camp to ensure we all have a great time.

See Headquarters/camp rules here: http://www.delalbright.com/tds_rules2.pdf

For more on TDS and the Desert Safari, visit: http://www.tds4x4.com


On behalf of the club,

Del

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Up-Purpose Your Volunteerism

Purposeful Volunteerism: Pushing Beyond Holding Our Ground

Only by escalating to more offensive strategies will we win the battles for access.

 By Del Albright, Ambassador Sharetrails.Org/BRC

Do not just volunteer; but rather up-purpose your volunteerism! In today’s world when we are all torn in many directions by multiple jobs, kid’s school games, community involvement, paying bills, family commitments and more, we must stop wasting our precious volunteer time.  Too many of us have become trapped into the status quo of losing ground in the long run.  Herein I will explain purposeful volunteerism and how we need to push beyond just holding our ground when it comes to access to responsible motorized recreation.

First of all, we must embrace the concept “think globally; act locally.”  If you want to up-purpose your volunteer time, I suggest you always consider the big picture before you invest your time.  Ask yourself, “in the big scheme of things, will this project I’m about to undertake make a difference worth my time invested?”  If it will, then do it.  If it won’t, then don’t do it  – find something better to do with your volunteer time.  But it must start with a serious and purposeful consideration of the global picture – the overall future of motorized recreation in America.




Working Association Events:  Yes, I believe that working (volunteering) at state association or club events does make a difference in the long run to the big picture.  When the event is geared towards raising funds to help the association/club accomplish its mission, you are helping the global cause by being involved.   The extent of your involvement is not as important as the purpose of your commitment.  If all you can do is run the sign-in table at convention, which frees up other people to do more complicated jobs, then smile proud and do your job!  You are helping the global cause.

Curing Toenail Fungus:  No, I don’t think investing my discretionary off road time and money into curing fungus among us is the right way to be a purposeful volunteer for motorized recreation.  Even if you do cure the fungus, you’ll be lucky to get a 1/16 page blurb in the newspaper and a fleeting thank you in some newsletter/website that people might remember for a week.  You will not be curing our loss of lands and access with this supposed image-enhancing effort.  The trick here is to invest your time in events and causes that MOSTLY support off-road recreation and also to a smaller extent support a feel-good cause.  There are exceptions to every "rule" and please don't be offended if you are supporting or working one of those events dedicated to a particular cause that really makes sense to you.



Being a Club or Organization Leader:  Yes, for sure I believe that taking on a leadership role in a club or association is a key factor in being purposeful in your volunteer efforts.  The entire motorized world does not have enough people with the time to invest in being a leader.  So if that is you, jump all over it and do it with gusto – but also do it with the global picture always forefront in your mind.  Ask yourself, for example, if being part of an ego squabble is the right way to protect our access future? Play your own “devil’s advocate” and challenge the actions you are taking or about to take.  Will your next step really help the big picture – are you being purposeful in your volunteerism?  As a leader, this is a key component to inspiring others to do the same.  When you can influence the actions, beliefs and productivity of several other volunteers, then you have become an unstoppable force in the future of motorized access.



Taking it to Court:  Only by escalating to more offensive strategies will we win the battles for access.  This means we need a war chest that will allow us to take it to court when needed –to go legal and go strong!  Those who oppose our way of life have the funds and legal teams to file lawsuits at the drop of a hat. They tie up land management agencies in fearful legal engagements and threats that tie up our access in the meantime and many times in the long run.  We must get ahead of this curve and be preemptive where needed. Donating to legal efforts like those of the BlueRibbon Coalition is the primary thing we can all do to take it to the next level – or at least be willing, prepared and able to go on the offensive.

Joining and Donating:  There is nothing more fundamental to up-purposing your involvement than joining, renewing or donating to everything you can afford that helps protect recreational motorized access.  If you do nothing else, an on-going donation program or an annual contribution on top of your renewing memberships is globally significant!  We must unite our voices and build our access forces, as well as our war chests if we are to win these battles.

JOIN  --  VOLUNTEER --  DONATE --  SUPPORT

Summary:  Continually ask yourself if you are making progress to the global picture, or just staying trapped in the status quo of losing ground.  Remember to be purposeful in your volunteer efforts by investing your time where the payback is worth it to the big picture of keeping our access to responsible motorized recreation.  And let’s go beyond just holding our ground! 

More on ShareTrails.Org/BRC legal program:  http://www.sharetrails.org


More on volunteer/leader training: http://www.rltc.biz
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Del

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

NATIONAL AND STATE-LEVEL COOPERATION AND COMMUNICATION -- NAMRC

 HOW MANY ORGANIZATIONS DO WE NEED?

WHAT IS NAMRC?

By Del Albright

Originally published 1998; re-published with additions January 2016


 I had my new TJ Jeep hung up and somewhat wounded in a “crack” in Moab not too long ago, about to get out the duct tape and bailing wire, when a couple dirt bikers came by.  They saw my delimma (mechanically disadvantaged that I can be at times) and stopped their bikes to watch the show.   I was grunting and moaning and shaking my head like a guy who must know what he’s doing.  They smiled, pulled off their helmets, and settled in for a long show.



Well, the gist of it is, they were not only mechanically knowledgeable, but also very helpful.  I gave up on the duct tape and got out the Hi-Lift jack.  Between the jack, a few tools I had, the trusty winch on the front of “C UN RD” (Seeing Red), and the three of us, we got the Jeep out in no time and back on the trail. 

As we stood around and celebrated our engineering feat, I told them how much I appreciated their stopping to help.  I don’t remember the guy’s name, but he did have an AMA (American Motorcycle Association) sticker on his bike.  But his comment to me has stuck with me (get it, stuck?) until this day.  He said: “Hey, pard, all trail users gotta stick together!”  Boy, ain’t that the truth?

Well, sticking together means more than just helping each other out on the trail.  We’ve got to band together politically as well in order to keep our trails open for all to use.  The importance of this cannot be over-stated.  All motorized users need to come to the realization that the only cure to resisting the current trend to close everything, is to band together in a unified multiple use voice.

When the radical enviro-protectionists say they want public land closed to motorized use, they aren’t just talking about four wheelers.  In fact, if it’s got a motor or a mechanized way of motating (like a mountain bike), they want it OFF of public lands.  Heck, this even applies to quiet forms of transportation like horses in some areas.  In other words, if you’re not doing it on foot, some folks would just as soon have you not do it!

So what’s the solution?  Well, in my opinion, it means dirt bikers, four wheelers, snowmobilers, ATVers, equestrians, and anyone else who wants public lands open to their recreation (and their children) MUST come together to the same table.



Yes, you’re saying, the Blue Ribbon Coalition is just such a group.  And BRC does one heck of a great job of being political activists on a national level.  They are one organization I think we should all belong too because they are activists for multiple use.  We also have many fine, and very effective national/regional/state organizations fighting similar battles.  But until now, no such group existed that brings us all together at the leadership level just to share information, set common strategies, identify common battles, and unify our efforts back within our parent organizations.  I say no such group; because this group I’m talking about has no dues, no structure, and no members. 



NAMRC, the North American Motorized Recreation Council is just such a group.  It is a coalition of national leaders who come together like Knights of the Round Table, to share, inform, exchange ideas, develop strategies to common problems and unify the efforts of all motorized recreation.  At first, NAMRC was four-wheel drive oriented, with leaders from all over the nation gathering at a common table.  It didn’t take but two meetings for the realization to set in that NAMRC needed to include all forms of motorized trail use.  That’s the key to the future.  All of is working together, getting the most out of our individual and group efforts.

Many folks have contributed to the initiation of this Council.  Leadership from the East Coast Four Wheel Drive Association suggested a similar 4wd council years ago.  I started the Land Use Network (LUN) as an email version of this very same idea back in 1994.  Leaders from national snowmobile groups have kicked around this idea in the last year.  So we’re all saying the same thing.  Let’s get together a few times a year and unify our efforts.  Rest assured, this group, NAMRC, steals no members from any organization.  It is merely a collection of leaders of already existing groups.  And the activist’s activities that we do STILL take place within our parent organizations. 

At the last meeting of NAMRC in Las Vegas on Nov. 4th, 1998, it was resolved to include leadership from all forms of motorized recreation on our council. As of now, we’re inviting many new groups, from all forms of motorized trail use, to join our group.  If your organization would like to participate in NAMRC (2 meetings a year), then contact me or any of our supporting participants.

Tom Crimmins and myself are the NAMRC facilitators for the meetings.  We make sure notes are taken and the group stays on track with the meeting.  It’s a very productive gathering.    I take a little personal pride in the fact that it was through the LUN (neutral, no dues, non member stealing group that it is) that I was able to get all the major four-wheel drive leaders to the first meeting in Vegas back in November 1997.  Back then we called it the Meeting of the Minds (MOM).    It took the help of a lot of folks networking on the phone and email to get us started, but once we hit the ground, we hit it running. 



NAMRC has now taken its place in the world of trail use coordination/cooperation.  Leaders from all sorts of groups will be involved and helping to build an Action Plan to take back to our parent organizations to fight to keep public lands available and open to the public.   Our parent organizations still have the option how much they want to be included; but the handwriting is on the wall.  We all want the same things.

Here is the adopted MISSION of NAMRC: an alliance of many organizations that accomplishes many purposes to include: facilitate communications; share information, expertise and resources to enhance unity; and help the organized motorized recreation community and other interested groups become more effective in their efforts to maintain, improve and expand opportunities and experiences in our many forms of recreation.

 The future is now.  Please offer the support of your organization/interest to ensure the success of NAMRC.  We can make a difference.   Can you imagine the strength of all motorized recreation groups banding together to unite our battles against those who oppose our form of recreation?  Stand by radical protectionists, there’s a new kid on the block with a big (and effective) mouth!!

Feel free to write or email if you have any questions or concerns.
Del Albright
NAMRC Facilitator, www.namrc.com


AFTER NOTE:
We later, as a group, established this foundation:

PURPOSE: The NAMRC group proclaimed the strengths and resources of NAMRC to be:
·         Sharing of Newsletters and information
·         Ability to collaborate and do fund-raising events
·         Developing equipment manufacturing relationships
·         Regional Networking
·         Volunteer force building
·         Web page sharing and development
·         Youth Program sharing, ideas and development
·         Core workshops for volunteers
·         Internet mailing lists
·         Ability to transfer and share knowledge and resources
·         Legislative and regulatory tracking
·         Building a cadre of youthful leadership
·         Ability to monitor CFR and Distribute Information
·         Able to tap into Dedicated Executive Boards
·         Special Event participation
·         Affiliations with Peterson media (at the time)
·         Training and other materials/resources from groups like                        NOHVCC and BlueRibbon Coalition
·         Sharing of experienced competitive infrastructure, safety and       sanctioning
·         Lobbying expertise and ideas.


 ##
Del
NAMRC Facilitator

Monday, January 4, 2016

SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT LAND USE BLOG POSTS

AVOID CHASING SHADOWS: FIND IMPORTANT BLOG POSTS HERE.


A Summary of Links to Significant Blog Posts


By Del Albright, BRC National Ambassador





FOUR E's: Four “E’s” of Protecting Access: http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2015/09/four-es-of-protecting-access.html

EGOS: Egos and Personalities Killing our Access: http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2015/12/they-are-killing-our-access.html

NAMRC: How to Form a State-Level Recreation Council like NAMRC: http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2015/12/forming-state-level-recreation-councils.html


LETTERS: How to Write Effective Letters to Politicians and Bureaucrats: http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-to-write-effective-letters-to.html

JULY FOURTH: uly 4 Independence Day: What does it mean?: http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2013/07/july-4-independence-day-meaning.html








SUCCEEDING: How to Succeed in Volunteerism (and land use): http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2014/11/how-to-succeed-in-volunteerism-and.html


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Del

Sunday, January 3, 2016

ASK BUSINESSES TO HELP US SAVE TRAILS IN 2016

OFF HIGHWAY, OFF-ROAD BUSINESSES NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU THE CUSTOMER

Saving Trails in 2016 Will Take us All Doing Our Part.

By Del Albright, National Ambassador, BRC

I ask for your help as we start 2016 to get a TON more off-road, off-highway businesses to join or renew in BlueRibbon Coalition. I just reviewed this list of member business and dang, I'm a bit disappointed.

Please take a look (by state) and if you don't see YOUR favorite business, shoot them a personal email, post on their FB page, do whatever it takes, but we WILL NOT save trails and keep our sports alive WITHOUT our businesses fully behind us. Period.  This job of keeping our backcountry motorized recreation sports alive and our trails open will take all of us doing our part.  BUSINESSES ARE KEY -- they may also be busy and not remember to join up or renew.  Let's help them help us.

LINK to current BRC business members (and clubs) 

https://www.sharetrails.org/about/member-organizations




While you're at it, you can also check your listing of businesses on your state association or other group you believe in. Find out WHO in our business world needs a reminder from YOU, the customer. Give them that nudge; and thank them when they do renew (or join).

I will be happy to help if you need my assistance.
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Del