Monday, January 13, 2014

RATIONAL APATHY IN OUTDOOR RECREATION

Rational Apathy – The Slow Death of Outdoor Recreation

By Del & Stacie Albright

 America has become a society of media hype, slanted education and brain washing, starting with kids in daycare school learning to hug trees, tolerate excessively and not listen to their parents’ teaching.  At the same time, interests like outdoor recreation are being pushed aside for looming other priorities, some real, and some media-induced distractions purposely intended to keep us spinning in circles. We quickly lose sight of our passions and don’t even realize there is a slow death occurring.

One of our heroes, Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director recently wrote about “rational apathy” when it comes to the erosion of Second Amendment Rights (gun ownership issues).  In his January 2014 column he talked of how people can be concerned about only so many things at once, “so unless they perceive an immediate threat to their own interests, they ignore small infringements on their rights, allowing them to accumulate over time,” Mr. Cox said.  Certainly, this is a slow death for outdoor rights and access, particularly in our off-road world.

America is being distracted politically at nearly every turn.  When something life-changing or threatening occurs, it seems we have something more pressing and near-and-dear to our hearts to deal with – and I’ll leave it to you to fill in the political blanks.   We are at war, but all of a sudden our housing market collapses.  We lose people overseas and the economy looms over our very ability to earn a living.   Unemployment jumps off the charts, and all of a sudden a state enacts a law restricting detachable magazines in rifles. And the distractions continue on and on.

So yes, we get rationally apathetic.  Rational means we have reason, or understanding.  Apathetic means not having much emotion or interest. So when we combine these two terms, we see some Americans justifying – or rationalizing – not paying right now their membership dues in organizations, or not making donations right now to charities of concern, and in general being distracted by other issues that seem more pressing.  In the meantime, the slow death permeates every crease and corner – eventually destroying a part of our rights and access.


In reality life gets in the way and we are all distracted by one thing or another.  It’s been interesting to watch how there are plenty of scandals going on and the media is constantly using distraction tactics.  Remember Benghazi, Fast N Furious, and Extortion 17; and did Osama Bin Laden’s body really get a burial at sea?  Every one of these topics and issues has had their share of smoke and mirrors as well as media hype, while putting us in media overload.  So once again we go about our everyday lives of working, trying to sort out our priorities, and surviving by telling ourselves that somebody else will take care of it and that there is only so much we can do.

Meanwhile, the anti-access busy-bodies who are passionately dedicated to shaping the world in their own exclusionary elitist likeness continue to chip away at our rights and freedoms.  Much of the media and Hollywood types jump right in and “educate” us in the ways we “should” know – their way. We must moderate them and in some cases, we must stop them.  We must not drop our passion in the outdoor sports we love. In fact, may we suggest, “Pass On the Passion” – keep it alive.  Pass it on to kids; pass it on to elected officials; and pass it on to your favorite organizations fighting with you.

The key may be to focus on what your primary passions are. Maybe it’s gun rights and off-road;  maybe it’s land rights and access and the kids ball team; whatever it is, stay in the game and do something about saving your passions with a once-a- week commitment.  Or consider our “One for One Proposal” (http://www.delalbright.com/articles/one.htm) which suggests for every fun, outdoor day you enjoy, you write one letter, or make one phone call, or attend one meeting about landuse/politics.  Or make one donation to your favorite group like BlueRibbon Coalition or your state, sport-specific organization.

 Please do not let life’s distractions and myriad of priorities contribute to your losses and the slow death of outdoor recreation. If we pass on the passion and keep our rights and freedoms in the forefront of our lives, we can stop the slow death!  The cure is to not lose sight of your rights and freedoms!
##

Del & Stacie Albright, aka “Team Albright,” are authors and outdoors advocates, writing internationally on landuse, access, rights and freedom.  Learn more at www.delalbright.com.  Del is the Director of Operations for BlueRibbon Coalition (http://www.BlueRibbonCoalition.com).





Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NEW YEAR 2014 LANDUSE MESSAGE

Happy New Year Landuse Message

Landuse Happy New Year Message:

I cut my landuse teeth on OFF-ROAD INTERNET forums  – listening to what you have to say – going on 12 years. But now I have the ability to take what I’ve learned from you and apply it to reshaping our landuse battles nationwide. With the support of the BRC Board of Directors, I am the new Director of Operations for BRC, charged with bringing my "forum-sense" into the battles. 
But landuse is not a one-man or one-group job though; we need a team more than ever.



There are 1.5 million recorded subscribers (members) in just a dozen off-road forums (I added them up). We have a strong voice if we start shouting with it – louder and longer and more often! Sure there is overlap between forums; but still, there are a lot of us who are NOT members of organizations or clubs and there are about 200 forums out there that I didn't count. THAT is where our New Year will make a difference in our trail access when we ALL become strong supporters of those groups fighting for us.

If you truly want a Happy New Year, then realize that it starts simply with a click to join (or renew) your memberships. I hope you will start with your national umbrella group that I now direct – the BlueRibbon Coalition (http://www.BlueRibbonCoalition.com). Then add the groups and clubs that make sense to you from there.

Make this New Year the best ever….
Thanks,
Del

Sunday, December 15, 2013

US FOREST SERVICE RETIREES SPEAK OUT FOR ACTION!

USDA Forest Service Retirees Call National Forest Policies Unsustainable!

The National Association of Forest Service Retirees (NAFSR) have called the USDA Forest Service policies and procedures for forest health and wildland fire suppression unsustainable!  They have offered up a 10-point plan of actions to clarify and improve the current fire policy situation.  In abbreviated form, it calls for:
1.            More active management of forests and grasslands;
2.            Reduced fuel loading and more prescribed fire;
3.            Review and learning from past big fires like Yellowstone, 1988;
4.            Clarification of fire policies concerning when to implement aggressive initial attack;
5.            Fire leadership adequate training;
6.            “Hot” fire reviews and more accountability;
7.            Pursue adequate fire suppression funding;
8.            Ensure all USFS employees have a role in fire emergencies;
9.            Develop more leadership succession planning to replace experienced retirees;
10.          Streamline environmental planning and reduce legislative conflicts.

For years I have felt, personally and professionally that our public lands have become tied down in bureaucracy and unnecessary legislative silliness and environmental radicalism. I see this report from an esteemed membership as encouragement for a better future for our public lands -- if someone listens.



Del
Del Albright

Director of Operations, BlueRibbon Coalition www.sharetrails.org
Founding Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon www.rubiconfriends.com
Environmental Affairs, CA4WDC www.cal4wheel.com

Find Del on Facebook here

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

STATE LEVEL OFF-ROAD COOPERATION AND COLLABORATION PROCESS

State Level Coordination, Cooperation and Collaboration for Off-Road Recreation
By Del Albright, 11/26/13

How do off-road and backcountry recreation groups coordinate their efforts better at the State level? In states like California where there are probably two dozen or more “friends” type groups, two multiple use organizations, a couple hundred local clubs, and national representation from at least four associations, it would seem a daunting task.  But there are solutions.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of STEPS:
  1.  Develop common communications.
  2. Meet face to face.
  3. Conduct leadership calls frequently.
  4. Use Executive or Oversight Committees.
  5. Publish results and actions.

In fact, it is being done at the national level, and that same model can be followed at the state level.  The North American Motorized Recreation Council (NAMRC) has laid the framework for uniting efforts across the country.  More can be done; but the model is solid.   NAMRC is supplemented with National Leadership Calls on a regular basis, albeit not directly affiliated with NAMRC at this time. 

It begins with STEP 1: a common communications network (email, forum, Skype, Go To Meeting, etc.).  The critical part is getting everyone rounded up so they know there is a place to share ideas.  Make sure every possible group is invited.

STEP 2:  is to meet once or twice a year, or as often as needed, to tackle issues and meet each other face to face.    It is about the same process as starting a “coalition” as I write about here: http://www.delalbright.com/articles/coalitions.htm.   The actual process for CA was set in 2003 with this Multiple-Use Summit: http://www.delalbright.com/access/summit.htm

Continuing with the CA example, the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC) was established to work on Johnson Valley in an unified voice.  That can easily be expanded to all state level issues.  This was attempted in 1997 with the first state level multiple use group called the Resource Education Network (REN).  It was fueled by the Desert Protection Act and lasted several years before morphing into the Sierra Nevada Framework efforts.  More on REN here: http://www.delalbright.com/Access/ren.html

Bringing multiple-use groups together is part of the process needed for state-level unification.  One early example was set in 1997 with the Multiple-Use Shared Trail (MUST) Workshop that could be repeated, or blended into a Leadership Summit type meeting.

Then STEP 3:  is to supplement the face-to-face meetings with leadership calls much like a non-profit would have Board meetings by phone calls or Skype or Go To Meetings (examples).  Each call is facilitated and the agenda is announced beforehand.

For large states like CA, oversight or executive level committees can be established to make the working element a bit smaller and easier to work with, as long as they are working under the expectations of the entire group.

Finally, STEP 4: publish the results and actions so that every participant is informed and included, and the actions of the group are seen by others.

Some unwritten parts of the success of an effort like this include setting aside egos, minimizing club/turf boundaries, and finding ways to be positive and cooperative instead of self-protective.  It can be done.
Del


Del Albright

Interim Director of Operations, BlueRibbon Coalition www.sharetrails.org
Founding Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon www.rubiconfriends.com
Environmental Affairs, CA4WDC www.cal4wheel.com

Find Del on Facebook here
Find BRC on Facebook here.

Contact Del at brdel@sharetrails.org; or del@delalbright.com
Website: www.delalbright.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

TRAIL SNACKS, ENERGY BARS -- THE GOOD GUYS

HERE IS HOW THE SNACKS STACK UP -- PHASE I RESEARCH DONE!
Del Albright Blog, 11/26/13

Phase I of my online and family taste testing is done when it comes to off-road/backcountry snacks from companies that are on our team, or at least not lobbying against us and our access to public lands and waterways.

 Phase II is you reporting back on what you think of the flavors, options, and results.

I did NOT do energy drinks.  Just bars and jerky.  Here is my report on those companies that I will buy from, and suggest you buy from as well.  BIG TIP: if you find a good snack elsewhere, PLEASE ask the company position before you buy. Then let us know.

NOTE: my purpose here is not to go into all the flavors and act like some sort of food critic;  I'm just telling you   I researched these companies and tasted their treats -- they all came out with FLYING colors.  The ones I felt did not add up to our off-road world criteria, I did not report on.  They bombed.  You can buy from the folks below and be assured you are not jeopardizing our backcountry sports with your purchase.

JERKY:



 The Wicked Good Snacks folks are all fully supportive of our off-road sports, and in fact show up at events often, doing the activity themselves!  BIG thumbs up. Great flavors and selection.

Off Road Jerky is owned by two famous off-roaders Shaun ‘Surveyboy’ Bootsma and Deanne ‘Crash’ Angeloni-Bootsma.  They wheel; they do it; and they have an awesome line up of jerky.

Link to Wicked Good Snacks: 
http://thewickedgoodsnacks.com/

Link to Off Road Jerky:
http://www.offroadjerky.com/index.html

ENERGY and PROTEIN BARS

Honey Stinger products are amazing...and quite a large selection of goodies, from waffles, to organic honey, to bars of energy and protein, to organic energy gels.  I've not found any of their goodies I don't like!





The Dark Chocolate Mocha Cherry protein bar is a household favorite of ours.  Awesome!  And this company supports our backcountry lifestyle as well.  Company executives personally answered my emails and told me how they also sponsored dirt bike racers!
The Fig Bars from Nature's Bakery get BIG thumbs up as well.  Great company from Reno, NV, with "Made in America" all over them.  Delicious flavors and they have staff that gets dirty now and then (not in the shop, but on the trails).  Big thumbs up.

Link to Honey Stinger: http://www.honeystinger.com.

Link to Nature's Bakery Fig Bars: http://naturesbakery.com/

There you have it...off road snacks that are good for the tummy and good for our trails.
Del





Sunday, November 24, 2013

CA: CLEAR CREEK AND BRC FIGHTING BACK

CA: CLEAR CREEK, ASBESTOS AND PERSISTENCE BY BRC
Del Albright Blog, Nov. 24, 2013

I would like to showcase for CA riders, the work that has gone into getting Clear Creek back in our riding inventory since 2008.  BlueRibbon Coalition has devoted tons of staff hours (and some serious money) on fighting the absurdity of claimed asbestos issues.

Here is a link to BRC congressional testimony which laid the groundwork for the legislation which is a long process.

  
BRC continues to work with Congress to have them designate it as a National Recreation Area and open to OHV.

Here is link to BRC news release last year

The bill was reintroduced this year as H.R. 1776 and we are working to get a hearing on it.

And BRC has a bunch of links of the things they've done here:


And best of all, about 8 pages of blogs from landuse advocate and BRC Western Rep, Don Amador, right here about CCMA: http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/#uds-search-results
##
Del

FAVORITE NOVEMBER MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS FOR LANDUSE





GETTIN' THE MESSAGE ON! MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS OF NOTE FOR LANDUSE IN NOVEMBER.
Del Albright Blog, Nov. 25, 2013

These posters tell the tale and should motivate us all to do more; get more involved; and stop the trail closures and unnecessary land and water restrictions to our access.