Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SOLUTIONS FOR SAVING OFF-ROAD RECREATION

Solutions for Saving Off-Road Recreation -- Uniting and Banding Together (UBT)

by Del Albright

Part I: Uniting and Banding Together (UBT)....The Future of OHV Recreation Depends Directly on Us!  Our freedoms are at stake in the backcountry...off-roaders and backcountry explorers need to band together and unite like never before because there are just too many people who don't understand or appreciate what we do; and they want to close us down! STOP the madness; KEEP the fun alive; and be part of the solution with me...Ignited We Stand like our friends from SEMA say. Get ignited and stand with your fellow off-roaders and outdoor recreationists -- and realize no one else is really out there doing it for you!  Learn about why your trails and access are in jeopardy.  Learn why the wrong politicians can ruin what we have.  Get ignited.

Part II: Uniting and Banding Together (UBT) in our sports -- Our Fight Back Strategies Must Evolve!  Much like an off-road rig grows and evolves over time, our fight back strategies to keep our trails open have to evolve. We must take a national perspective and apply large scale solutions at the local level, with local clubs and folks who are vested in their sport and their area. But we must do this together; united; banded together; and become members of every group that makes sense to us. Join those groups that make sense to you and who are actively fighting for you -- even if they are not perfect.  Start with the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) at http://www.blueribboncoalition.org.  Join up!






Part III: Uniting and Banding Together (UBT), Get in the Game or Give Me Your Keys!  Getting in the game, even if you have to get angry to do it, is ok with me. Here's a blog from an angry landuse partner who wants the keys to your 4x4/OHV. He's got a plan; and he's got a statement, albeit it's a bit harsh for some, it is worth reading because so much of what he says is true. Read Jerry's blog right here: http://givemeyourohvkeys.blogspot.com/.



Part IV: Uniting and Banding Together (UBT); Firing Volunteers. Harsh words, I know - to fire a volunteer (or paid landuse/organizational person for that matter) is a huge step we don't like to take, but the time is now to take it where needed. If your club or group has someone bringing everyone else down, and if you can't fix them, FIRE THEM! Yes, try to fix them first, of course. But some egos can't be overcome and some volunteers will never quite fit in or follow the will of the majority. They gotta go if you expect to survive as a group, or if you expect to keep the sport alive. Whatever you do, do not let saving trails take a second seat to someone saving face. 
Here is more on filtering out the "possibles, partners and poops."
http://www.delalbright.com/Articles/club_problems.htm.




Stay tuned for more on this plan to save our sports and our trails.  Please feel free to share it, post it, and comment on what else we can do....it's up to us.


6 comments:

  1. I see alot of talk about recreation, as if this is something that can be cut back on because it's a frivolous event. I'm curious when the reality of cutting folks off the landscape that sustain their families and livelihoods comes into play as much as the talk of recreational pursuits.

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  2. Here's a couple of other things we can do to keep land open to vehicular recreation:

    1.) Police ourselves. Stop giving the people who want to close off land more ammunition to do it. We've all seen someone in our club who has a noisy or leaky vehicle, or runs off the trail to 'explore', or does any of the things we know is bad for the environment. We need to stop them, or the public will stop all of us.

    2.) Join the Sierra club or other environmental group. Stop thinking of 'Us vs. Them'. Make friends with an environmentalist and show them what responsible off-roading looks like. The best way to change an organization's view of off-road is from the inside. When you come right down to it, we all want to save the environment - it's the only one we've got. The big difference is in how to do it. It's a lot easier to bring a friend around to your viewpoint than an enemy.

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  3. It's hard to compete with environmental movement because their matra of preserving the nature resonates with many people who are not aware about their extremist positions. Exposing their extremism is like negative advertisement - it also damages those who expose it. Therefore, such exposure has to be better done via mass media and in some positive context: contrasting our position on some issues vs theirs. For that we need to formulate our goals in a way which resonates with all, not just off-highway vehicle enthusiasts. We also should receive a lot more support, including direct lobbying, assess to mass media etc, from car industry and car aftermarket industry (AAIA etc.)

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  4. 1st - Communication is key, I believe that what Del and others are doing is key, but to use the masses to spread the message of keeping our trails open you must do two things well. First have a well delivered and pre-drafted message that the masses can use and support. This drafted message should first say what we are asking our representative to do, or how we feel they should vote on a bill, etc. Then the rest of the draft should cover the problem, it's effects on the community, any problems with the oppositions viewpoints, and where we stand. Second you need to deliver that message to the masses through as many outlets as you can (Forums, Facebook, email, website, twitter, public meetings, trail head briefings, club bulletins and meetings, etc.)

    2nd - Money is behind so much of the these movements. Stop supporting businesses that support land closure. Search for businesses that support keeping our trails open and patronize them. When business owners with an agenda find out that their personal beliefs are costing them money they are more likely to not use their power and business money to support their personal cause.

    Lastly - I think if it's not already being done, Access advocates from all around should band together to pull their local communities for support on all battles that we face throughout the US and possibly abroad. We should all share what has worked in our regions and their regions to stop the land grabbers and keep the lands open to the public.

    I believe we are off to a good start and all of the things mentioned in Del's plan are crucial and right on the money, I just feel that these additions combined with Mike's suggestions above can also be very beneficial to our cause!

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  5. I'm entirely biased here, but the 4x4 community is spread over hundreds of websites and there isn't a centralized resource. If a site had all of the trails mapped and a centralized place to find threats for closure and issues centered around that trail, even casual off-roaders would be made aware of the problems facing that particular trail and community.

    We've created a website, that offers a potential solution to that problem. The site is built around the community, who are responsible for updating trail data and providing the latest status from trail condition to threats of closure.

    A centralized site should also feature a platform where clubs, regions and even the entire community as a whole can communicate and talk. So we've built a forums and even private "groups" where private forums and events and more can be controlled.

    Obviously this is a sales pitch for our site, 4x4trek.com, but it's a damn good start to trying to organize information and the community. Del's 100% right, if we don't change something, we're going to lose the sport.

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  6. What would be Part IV to my plan, based on what you know and these comments here? Next important step?
    Del

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