Friday, January 20, 2017

INAUGURATION DAY 2017 FOR OFF-ROADERS

THE ADMINISTRATION HAS A NEW PHILOSOPHY.
What does that mean for off-roaders?

By Del Albright

Visit John Stewart's web site to see my write up on this critical subject.
http://www.4x4wire.com/categories/del-albright-outdoor-recreation-advocate

Del

Sunday, January 8, 2017

DISASTER PLANNING AT HOME


DON'T BE LEFT IN THE DARK!

Plan, Prep and Practice.


by Del Albright

Disaster planning and prepping are key to surviving major messes in today's world. Fire, flood, hurricane, you name it, the lessons I learned in 30 years of fire service, including "strategic planning and responses to disaster management" are simple -- but usually neglected by most of us. It's never too late. Here are my (past Fire Chief) suggested 10 things to save your life (and help you recoup) in disasters:

1. PICS: Take pics; lots of them. Videos too. Of your house, your prepping, your current/before condition and save them for insurance purposes later, especially before a fire or flood evacuation.

2. INSURANCE: Make sure your insurance DOES in fact cover the messes you might face.

3. HOMEWORK: Talk to experts who have lived thru whatever disasters are common in your area -- or like floods that only happen once in several decades. Ask what lessons they learned. What about pets like horses, dogs, cats, etc. Where do they go?

4. GO-BAGS: Have go-bags that include medical supplies, water and food -- in every car/rig. Get a good first aid kit as part of this -- not a $20 blue light special. Get Water treatment kits that let you drink collected water without worrying about virus/bacteria -- cheap kits readily available nowadays. Learn to use the items that will save your life from infection, bleeding, etc.

5. TABLE TALKS: Discuss evacuation planning with your family and friends nearby. Especially with kids when it comes to fire. "Table Talk" scenarios and role playing are great ways to be ready for anything. you'd be surprised at what you come up with if you sit down, spouse to spouse and ask "what would you do if we were separated and a disaster of major proportions hit?"

6. COMMUNICATIONS: If you are a HAM radio person, carry it and a charger -- even if you don't use it (Go Bag) -- especially during fire season or flood season. But for sure, keep a charger with your phone in every car. And speaking of that, car batteries can be killers if they are in bad shape and don't do their job when you need them.

7. FEMA: Get the free material in your area from folks like FEMA, your fire department, OES, whatever. Read it and use it.

8. PLAN: Make a Plan! Red Cross has a sample template (there are others as well):http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/make-a-plan

9. WORST CASE:Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Your
"what if" planning should include worst case scenarios and what you would do. Hospital ER rooms might be full; evacuation centers may not be adequately organized; cell towers could be down; and you may lose contact with family members. Ouch. Now what?

10. COMMON SENSE: Never lose sight of your common sense, and STAY CALM. Like in the old days of the Boy Scouts -- BE PREPARED; be alive.

Hope this helps.
Del.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

OUR LANDS IN OUR HANDS!


BEING STEWARDS OF OUR MOTORIZED ACCESS MEANS KEEPING IT AVAILABLE

Land Stewardship is the key to keeping our lands in our hands.

By Del Albright

What does "land stewardship" really mean? 
In simplest of terms it means caring, responsible management and use of our lands. If we do not take care of our playgrounds, "they" will be glad to take them away from us.
There is no better way to keep motorsports alive and trails open than to be a good steward of whatever lands you have to play on. 



Enjoy yourself; have fun; challenge your rig; ride hard; ride smart; wheel with friends; pack out your trash; set the example; and remember -- Our Lands; in Our Hands.

More about pack it out and a Date with a Paper Plate: 

More about leadership and stewardship, and a Horse Harnessed Before All Others:

More about adopting trails and Who Stole Our Crown Jewels:
http://www.delalbright.com/Articles/jewels.htm

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Del

Thursday, December 15, 2016

ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT TRAIL CLOSURES

DO NOT LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!

You are the solution to saving trails.


by Del Albright


JOIN, DONATE and VOLUNTEER are the key words in this message, and quite honestly, they are THE solution to stopping trail closures.

We must stop waiting to get involved until a "gate" is in our back yard or on our favorite spot.  I know it is easier to get riled up when their is an "enemy" looking us in the face, but the tide of closure moves slowly and moves even without a face attached to it.  It is insidious -- sneaky.

Laws, rules, landowner changes, environmental regulations, etc. etc. sneak up on our motorized sports every day. Without a watch dog, these insidious incremental changes can begin to shut us out.
We must have professional career land use folks in the game being the watch dog.  But, EVERYONE who enjoys motorsports must be doing their part, in the game.

DO NOT LEAVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE.  Join up; get alerts for your areas of interest; and keep the full time land use folks/organizations up to date with what is happening in your area.  ONLY YOU can prevent trail closures.

SPECIFIC TIPS:
1.  Get alerts (Free) from groups like BlueRibbon Coalition (Sharetrails.Org) at:


2.  Report trail conditions or suspected land use issues by contacting your state association or using the Sharetrails.Org report form online here:


3.  Join and donate, but also volunteer your time to be a trail monitor, land use club delegate, or just a good informed citizen for the sports you love.  Please do not wait for the gate to go up.  Get ahead of the restrictions and closures.  Get in the game now!  Your voice counts, but you have to make it count in the right places.

Del





Sunday, November 20, 2016

PIRATE4X4 BLUE STAR PROGRAM SUPPORTS TRAILS

Once again THANK you to all the Blue Star members of Pirate4x4.com who continue to support national land use issues with their donations. 


The great folks at Pirate4x4 ship those generous donations every year to BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.Org, the largest grassroots organization in the country, fighting every day to protect our access for motorized recreation. 

Stacie and I work for you as your primary Sharetrails/BRC reps in the 4x4 world and we stand proud of the many successes we’ve helped you achieve through BlueRibbon Coalition and its many partner organizations/associations like Calif. 4WD Association (CA4WDA) and others. It takes a team.

Please continue to support Pirate4x4.com and the Blue Star program. This rocks it!



Del & Stacie Albright


Sunday, October 16, 2016

ARE KIDS BEING EDUCATED OR INDOCTRINATED?

OUTDOORS, INDOORS; INDOCTRINATION OR EDUCATION?  

ARE "THEY" AFTER OUR KIDS?

By Del Albright

In 2009 I wrote an article about "They're After Our Kids" that still has relevance today.  Although back then, I was little more agitated and faster to launch, the key points I made are just as important now as they were then.

But before I hit a few of those highlights, I have some really GOOD NEWS.

Recently I received word that two close family/friends are reviewing/studying the Vietnam War in public school.  Wow.  Most of my adult life since I left that country in 1971 I've watched the media and the educational system try to deny, avoid, debase or destroy everything about that War. So now to see folks "studying" 'Nam and the war is like a big WOW to me.  My war won't be completely lost to history.



Be that as it may, public schools are laced with opinionated "teachers" who tend to indoctrinate rather than educate kids at every opportunity.  My wife, Stacie and I have seen it first hand for the last 12 years.  Call it brainwashing, call it indoctrination; whatever.  It's not teaching history, facts or truth.  It's pushing an agenda.  We have to be on top of it.

Again, certainly not all teachers or schools are like this.  Many are stellar in their programs and teachings.  But there are enough of the other types to worry me.

Below is a link to the article I wrote in 2009 about bureaucracy and schools being "after" our kids. It stemmed from a National Park Ranger "swearing" in kids to the Junior Ranger Program.  The Ranger had a good heart and thought he was doing good things for kids.  And he probably did more good than harm.  But when you live in a bureaucracy like the National Park Service, you begin to absorb their lifeblood of "protect it" do not "use it."  I speak from 32 years of government service.

The Park Ranger rebutted my article and I still have his letter on my website (in the link).  But after all was said and done, he still did not understand that having 5 to 13 year-old kids raise their hands and SWEAR to PROTECT and CARE for Parks and the earth, while leaving out any mention of "use it wisely" or conserve it or responsible use, is a less than subtle way of saying, do NOT USE IT: just take pictures.

I am adamantly against this type of indoctrination that suggests to kids to not use our lands respectfully, but rather to lock up public lands -- other than those very special places the nation deems significant enough to do so.  And no; not all national parks are deserving of such padlocks.

The only solution is to stay in tune and in touch with our kids and their education. 


Here is the link to the original article and the Park Ranger's rebuttal to my thinking:


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Del










Sunday, September 11, 2016

IT IS OK TO FIRE A VOLUNTEER

IF SOMEONE JUST CANNOT FIT IN; FIRE THEM!


By Del Albright

The purpose of this note is to reassure you that it is OK to fire a volunteer when all your efforts to help them fit in, or fix a behavioral issue are just not working out.

There is no law, or anything to stop you from firing a volunteer.

Now please do not get me wrong, our first choice should always be to give a person a chance.  But sometimes a volunteer just cannot meet simple expectations or objectives, and they cause more damage than any good they might do.  You are left with no choice but to fire them!

The worst thing you can do for your organization or group is to let a problem volunteer build negativism or destructive behavior that ruins any good you might be tying to accomplish. In volunteerism, good people will leave faster than you can imagine when a negative loud mouth starts taking unjustified pot shots at the leadership.

We all know that most of our volunteer efforts are driven by egos and personalities.  That is just the way of humankind.  But all volunteers should remember that our efforts need to be directed at the problems, and not usually at an individual.  In other words, name-calling and silliness in public places that cast dispersion and ruin a group are just unnecessary and should not be tolerated.  Fire them!

A good volunteer leader should always set expectations and objectives for being on the team or in the group.  When those are violated, you point it out to the person and help them find a way to get back on track.  However, if that is not possible, you just have to send them packing.  If you wait too long or let it fester, you will loose other good volunteers.

The key to good leadership has always been, in my thinking, setting expectations. Here is more on setting Expectations: http://delalbright.blogspot.com/2014/11/how-to-succeed-in-volunteerism-and.html

It is my hope you never have to fire a volunteer; but when and if you do, do it before they ruin your group or your efforts.
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Del