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Thursday, February 26, 2009

United FWDA Director of Env. Affairs in Public Display (of affection)

Todd (United Four Wheel Drive Assoc. Dir. of Env. Affairs) and Larisa get engaged in front of the entire banquet audience at the CA4WDC Convention on Valentine's Day.
Yes, Todd is a career Navy guy and he's in his dress uniform. Very cool. Larisa is just plain beautiful and TOTALLY surprised.

Change is Happening -- by John Stewart

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

John Stewart, Natural Resource Consultant for the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (, writes an update in every issue of their magazine. John's latest update is titled "Change Is Happening" and is worthwhile reading.

John's article is right on. Change IS happening, and nowhere more than in Southern California. Travel plans, legislation, new regulations and military base expansion are combining to hurricane force.

John has requested help to complete the route inventory. John is asking for specific items. One item is GPS track log data for all routes used for OHV events. John's project isn't limited to the BLM Desert District, but change is happening there now, so this area should be a priority.

You can contact John via Cal 4 Wheel's website or via phone at 619-390-8747.
You can read John's entire article on the BlueRibbon Public Lands page at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Contact: Brian Hawthorne, Public Lands Policy Director BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102 DATE: February 24, 2009

The BlueRibbon Coalition, an off-highway vehicle (OHV) advocacy group, joined eight other off-highway groups in questioning the validity of a nationwide OHV survey of federal land managers. The groups made their concerns known in a February 5, 2009, letter to the Acting Comptroller General of the United States Government Accountability Office <>

The GAO review of OHV use was originally requested by Arizona Congressman Raul M. Grijalva, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

The survey is supposedly designed to determine trends in the amount of OHV use, potential environmental and human health and safety impacts and how federal agencies are managing OHV use and enforcing OHV regulations. Managers from the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service received the survey and were asked to respond. Preservationist groups and OHV access opponents aggressively petitioned President Obama to appoint Representative Grijalva to the Secretary of Interior cabinet post, but Obama declined, opting instead for moderate Ken Salazar of Colorado.

Read more on the BlueRibbon website:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Safari Straps Helps BlueRibbon Coalition and our Trails

Safari Straps has joined the effort to keep our trails and riding areas open for all. These great folks are donating 10% of their sales (that's a LOT) to BlueRibbon Coalition.

Be sure to check out their products for your Jeep -- Jeep cargo netting straps designed for safety and load management. Keep your pets secure; keep your gear in the Jeep; keep someone from easily reaching in your open Jeep; and just have that added feeling of netting without losing your visibility.

Check out Safari Straps today, buy some netting or tie downs (in camo even) and thank them for helping us fight for our trails... visit

thanks, Del

Sunday, February 22, 2009

HAM Radio -- Off Roaders Dream

Several members of my club, the Motherlode Rockcrawlers, just passed our HAM license test (yesterday). That's Stacie and me in the middle. Yea, I know, I have on the wrong hat. :)
HAM is THE way to go in radio communications if you want to be prepared for an emergency, or just ensure you have good commo over long distance where your CB just won't cut it.
Now don't get me wrong, I'll still have a CB because I believe they are better suited for convoys and bs sessions. I'll run both in my rigs. CB's have no rules, so yea, that is a drawback when an idiot gets on line. But for the most part, the CB is a good tool for 4x4 rides and club events. However, if you want to up it a notch, take the time to study for the test, ensure you can have emergency commuications (enough to bring in a medivac helicopter), then HAM is the way to go. Add it to your inventory.
HAM radios can hit repeaters that allow you to literally talk all over the world pretty much.
You can get a dual-band handheld guy for a couple hundred bucks and do most everything you need to do. There are plenty of websites to help you choose equipment. And a good place to start studying for the test is We spent about a week studying, a couple hours a day.
Del -- the new HAM (my call sign will be issued in a few days).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rubicon Trail Dinner – Black Tie and Boots

Support the Rubicon! Enjoy this fun-filled and unique banquet they're calling Black Tie and Boots!

On March 6th in Placerville, the Rubicon Trail Foundation will put on their first sorta fancy but mostly fun fund raising dinner. Put on your black tie but leave your boots on. This will be a blast (as well as a great way to raise money for our icon of a trail). Stacie and I plan to be there. Go here to learn more and signup (there is still room as of this post but seating is limited and time is short).

Oh, if you can't make the dinner, you can always donate to the cause. J

More here:


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GPS and Go Home Button

Does your GPS unit have a simple, one-touch, Go Home button? Mine does and I love it when traveling. Makes the trip home easy to plan.

But here's a thought for you. Have you considered how easy it would be for a thief to find your house with this button? If a bad-guy gets your car keys, thus your car, there's a good chance you have a home key on the same key ring. So he gets the car started, pushes your Go Home button, follows the route and there he is, right at your front door with YOUR keys.

So my advice is to chart your Go Home button to a very nearby place – but not your house. Heck, just a few houses down would be enough to keep a car key stealing thief from finding your exact location.

There are a ton of websites out there to help you choose a GPS if you don't have one yet. I do recommend having one in your off road rig (and your RV if you play with big toys). It's a very helpful tool and be most useful in an emergency as well – you can direct in emergency folks with way points (lats and longs).

You can read a bit more on my website here:


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Build a coalition; save a trail

Friends groups or coalitions are a significantly solid way to save your trail or riding area – especially where you need mixed uses working together. For example, if your riding area is used by dirt bikes, atv's and 4x4's, a Friends group (or coalition) is the way to go. This will save your trail in the long run. Folks have got to work together and find ways to cooperate in order to keep the anti-access crowd from shutting you down. I started Friends of the Rubicon 8 years ago and we've been saving the Rubicon ever since. We had to ban together for several reasons, but most importantly we also had to set aside club and organizational issues so we were all on the same team.

When you work under a Friends group banner, it's easy to set aside turf battles or disagreements, and get the job done together.

There are literally dozens of new Friends groups formed up all over the country recently. They are saving trails and winning land use battles. Some examples include Friends of Eldorado, Friends of Fordyce, Friends of Greenhorn, Friends of High Lakes, and many more. It WORKS! You become a much more powerful group when you include other groups, clubs and recreationists. Give it a shot. I'll be happy to help you get started.

Read more about the process on my web site right here:


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CB Radio and/or HAM?

Every four-wheeler should have a CB radio, especially for organized runs and events. A HAM radio is even better for long-range commo and emergencies.

But I get asked often about CB, so here’s the deal. Get a good one and an even BETTER antenna. Cobra is tops for circuitry and long-lasting use. Radio Shack makes a pretty good cheaper one. But if you want the best , and the one with the most gadgets, get a Cobra. $150 – $200 range. A Radio Shack (RS) simple one that will last a while and do pretty good is about $80. And the RS version is pretty gadget free (if you don’t need buttons like RF gain and built-in SWR, and mic volume.

I’ve had good luck with both. But whatever you do, get a good antenna. That is where most CB’s fall apart. Spend the money on a good one and mount it RIGHT (proper ground). Have it calibrated with a SWR meter. You will not be sorry. K40 is a great antenna, but even a good fire stick that is SWR calibrated will do the trick just fine.

If you find you can receive but not transmit; you have antenna problems. If people tell you your CB is garbled and squeaking, you have antenna problems. It’s nearly never the CB itself. Keep that in mind.

AVOID one-hander CB’s – the kind with everything in the microphone. If one thing goes bad; the whole thing is kaput. Also, in ALL my off-roading experience, I’ve never met anyone who could use a one-hander without inadvertently changing channels and losing touch with everyone in the middle of convoy ride. Get a real CB with a real microphone (that you can replace if needed). And yes, mics do go out and can easily be replaced (especially if you do Cobra or Radio Shack where they are easy to find.)

Here is some more info on my website if you’re interested.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Road Trip to Cal4 Convention

Stacie and I are on the way to the 50th anniversay annual convention of the Calif. Assoc. of 4WD Clubs. The weather in So. CA is weird -- rain, wind, and snow. Wow. But the desert is beautiful.

Might be a great year to wildflowers in the desert. Hope to see many of our friends in Primm, NV at convention.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More on Kids Ban on OHV's -- Still Alive

Don Amador, The General, is still asking us for help on this kids ban (lead) on OHV's. We need to keep up the pressure and public involvement. Our kids will be banned from OHV's if we don't.
REad and subscribe to the General's Blog:

thanks for helping out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cal4 Raffle Jeep for only $2.00

Win a Jeep Unlimited Jeep Wrangler… for $2

California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc
PRESS RELEASE: November 29, 2008

Contact: Chris Collard CA4WDC Publicity Chairman Phone: 916-952-3630 Fax: 916-960-4929 e-mail:

Win a Jeep Unlimited Jeep Wrangler… for $2
Just when you thought the economic sky was falling, the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC) steps up to the plate with a $2 Jeep. Each year, CA4WDC buys a brand new Jeep, tricks it out with everything a died-in-the-wool four-wheeler could dream about, and then raffles it off at their annual February convention … for two bucks!! (And you need not be present to win). This year's rig, a 2008 Jeep Unlimited Wrangler, is kitted out with an Atlas II transfer case, 35-inch BFGoodrich tires and Fabtech Lift, Warn 9500 winch on a Hanson bumper, K&N intake and Banks Power exhaust, Body Armor rear bumper, Tuffy Security consol and rear slide-out, PIAA and Warn lights and an Off Road Unlimited roof rack… and the list goes on. It also sports heaps of other cool stuff from Premier Power Welder, Jeepers Jamboree, Spidertrax, Rockhard, Staun and Hi-Lift. And because we off roaders often camp out, or get stuck in the mud (usually in the opposite order), the $2 Jeep Unlimited comes with recovery gear, and camping gear.
Runner up prizes ain't bad either…. 2nd is a Premier Power Welder, 3rd is two tickets for the 2009 Jeepers Jamboree, and 4th is an 11,000lb Pul Pal and case. How to win? Tickets are $2. Buy 10 and get a special sellers raffle ticket for a set of four BFGoodrich tires (your choice). This year's $2 Jeep will be raffled on February 14th, 2009 at the CA4WDC convention in Primm, NV, and you don't have to be present to win. Order tickets at: 1-800-4x4-FUNN or Surf the web to Happy Jeeping!!!

About CA4WDC
The California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc. is the largest OHV group in the state of
California with over 4,000 members. CA4WDC works to maintain access to public lands and promotes
responsible use of those lands. CA4WDC is based in Sacramento and has three districts to serve the
state. CA4WDC was founded in 1959 and is approaching 50 years of service to the OHV community.

8120 36th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95824-2304
(800) 4x4-Funn