Search This Blog

Thursday, February 2, 2023



By Del Albright, ASA Social Media Manager, Supporter


Where will we be riding and exploring this new year? What effect will our recent political history have on our access to public lands and dunes? Are we going to see changes in our favorite duning areas? Allow me to give you some insight.

The mess we call 2020 is now mostly hindsight, with 2021 and 2022 rough but better years. But our riding, exploring, and adventures for 2023 are not by any means guaranteed. 

The Administration’s policy changes, as is usual in a democracy, have flooded the world we live in. However, federal and state agencies are adapting to the “new” normal just like they did a few years ago with other agency/administration changes. Still, access to our public lands and dunes is tenuous at best.

Land closures and restrictions will get headlines in almost all states, especially in the west. New Monuments, new Wilderness, new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), new this and new that. I predict we will not be able to keep up with the pages of reading to review and comment.

In 2022 the environmental movement worked with the Administration to orchestrate the 30 x 30 America the Beautiful initiative – proposing to conserve (some say lock up) 30% of America by 2030. Right now, about 12% of our American lands and waterways are “conserved” or protected (locked up). ASA is watching this one closely!

Then we can throw in the many things that distract us daily. Gun rights will be highlighted and in the news a lot. How our kids are taught in school (or should I say brainwashed) will bug parents daily. The war over “American-made” or foreign-made will hit the top of the charts. Insurance, bills, trying to recover from the pandemic, and many other financial bites will nibble at us all year.

So what?

So, what does this mean? Does it mean you probably aren’t thinking much about keeping dunes open or saving our sports? And does it suggest that this trend of not joining clubs and associations is the easier way to do things – virtually, if at all?

WRONG! I can’t say that strongly enough. If we do not unite, speak up, stay engaged, stay tuned into what is happening with our trails, and FIGHT BACK, we will end up parking our rigs in the garage to look at a few times a year. We cannot just be virtual, and we cannot let daily distractions numb us into apathy.

Exactly what do we do?

JOIN: Get your joining back on! Join ASA and your state and regional associations/organizations. They need our membership dues to make a difference and do what dedicated, knowledgeable riders MUST do.

Sure, if you want to stay with your virtual group, ok. But do not make that your go-to. Virtual groups do not go to state capitals or Washington, DC, to fight for us (unless I missed something). But, on the other hand, brick-and-mortar groups do show up where it counts – in person, face to face.

DONATE: Send somebody some gas money! Donate to a group so they can send someone to those meetings where decisions are made about YOUR trails. Buy raffle tickets to organization raffle vehicles. If we are not at the tables, ALL of them, the head of the table will make decisions without us and not necessarily in our favor.

VOLUNTEER: Put a trash bag to work in your favorite duning area! Donate your time and volunteer to help keep dunes open. Help your association/groups on a project that needs time and effort (strong backs). Show up! Yes, I’ll be trite – the world is run by those who show up.

BUY SMART: Support businesses that support our sport. Buy from those outfits who do something for land use, such as donating to raffles, joining associations as a business, and contributing in some way to keep dunes open or helping a club doing just that.

Join, donate, volunteer, and buy smart. If you start doing those things with all your heart and ability, we can turn the tide in 2023 into a year we can be proud of and keep our right to ride alive and well.

START by joining (or renewing your membership in) the American Sand Association here:




No comments:

Post a Comment