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Clark Collins Receives Prestigious AMA Award.

BlueRibbon Coalition Executive Director Receives AMA Motorcycling Advocate Award

(Presented at the 2004 BRC Fall Board Meeting)

(Clark is the co-Founder of the BlueRibbon Coalition and an avid recreationist)

MOTORCYCLING ADVOCATE AWARD

The AMA Board created the Motorcycling Advocate Award to recognize those who have been the leaders in fighting for the rights of motorcyclists.  It is one of the very highest awards that the AMA can give.  This is only the fourth Motorcycling Advocate Award ever presented.

Clark L. Collins has been a leader in the fight for the rights of motorcyclists.  Collins was born in Boise but raised in Pocatello , Idaho .  He grew up enjoying outdoor recreation in a state with lots of publicly owned land that had always been open to all.

While Clark rides and enjoys snowmobiles, ATVs and 4X4s he got his real start in motorized recreation with his love of motorcycles.  Clark started riding a scooter in 1963 while in the Navy.  Back home in Idaho he took up trail riding moving up to a Yamaha Big Bear Scrambler, then a Bultaco.  By 1970 he helped found the Eastern Idaho Motorcycle Association to better organize off-highway racing in S. E. Idaho.  By 1972 he was good enough to be a class champion.

Clark had learned the value of organizing and working with others for the common good.  He joined the Idaho Trail Machine Association and served as its president several times.  He was honored to be their “Trailbike Rider of the Year” in 1986.

While Idaho has always been one of those states that imposed a relatively low level of aversive regulation on motorcyclists things started to change by 1983.  Mechanized trail users were being restricted from more and more public land, which they had used for decades.

Clark met with then, Idaho Governor, John Evans to seek help in opposing the increasing closing of public land to mechanized users.  Evans replied that Clark and his friends were “politically insignificant”.  It was the wrong thing to have said.

Clark had built the basis of a cooperative user organization already.  Now he knew he had to work with others to greatly step up those groups political involvement.  He knew he had to reach out to other organizations with similar interests and get them politically involved.

By 1987 Clark helped form the Idaho Public Land Users Association.  Clark reached out to other multiple use groups.  Realizing that the fight was larger than just in Idaho Clark incorporated the Blue Ribbon Coalition that same year. 

The Blue Ribbon Coalition reached out to mechanized recreationists, multiple use groups, horse-back riders; that is when I became a member and met Clark.  The Blue Ribbon Coalition now represents several hundred, member organizations. 

Clark has understood that to succeed in the bigger battle he had to seek other allies, and then educate them about the need to work together for the common good.  Clark’s “big view” got other users to think outside their narrow silos of interest, which is key to overall victory.  And Clark and the Blue Ribbon Coalition have had plenty of victories, but then the term “blue ribbon” shows that Clark was always aiming for the win.

The American Motorcyclist Association is proud to have an ally as staunch as Clark Collins and the Blue Ribbon Coalition working for the rights of off-road motorcyclists, ATV riders and other users. 

Motorcycling will exist as a free sport because AMA members like Clark arise to volunteer and organize our forces to keep us riding.  The AMA Board recognizes Clark L. Collins as one of the key voices for motorcyclist’s rights and has chosen to present him with this Motorcycling Advocate Award to recognize him for his ongoing efforts.

Thank you Clark

Remarks of AMA Vice Chairman Dal Smilie at September 23, 2004 AMA Motorcycling Advocate Award presentation to Clark L. Collins at a Blue Ribbon Coalition reception in Pocatello, ID.

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