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The "Top 10" Survey in Land Use and Access
Take this Nationwide Survey

By Del Albright, BlueRibbon Ambassador

SURVEY CLOSED, thanks.

We have an opportunity to help our friends in industry, business and the media to keep our trails, lands and riding areas open.  However, they always ask the same question, and that is: “Just what are the big issues and where are the trouble spots that we should be helping with?”   

I’d like to be able to give them a unified answer – from all of us.  I ask you to help me tell them just that: where do we really need help in land use and access?

And I request that you don’t just read this article, but that if you have an answer or a suggestion or an idea, that you crank out an email and tell me.  Or send a letter.  Heck, you can tie a string to a pigeon and send it flying.  But let’s put our heads together and come up with a national breakdown of our problem spots, trouble areas, targets for closures, and things we need financial help with.

Here’s the deal.  No matter where I go in my role as a BlueRibbon Ambassador, I run into folks with problems in their particular area that are hard to deal with and seem like uphill battles.  Usually there is some form of government involved.  And usually there are a bunch of volunteers who have real lives and jobs trying to make sense of government, regulations, anti-access closure groups, endangered species, and etc.  And almost always there is not enough money to adequately address the issues. We have yet to find a simple solution to this dilemma.

All of our organizations, groups, and clubs are trying to help with these problems, and many are focused on certain areas.  We are all trying.   But one of the hurting bottom lines of this is that we do not have enough money or full time people to make a huge difference. 

If someone were to ask you, in your area, where to throw money to help keep a trail or riding area open, where would that be, and why?  And if they were to ask you to list the biggest problems we face as a community of four-wheelers, what would those be (in order)?  I’ll give you a couple examples.

For me, Trail Boss of the Friends of the Rubicon, I would have to put the Rubicon Trail on top of my personal list of areas that need more attention, money and resources in order to keep this icon alive and well.  As far as biggest problems, I would have to say that our image as recreationists is still our biggest battle.  So there are two examples; image; and the Rubicon Trail.   Can you come up with more?  Will you?

My own vision from this effort would be that we find a way to capitalize on this information, update it annually or so, and use it for all our friends and benefactors that might want to help us now and in the future.  Heck it might even help our national and regional organizations find more unity and common ground in their efforts also.  I’ll publish the list or lists on my web site and in magazines/newsletters, as well as on many web sites around the country, including the BlueRibbon Coalition.

You can write to me here: 

Del Albright, BlueRibbon Ambassador
BlueRibbon Coalition
4555 Burley Drive , Ste. A
Pocatello , ID   83202

I know this is a bit of an unusual column for me to write.  But I think this could really help us in the future.  So please take a moment and get your two cents in the mix.  Thanks, Del

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 11,000 individual members and 1,100 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742.  www.sharetrails.org

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