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Can your club make a difference?

Can your club make a difference? Well you must first decide what purpose and goals your club has. Is your club a small family like group that just wants to stay that way? Do you feel your club should have goals such as educating people about proper land/trail use? Do you want to stress the importance of safe off-roading practices? What about recruiting, organizing and educating people to stand up for the rights of the off-road land use community?

If your club wants to stay small that is fine but even a small clubs need somewhere to go. Land closures are happening more frequent all the time. I truly feel the most important thing a club can do is to educate the off-road land users of environmentally kind land use practices and proper trail use. Second after that would be to educate them about the actions of anti-land use organizations. Teach them how to react and organize against these attempts to close off-road land areas.

Lets face it we are at war to protect the freedom we believe in. The freedom to enjoy this beautiful country in the way we choose which is in our off-road vehicle. As club’s we must recruit people to educate, organize and just plain increase the number of voices that are heard by politicians who control the closing of off-road land areas. Anti-land use groups spend millions to be heard by the politicians.  The anti-land use groups easily acquire these millions through Corporate America. Corporate America likes to look green, or pro-environmental.  It’s good business; customers like to see the companies they purchase from protecting the environment they live in. Well we, the off-road land user also believe in protecting, preserving our environment too.  I think I speak for the majority of off-road users when I say this. We love and enjoy the outdoor lands because of the beauty as much as the hiker does. We just prefer to do it on four wheels. We don’t have millions, but we can have lots of voices that would be heard all the way to Washington.

There are a few who have given us all, the off-road land user a bad image by blasting across meadows or driving over small saplings, shrubs and flowers. We must find, educate and change the practices of these few. Lets change our image, why can’t we be seen as green? As clubs we must work to change our image. Support reforestation, erosion repair and just plain trash pick up on public lands. Write about it, and the good things we do. Most local papers will publish articles about local groups, clubs doing good deeds.

One simple thing I think every club should do is adopting a stretch of Highway for trash pick up. I know what your thinking “Highway? What the %#@!” Well most clubs adopt a trail but how much of the public see that sign on the trail that the off-road community is cleaning up the environment? Well as we all know California has the busiest highways that means the most sign viewers. We can show the public we care about the environment. Lets go one step farther, adopt that stretch of highway in the name of the CA4WDC. We could make that familiar yellow round decal the most common thing you see on adopt-a-highway signs in the state.

SUV sales are higher then ever and every SUV owner is a potential off-road land user. Promote your club, practice environmentally kind land uses, educate people and support CA4WDC.

Mike Stoller


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