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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists.

John Stewart

BRC BRINGS NEW SUIT TO RESTORE TRAIL ACCESS - WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

BRC Legal Fund

Since 1997, the BRC Legal Program has sprung to action across the nation to challenge arbitrary closures and defend pro-trail agency decisions.   BRC's unmatched investment in legal advocacy for access since 1996 has been $1,721,195.  Many cases involve defense of attacks from anti-access groups.  Some, like Trail 38, are efforts to go "on offense" and establish or restore access opportunities.  BRC Legal has represented plaintiffs or filed cross-claims against the agency in at least 14 cases.

BRC Legal has appeared in California 15 times, 9 each for Idaho and Utah, 7 in Wyoming, 5 in Montana or on issues of Nationwide importance like Roadless Rule(s), and 3 or less in the remaining states which include Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Arkansas, Illinois, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida.  The methods of access at issue have varied too, with 23 matters involving all forms of wheeled access, 14 focused on over-snow vehicles, 9 covering all motorized access, 5 exclusively 4WD, 3 exclusively ATV, 3 boating or personal watercraft, 3 including equestrian access, and 1 backcountry aviation case.

On multiple occasions BRC Legal has brought jurisdictional challenges to anti-access lawsuits that the Government declined to join, the most notable being in the 2001 SUWA lawsuit where our motion was granted in the district court and eventually became the basis for a 9-0 Supreme Court decision that all but killed a growing "failure to act" litigation strategy.  

BRC Legal cannot do its job without your generous support!  Please consider a donation today as we stand together in our legal effort to challenge unwarranted closures of public roads, trails, and areas.


Watching those battles from the sidelines is not an option.  Our adversaries will pick a path of least resistance, and we need to maintain a legal presence to be reckoned with.

Thanks for your contribution and support!

The BRC Legal Team

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John Stewart

State Level Coordination, Cooperation and Collaboration for Off-Road Recreation

In fact, it is being done at the national level, and that same model can be followed at the state level.  The North American Motorized Recreation Council (NAMRC) has laid the framework for uniting efforts across the country.  More can be done; but the model is solid.   NAMRC is supplemented with National Leadership Calls on a regular basis, albeit not directly affiliated with NAMRC at this time.

It begins with STEP 1: a common communications network (email, forum, Skype, Go To Meeting, etc.).  The critical part is getting everyone rounded up so they know there is a place to share ideas.  Make sure every possible group is invited.

STEP 2:  is to meet once or twice a year, or as often as needed, to tackle issues and meet each other face to face.    It is about the same process as starting a “coalition” as I write about here: http://www.delalbright.com/articles/coalitions.htm.   The actual process for CA was set in 2003 with this Multiple-Use Summit: http://www.delalbright.com/access/summit.htm

Continuing with the CA example, the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC) was established to work on Johnson Valley in an unified voice.  That can easily be expanded to all state level issues.  This was attempted in 1997 with the first state level multiple use group called the Resource Education Network (REN).  It was fueled by the Desert Protection Act and lasted several years before morphing into the Sierra Nevada Framework efforts.  More on REN here: http://www.delalbright.com/Access/ren.html

Bringing multiple-use groups together is part of the process needed for state-level unification.  One early example was set in 1997 with the Multiple-Use Shared Trail (MUST) Workshop that could be repeated, or blended into a Leadership Summit type meeting.

Then STEP 3:  is to supplement the face-to-face meetings with leadership calls much like a non-profit would have Board meetings by phone calls or Skype or Go To Meetings (examples).  Each call is facilitated and the agenda is announced beforehand.

For large states like CA, oversight or executive level committees can be established to make the working element a bit smaller and easier to work with, as long as they are working under the expectations of the entire group.

Finally, STEP 4: publish the results and actions so that every participant is informed and included, and the actions of the group are seen by others.

Some unwritten parts of the success of an effort like this include setting aside egos, minimizing club/turf boundaries, and finding ways to be positive and cooperative instead of self-protective.  It can be done.

Del Albright

Interim Director of Operations, BlueRibbon Coalition www.sharetrails.org
Founding Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon www.rubiconfriends.com
Environmental Affairs, CA4WDC www.cal4wheel.com

Find Del on Facebook here
Find BRC on Facebook here.

Contact Del at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.delalbright.com
Del’s Cell:  (209) 304-7693

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John Stewart

A Message From BRC's Executive Director

Dear BlueRibbon Coalition Members and Supporters:

I hope this email finds you all well and looking forward to spending a great Thanksgiving Holiday with your friends and family.  On behalf of everyone at the BlueRibbon Coalition, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

I also want to draw your attention to a few things we are working on:

Our latest legal update includes an amazing denial by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) that their policy to manage Recommended Wilderness Areas (RWA) as if those RWAs were congressional designated Wilderness exists. What makes the denial amazing is that we have written copy of that policy, and we've included a link to it in our update! To quote our alert:  "The whole point of this suit is to find out which version reflects reality - ours or the USFS!"

This is an example of why our legal program is so important. You can read our alert and learn more about our legal efforts here:


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John Stewart

A Message From BRC's Executive Director

Dear BRC Members and Supporters,

Must Read Editorial
I want to encourage everyone to read Brian Hawthorne's editorial this week.  I give you fair warning, what the National Park Service (NPS) is doing here is outrageous. NPS Oyster Stew - Betrayal Deja Vu.

When I watched the associated video Brian linked to, I was outraged, but I cannot say I was surprised. The vicious betrayal by the NPS of a family owned oyster farm is outrageous, but the fact that they used trumped up science to do it seems to me sadly typical of today's U.S. Department of Interior. I have been all across the US on my Turn the Tide Tour, and have seen this literally from Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic to Point Reyes on the Pacific.

Best available science my eye! More like "most convenient trumped-up allegation."

Science in the Department of the Interior has become a joke, and the agency should be ashamed. I can't help but ask, "At what point does the personal opinion of agency leadership outweigh actual public policy?" You shouldn't be able to twist the science and rewrite history to suit your agenda.  

While we are on the subject of the DOI

Here is a quick Update on the Canyonlands Monument proposal. I want to thank our supporters who responded to our recent blast on the proposal to designate a massive new National Monument in southeastern Utah.

The issue has gotten a lot of national media attention, including in key Washington DC based natural resource newsletters.

In our update, BRC's Brian Hawthorne noted

"I have been personally involved in numerous collaborative efforts to determine how these prized recreational lands are managed, both as a recreationist who loves visiting the area and also as a representative of the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national OHV advocacy group.
The Outdoor Industry Association's advocacy arm has lost all credibility. Their letter requesting that President Obama establish a new National Monument is nothing less than an end-run around local and state efforts to consider how best to protect these lands. Their requests pulls the rug out from under those who will be most likely to be impacted by land use decisions - local citizens - as they hammer out compromises."

Indeed, San Juan County is an example of how to do it right. This last Monday, the County and the Navajo Nation signed a formalized agreement to "work together in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation to recognize and consider how to effectively manage the outstanding natural, cultural and recreational resources on state and federal lands in San Juan County, as well as the socio-economic conditions for the enhancement of the quality of life for all San Juan County residents."

Mark Maryboy, the County representative for the Navaho Nation was quoted as saying:

"Navajos have always felt that the local people, whether they be Navajo or non-Navajo, should be at the forefront of discussing public lands."
Maryboy added that the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument effort, which has received support from a variety of national groups, should begin as a local effort.

Sadly, 100 outdoor retailers disagree. They seem to be doubling down on their request for President Obama to do an "end run" around these local collaborative efforts, and unilaterally designate a massive 1.4  million acres National Monument.

Read about the San Juan County/Navaho Nation agreement here:
San Juan County and Navajo Nation to coordinate land use efforts

The issue has also brought some much needed attention on a very dangerous lawsuit filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA).  After years of sitting dormant, it has been resurrected in the U.S. District Court in Utah, and could close some of the most nationally significant motorized recreation trails in Moab, Cainville and the San Rafael Swell.

Whatever the threat, BRC is committed to defend OHV recreation across the U.S. As Hawthorne noted in his editorial, we aren't surprised by much anymore. Just resolved to fight harder.

Thank you all for your support,
Greg Mumm
Executive Director
BlueRibbon Coalition

Learn about the SUWA lawsuit in our most recent Utah update

Support our Legal Program

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://www.sharetrails.org
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As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!


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John Stewart

Vehicle Donation Program provides support for BRC

BlueRibbon Coalition Vehicle Donation ProgramVehicle Donation Program continues to provide support for BRC to keep public lands open and is a Win-Win for members

The Partnership between the Vehicles for Charity (VFC) and the BlueRibbon Coalition has continued to grow since the program kicked off in July 2008.  As we move toward the fall of 2013, I am pleased to report that the Vehicle For Charity (VFC) program continues to help BlueRibbon Coalition efforts to maintain access to our public lands.

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