General 4x4 topics
Subcategories from this category:Americans for Responsible Recreation Access, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, BlueRibbon Coalition, California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, Don Amador's Recreation HQ, Del Albright - Outdoor Recreation Advocate, National Off Highway Vehical Conservation Council, Tread Lightly, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, The TrailPAC, SEMA SAN
The Future Is Calling -- Who will be there to answer?
By Del Albright, BlueRibbon Coalition Ambassador
Activists in off-road recreation seem to be an aging group – no offense intended. Many of us are “gray hairs” and many are working so hard that “burnout” may cause some premature aging. I worry that not enough young folks are taking up the torch and carrying the flame. When the future calls, will we have folks there to answer?
I was enjoying the business of an annual convention recently of the California Association of 4WD Clubs (CA4WDC) when I noticed long-time activist Jim Bramham sitting nearby with his grandson, Oscar (2 and 1/2 years old). I swung the camera towards Oscar and said, “Hello.” Upon hearing those familiar words, Oscar picked up his play calculator like it was a telephone and answered me back. Cute.
Congressional lawmakers are once again considering legislation to create a nationwide "Cash for Clunkers" program. The latest bill (H.R. 1550) is entitled the “Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act” (CARS Act) and was introduced on March 17, 2009 by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).
If enacted into law, the legislation would provide consumers with vouchers worth from $3,000–$5,000 to buy a new car if they scrap a vehicle that is at least eight years old. The new car must have a sticker price less than $35,000 and meet certain fuel economy and emissions ratings. The program would run for calendar years 2009 and 2010. After that, for model years 2011–2016, consumers could get $7,500 vouchers to purchase electric vehicles.
Under the bill, qualification criteria would differ between new vehicles assembled in the United States and vehicles assembled in Canada and Mexico, with the latter held to a higher MPG rating to qualify for the same or lower subsidy. The program would not apply to new vehicles built outside of North America.
Toyota North America and other foreign-based automakers have spoken out against the discriminatory treatment in the legislation.
The Interior Department will return to the previous application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and require all federal agencies to first consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) if there was the potential to impact a threatened or endangered species. In the past, this periodically led to a review process that could last months or years and be contested in court.
Millions of acres of land have been closed under the ESA as a mechanism to protect plants and animals. Nevertheless, there is general consensus in Congress that the ESA needs to be updated so that less money is spent on ESA lawsuits and more is spent on providing quality habitats.
The issue is of consequence to SEMA members that market products for use on off-highway vehicles since public access has been denied to roads and trails in ESA-protected areas.Source: SEMA Action Network
Does your GPS unit have a simple, one-touch, Go Home button? Mine does and I love it when traveling. Makes the trip home easy to plan.
But here's a thought for you. Have you considered how easy it would be for a thief to find your house with this button? If a bad-guy gets your car keys, thus your car, there's a good chance you have a home key on the same key ring. So he gets the car started, pushes your Go Home button, follows the route and there he is, right at your front door with YOUR keys.
So my advice is to chart your Go Home button to a very nearby place – but not your house. Heck, just a few houses down would be enough to keep a car key stealing thief from finding your exact location.
There are a ton of websites out there to help you choose a GPS if you don't have one yet. I do recommend having one in your off road rig (and your RV if you play with big toys). It's a very helpful tool and be most useful in an emergency as well – you can direct in emergency folks with way points (lats and longs).