month or so ago I read a magazine article that talked about
the difference between tree huggers and those people involved
in four wheel drive clubs. The article spoke of an off-shoot
organization of the Sierra
Club that involved a bunch of people that would get together
on the weekends to enjoy the "back country" in their 4 wheel
drive vehicles. They were the "predecessors of the Tread
Lightly! philosophy, if you will.
group was eventually asked to leave the Sierra Club - and not
because they had done anything wrong, but simply because they
(as a group) were not political enough.
in itself, should be a warning to people as they discuss why
it always seems that the Anti-OHV groups seem to win hands down
when it comes to legislation - and why winning is such a struggle
for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, SWFWDA and others that attempt
to keep our lands open.
article went on to say that the main reason is that people that
join the Sierra Club and others like it are getting involved
because they have chosen to jump into the politics - most people
in clubs join because they want to spend time with other people
they can relate to and have a good time. The last thing they
want is to work and spend their time pushing politics.
I begin to think about what it is that I do as an individual
to keep lands open. To start with, I have joined a reputable
four wheel drive club. This club (thru membership) helps to
Four Wheel Drive Association and The United Four Wheel Drive
have written letters to local (and out of state) papers as well
as kept in contact with my local and past congressman - letting
them know what I, a registered voter, think. I vote - especially
on environmental issues and I attempt to be as consistent as
that have I done anything else?
At one time I was looking into a Texas Grant that could be used
to open an Off-Road play area or OHV Park. When I ran into another
group doing the same thing I stopped my process and jumped in
with them (TMTC, for information check their web site at http://www.texasmotorizedtrails.com).
The goal was to open an OHV park in North Texas. This park would
be opened for 4x4s, buggies, motorcycles and ATV's. I have helped
to serve on a trails committee and the park is now open to members.
Kudos should be given to all involved.
I done enough now?
I collect trash almost every time I go out, I keep my Jeep in
good shape, and I carry empty bottles to use if I have an emergency
on the trail, like draining oils and other messes into.
try to help my fellow wheelers out when I can. I attempt to
Tread Lightly! and tell others when they are not. I carry tree
tar in my tool bag and when some one peels the bark on a tree
I try to seal it up. I do what I can to leave nature as it was
when I found it,. In fact, I attempt to leave it better then
I found it.
I done enough now?
not. I have been exposed to the outdoors and things that happen
out doors most of my life. When I was growing up we went camping.
I have seen most of the US by car, not via the Internet or by
flying from one city to another; by actually experiencing the
US in all its grandeur, from the tiny towns of Vermont and Maine
to the huge expanses of nothing between Texas and Arizona. This
is how America should be viewed. Hiking, biking, canoeing and
four wheeling add to this majestic view of our country and our
guess we will need another 10 to 15 years to know for sure.
If my daughter still has the ability to go where she wants with
the vehicle of her choice then I guess I and my generation have
done everything we needed to do. If not, if she only gets to
view grass thru a manufactured plastic window then I have not
only failed my fellow four wheelers (who are true environmentalists),
but I have failed my daughter and my family.
urge each and every one of you to please get involved. Find
out who your Congressmen are. Use the power of your one solitary
single vote. Please, for the sake of our sport, this country
and our families.