Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Skunk in CO OHV Politics

After reading the Nov. 6 article about a faux “OHV group” (RTA) and a number of anti-OHV organizations in Colorado trying to strip trail maintenance funds from state parks and use them for more “law enforcement,” I was reminded of my March 2009 blog regarding such groups as being a Trojan Horse or Skunk at the Party.
*Photo: Don Amdor (left) FMF/BRC Sound Crew Leader and Hayward MC's, Jim Donahoe (right), at the Sound Check Station - Cowbell Enduro 2009. Mendocino NF, Photo credit - Ron Simmons

Nov. 6 Article on User Fees Being Diverted (quote from OHVers including Jerry Abboud)

Having been involved in California OHV politics (remember that ALL land use decisions are political decisions) for almost 20 years, I can guarantee the OHV community that when you have any organization (most of these will be anti-OHV at the core) that focuses primarily on law enforcement to the detriment of trail funding …you have a skunk at the party or worse yet… a Trojan horse in your midst.

My good friend Jerry Abboud (executive director for the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Assn) who has been at this game for even longer than I… must have an equally good sense of smell. (see his quote in the Nov. 6 article)

These faux OHV groups that now claim to speak for “responsible recreation” should spend an equally proportionate amount of their time and energy supporting trail maintenance, new trail construction, trail volunteer projects, or trail reroutes to address resource issues. If not, get ready to hold your nose.

Most agency and green groups (if they are honest) know that I have been – and continue to be – a strong supporter of appropriate law enforcement as part of a holistic approach to the management of motorized recreation. However, The General believes a strategy that relies primarily on “law enforcement” as a management tool in the absence of a well-managed OHV program --that includes a functional trail network, well kept staging/camping areas, good signing and maps, and most importantly an involved and committed land manager – is doomed to fail.

Groups that require, as their main focus, the following mandates – use of large license plates (so you can be turned into authorities more easily), trail funds be used mostly for law enforcement, and increased fines -- are not your friends.

Not all environmental/conservation groups are so narrowly focused. Be prudent before you jump on the trail with groups that have a hidden or not-so-hidden agenda.

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