Top Five Issues - 2008
The only constant is change. We are in the midst of rapid and massive change that will have a lasting impact on recreation. Now is the time to become involved. Membership in many organizations is falling off. Now is the time to examine your priorities and make your voice be heard.
As we move forward, the below list of five items represents my view of issues that will be major factors in the legal, legislative, and administrative processes affecting recreation opportunities.
1. Forest Service Travel Management (Route Designation). This is part of the administrative process where the Forest Service will determine a sustainable system of routes to support the needs of Forest visitors. Key to determining the final system of designated routes are the potential for resource damage and financial resources to maintain the routes.
2. Special Recreation/Special Use Permits. Each federal agency has begun to implement some form of Special Use/Recreation Permit. Associated with these permits is the concept of “cost-recovery”. As such, the process is expected to set limits on the number of visitors to federal lands and recover the costs associated with issuing a permit. Such "costs" include archeology and biology surveys and law enforcement.
3. Image. Motorized recreation continues to be marked as “destroyers of the environment”. Image does affect land management decisions when protection of resources is under consideration. Our image is projected to the public though advertising and our own web sites.
4. Coalition Building. Motorized recreation is characterized by many facets, each with its own set of advocates. We need to build a coalition of the different people to develop strategy and set priorities for addressing issues common to all. While we may recreate in different manners, we are bound by two common elements. We use a motorized vehicle and we need access to a place for recreation.
5. Membership and Involvement. Increasing the membership and involvement of recreationists is important. As we move into the future, we will be involved with change. The sport is changing. Opportunities are changing. And, regulations are changing. Membership and involvement are key ingredients to ensuring recreation remains a viable opportunity.
I encourage everyone to become active and involved. Join a local club, state/regional association, and a national organization. Your participation helps protect access to recreation opportunities.