Are we in this fight alon?
Posted May 14, 2002 - 06:03 AM
Posted May 14, 2002 - 08:46 AM
Although their help and support are needed on our side, bike manufacturers are motivated by profit margins and so will not devote the same kind of effort and resources to the issues as the enviro-nuts. Since it is not necessarily a personal issue for them, it would not make sense for them to "win the battle" at the expense of losing their bottom line. Also, you have to consider that any attempted political maneuvering on their part could only be viewed as self serving by the broader public. Being very vocal and active on the land issues may tend to backfire on them by making their businesses as targets. They are burning a lot of time and money already just to be able to continue to produce a product with all of the government regulation on emissions control.
The land use issues are personal for you and I, though. And in a certain sense, we are alone as the victims. A good part of the mainstream public do not view motorized recreation as a constructive activity whose "rights" need protecting. We further segregate ourselves (dirtbikers) by fostering a certain amount of alienation from other forms of motorized recreation (such as our resentment toward quads and jeeps for ruining "our" trails). We also like to identify ourselves as MXers or trailriders or sandriders and so further focus our allegiances. The greenies then have only to take us down one at a time. Right now in my part of the country, the sand duners are the primary target, but we all stand to lose from the outcome of these current threats.
Therein lies the answer. The greenies may succeed at closing a specific land area or gaining protection for a particular plant or animal species because their actions appear to be isolated and only impact localized groups of special interests. And the benefits of such closures or protections can be made to be perceived as being in the common public interest. However, these small groups no matter how cunning, deceptive or diligent in their efforts stand no chance when their actions are clearly seen as contrary to the public interests. We have to make our interests into public interests.
Its up to each of us as individuals. We must acknowledge and support each others interests whether we ride bikes, quads, jeeps, snowmobiles or watercraft. Likewise for all non-motorized forms of outdoor recreation. We MUST take an environmental interest and show honest concern about the condition of the land that we cherish so much.
Support your local club and cooperate with other clubs when action and support are needed. Participate in area cleanups, whether they are for your riding trails or on behalf of someone else's outdoor recreation. Support the national organizations such as BRC whose actions are vital to our cause. But most of all, realize that the guy sitting next to you, no matter what his outdoor recreation, has just as much to lose and that you can accomplish more by working together.
Posted May 14, 2002 - 12:04 PM
The Blue Ribbon Coalition does seem to be one of the few common denominators between the many forms of public recreation. I also think that until enough land is closed that the Motorcycle Companies see falling sales, they will opt to maximize their bottom line, at the expense of potential future losses. This type of short-sighted business practice is all too common. When sales do drop, they will come rushing in to help, negative public opinion or not, but it will very likely be too late.
If any of you reading this topic work at Yamaha, Honda etc. do everyone a favor and let your management know that there is a perceived lack of support from them. If this is incorrect and they are indeed contributing to the cause, then I will be the first to sing their praises. If I find one of them has joined our fight, they will get my future business, regardless of brand allegiance.
Posted May 14, 2002 - 12:27 PM
Personally, I think this is a lost cause. These folks have the power and the agenda to do what they will. The only way to succeed is to vote them out of office, and that will never happen in an age when we have 50% of this country voting for people like Al Gore.
This November will tell us a lot about the political climate in California. If Davis and Boxer get reelected, then you could pretty much bet the farm that off-road recreation is soon to be a thing of the past.
This is just my opinion, and I hope I'm wrong.
Posted May 15, 2002 - 10:02 AM
It's almost criminal that OHV dealers just sit by and make their customers fight for their right to ride the great outdoors! Fricken pathetic if you ask me !!
Posted May 15, 2002 - 11:05 AM
Greens sole purpose is to put us out of business, we just want to ride. We wont get organized until its too late. I dont here much from local race organizers about local issues or how to address them. I am BRC and AMA and donate extra $ and write letters, but most riders dont.
I would like to see each rider at an event sign a petition or a letter addressing local issues, hell where else can you get a bunch of riders togather to support the cause. Once we've finished the race and gone home its just not going to happen. I would like to purchase products from companies that display the BRC logo, so I know they are involved at least on a financial level. Can it really be that hard to get the business people involved. I would think they would want to display the BRC logo in ads, and what not.
Posted May 16, 2002 - 04:59 AM
Personally, I get irritated by the prevalent attitude that we are just Sheep waiting to be slaughtered. Looks to me like its time to get mad and fight back!
Posted May 16, 2002 - 10:53 AM
Rather we need to think of ways to "encourage" more participation. Team Oatmeal's idea about working with event promoters and sponsers (manufacturers and retailers) to heighten awareness and enourage individual participation is the right way to go. "Constructive" comments to manufactures and retailers are very appropriate, but trying to stand between them and their bank account only creates more resistance. Land won't suddenly start opening back up because Camelbak has gone out of business. Standing outside of a greedy motorsports dealership with picket signs is a misdirected effort.
I'll stress again, individual contribution is key. If your buddy is not doing enough, then you need to do more yourself. Eventually he'll come around. I know that makes it seem like a harder fight, but that is the reality. You may have to ask a guy a hundred times for his help before he budges, but if you punch him in the nose he will never help.
zaknavage, I just signed it, thanks.
Posted May 16, 2002 - 12:26 PM
No offense taken here. I think your comments regarding constructive comments are absolutely correct. By "getting mad" I am actually refering to all of the lathargic riders out there who think this is always someone elses fight. I would venture to guess that the greater percentage of off road riders in the USA are not members of the Blue Ribbon Coalition or any other group fighting on our behalf. I think many TT'ers are, primarily because we have all heightened each others awareness of the issue. This is why I wholeheartedly agree with the statement that increased awreness at races etc. will help.
Will refusing to buy products from those who support closing public land down help. Maybe, maybe not, but I will personally will feel better knowing that my dollars were not spent in support of their cause.
Most of the land closings are a result of lawsuits brought on by the Sierra Club etc. In order to not get tangled up in these lawsuits the Land Management Divisions merely give in. Why? Because there isn't the threat of a lawsuit on our behalf if the do give in. Where we fight the battle is by legal means. Why do I speak of Manufacturing contributions? Because corporate sponsors of the BLC would have big dollars to contribute compared to you or I. This legal fight end the end will come down to money. Wider spread awareness will help generate this from the riders but it will take alot of us to offset one big corporate donation from Camelback.
The good news is, if we "all" contribute our small amount, the overall total will be substantial. The trick is getting everyone to get "mad" enough to part with the $20 buck donation to BLC and get into the game.
You spoke of the passion and dedication that these Environmental Terrorists have, well I would like to think that powersports people carry that same passion.
Posted May 16, 2002 - 02:26 PM
Glad to see this is finally being discussed regularly. We need to fight for our rights. That is the only way to keep it alive. BRC is starting a legal attack program and spearheading an alternative to "Wilderness" or "Open" designations. It is called "Back Country". This is where environmental concerns are addressed, but the land is actually open for recreation. This is a great idea, and can serve to disarm the "Wilderness or nothing" argument.
These enviro activists are often shaggy, unwashed, sloppy, mentally deranged social outcasts with a Ted Kaczinski attitude. If we can't whip their asses, then we're not worth hen squat on a pump handle.
Join the Blue Ribbon Coalition, Corva, ARRA, or any of the other dozen or so groups trying to save recreational lands across the country. Send them money. Go online and write your Federal and State Elected Officials. Send email to conservative radio and TV talk show hosts. Eventually, they will air a story and the gig will be up. One thing we have to do is expose their enviro-scams to the light of day, and they will scatter like a bunch of roaches on a waxed kitchen floor. Keep up the dialogue.