POCATELLO, ID. — Greg Mumm is tired. Tired of what's happening to recreational access in this country. As such, the executive director of the BlueRibbon Coalition is going wheels down across the U.S. of A. to rally the troops.
Mumm is taking to his dual-sport motorcycle to take a good, long trip around the country to meet with the local groups and leaders involved in access rights in what he's calling the Turn the Tide Tour 2012. As Mumm puts it, "It's about the future of recreation on public lands and water. … I am going to meet with as many grassroots recreation enthusiasts, leaders, and organizations as I can. I want to hear all perspectives," he said. "At the end of my ride I am going to take the messages and concerns that you provide me to Washington, D.C., and deliver them with those who can and should be doing something about them."
I am also providing you the opportunity to tell us what you expect from the BlueRibbon Coalition. This year, the BlueRibbon Coalition is celebrating its 25 year history as a national recreational advocacy organization. What we have accomplished in that quarter of a century has been remarkable. We need to make certain this organization remains relevant in its efforts for the next 25 years. What I hear back from you will help define our mission going forward and ensure we are fulfilling our members' expectations.
I need you to engage with me in this ride, virtually or in person.
If you want to join me on the road for 25, 100, or even for 1,000 miles, I encourage you to do so. Whether you ride your bike or drive your car or off-road rig doesn't matter. It isn't about the vehicle. It's about the message. We will be providing an evolving schedule, a tracking map of where I am going, when I'll get there, and who I am meeting with.
If not physically, then join me virtually. Track my progress and stay tuned to what I am reporting back here at this site, as well as liking the tour on Facebook and following it on Twitter. Engage with this effort by providing me with the message you would like me to deliver to Washington DC by clicking here. Give your feedback on what you expect from the BlueRibbon Coalition as we move forward by clicking here. Tell your friends and have them tell their friends. That is the point. This needs to be huge. We need to reach as many as we can — it is time to grow our political significance. Your input and your participation matters here.
Whether those that I meet with are BRC members or not doesn't matter, although if they aren't I will certainly encourage them to join. Membership is what makes us who we are. It also doesn't matter to me what kind of outdoor recreation they enjoy, the issues we all face are bigger than that. The BlueRibbon Coalition is an umbrella organization that spans the spectrum of outdoor recreation. Together, I still believe we can make a difference for ourselves and for future generations.
I know that millions of Americans share my frustration. It seems like every time we turn around there is some new initiative seeking to take away our access for recreation on public (and even private) lands and waters. Although my focus is on recreation and management of our public lands, we all know these are only part of a greater problem.
The systematic closure of our public lands to the public is an erosion of our rights and privileges as citizens. When our freedom is compromised, this country is compromised. It is time to take a different approach in the fight for our freedoms and privileges. Our issues need to be front and center and our leaders need to understand that.
Outdoor recreation is a $646 billion dollar a year industry that provides jobs and revenue to rural and suburban American communities alike. There are over 50 million Americans who enjoy Off-Highway Vehicle recreation. The truth is that everyone is motorized at some point when they visit our public lands. Closing off access for recreation on our public lands is just one more reason our economy is tanking. People are losing jobs and, contrary to what extremists would have you believe, it is not necessarily helping the environment. Enough is enough. Join with me and help make a difference.
Posted by Dennis Johnson