Know your Enemy

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Smokinjoe

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Advocate II

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Ridgecrest
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They say " Know your Enemy " secure.denfenders.org is Defenders of Wildlife a very well financed and organized non profit advocacy group based in Washington DC with full time positions across the US.

They are not fans of Off-Roaders or 4X4 access that causes environmental threats to the planet or the accelerating rate of extinction of species and the associated loss of biological diversity, and habitat alteration and destruction.
wow what a mission statement but this is the type of organized effort that most folks in Off-Road community have no idea what we are up against. That why as Off-Roaders we are always in reactive mode to most issues affecting us.

Below is a link to their page dealing with the Red Rock State Park issues please note how professional this is setup and EZ to use with just a few clicks, here is a line from their email to State Parks : The off-road vehicle activities within Last Chance Canyon and Nightmare Gulch are of prime concern and need to be halted.


Here is a link to Defenders of Wildlife main page:


sj
 

MOAK

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Advocate II

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Wernersville, PA, USA
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Donald
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Diehl
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0745

I think the major question lies in how to approach these type of well financed lobbyist groups. Back in 2010 or so we were some of the very last vehicle campers allowed to get in to Peek-A-Boo campsite along the Salt Creek in the Needles district. Not only did SUWA succeed in getting the southern portion of the Salt Creek trail shut down in 2004, they later (2012 or thereabouts), succeeded in shutting down the entire route. I had no problem with having to make reservations, go through the permitting process, complete with back-round check, then checking in with the ranger station and getting the combo for the combo lock to get in and out. I get that, and quite frankly do not want to see any areas such as this, a national archaeological site, be disturbed or over run by a limitless number of visitors in vehicles. However, SUWA finally succeeded in closing it down completely by using the Organic Act to convince the courts to side with them. Is SUWA our enemy? In the Salt Creek instance, yes. It was unfortunate that continuing with a permitting process wasn't possible because each side had their heels dug in deep. SUWA also fought like hell to protect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase, so in that case they are not my enemy. If areas such as these are sold off to the highest bidder we would loose access for generations, if not forever. When this happens, we all lose. When access to places like Salt Creek are closed off, we all lose.

My point? Yes, it is very important to know your enemy, however it is even more important to know how your enemy thinks, and which issues you agree upon. It is unfortunate that either side of the vehicular access issue has been pushed into their "all or nothing" corners. Folks in the 4x4 community had a fit when the park service began limiting access and requiring permits to be on the WRT and the Needles District two tracks. In general, folks in the "over-landing" community understood that in order to preserve these areas and keep them from being over-run by 4x4s, the permitting process will save these regions for generations. Should we lose access to public lands because of privatization? No. Should we lose access to public lands because of environmental impact? (real or imagined) Of course not. The way I see it, we as 'Overlanders" are pretty much alone in this, making it not only impossible to jump into bed with either side, but reprehensible as well. Either side we choose, we lose. There has to be a better way than "all or nothing". Just imagine the uproar and the ensuing closures if the Rubicon Trail were to become privatized.
 
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Sonarman

Rank V
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Pathfinder I

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north SF bay area
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Kma6aiu
Be careful who you get in bed with. In general the defenders of wildlife hate 4x4 owners just like the anti gun lobby. With over 40 years of wheeling I have watch the areas to go out and have fun in diminish. The government gobbles up the land that belongs to the public and then wants to control use of it by overcharging for use of public property. If outdoors people give there hard earned money to Organization’s which don’t support the use of public land for all, then you are buying them the rope to hang you with in the future!
 

MOAK

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Diehl
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There is also more behind the scenes. If anyone recalls the Bundy standoff years ago, a rancher had rights to graze his cattle on BLM land and was suddenly revoked. It turned into a big stink and eventually it came out that the BLM land was sold to Chinese investors. Google BLM land sold to Chinese and you will see a lot going on for more than the last decade. Also, BLM land and National Parks are a drain on the Federal Government as they have been blowing money on wars, Homeland security, etc, etc. Legislation has been going on trying to get Federal land switched over to state control. Arizona citizens actually blocked one bill for fear that the state would take over the parks and then sell them to private investors to make money and help balance their budgets. Once a foreign entity, or anyone for that matter gets these lands, they will never be allowed for us to use again.
The government has taken large chunks of land in the US and taken control of it. It is called "public" land, but it is still under government control. One big piece of desert land has already been sold to a Chinese company that is going to develop it as a solar field and then be able to sell the power to US citizens. So yes, there are groups out there that want to shut off access and protect owls and whatever, but the REAL raping and pillaging can only come from the government. Heck, Obama was even talking about this years ago and was saying how our federal land needed to be sold to make good on US debt to other countries.
Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue and millions of jobs
Dude,, you really need to do some basic fact checking before you hit your keyboard next time.. it is one thing to dislike what has been done to some one or dislike what they have done. It is an entirely different matter when opinion is formulated from outright lies and fabrications... there was no Chinese company wanting to purchase BLM land that wasn’t even for sale... Bundy didn’t pay his damn rent.. how long would you be able to stay in your rental unit after refusing to pay rent? Obama wanting to sell off public lands? Really? Cmon man, if you want to partake in a discussion at least have one or two opinions based upon factual history..
 

MOAK

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OK, first off, the WND is a right wing, very fringe publication, ( c'mon, Erik Rush?) that opines strong opinion without backing those opinions with facts. Even so, when one reads his article there is no mention made of Obama's desire to sell off of BLM lands. If one disagrees with politicians that is fine and well, but aren't we all a bit tired of people manufacturing reasons that simply do not exist in order to further justify their dislike of someone. I know that I am tired of it. The WND is no different than Racheal Maddow on the extreme left peddling her opinion as if it were fact.
The article in Reuters does tell us that it was "county" lands, not federally controlled BLM lands. The other article you used as evidence is about republican congressman seeking to sell off public lands, they backed off of the idea because of public outcry.
I agree with you that the privatization of BLM lands is a much larger threat than the fringe group ecologists that want to close everything down to vehicular traffic. However, so far in our open debate, you have provided no evidence to support your initial statements. There are a multitude of publications, including National Geographic, telling us what lands have been set aside as National Parks, Monuments and BLM lands, beginning with Ulysses Grant and his making Yellowstone the first National Park. I would suggest you take a look at what the current administration has done. For the first time in history a president has shrunk public lands and opened them up to the private sector. I know that I certainly do not want my continuing exploration of the western US, primarily Bears Ears and Grand Staircase to be thwarted with privatization of any public lands.
 
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MOAK

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Maybe not, I’m always open to ideas and or opinions that are different than my own. If the things you stated were reliable, then the new information would alter my opinion of any given subject..