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Podcast 011 – Keep Our Trails Out of Jail

Podcast 011 – Keep Our Trails Out of Jail

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Trail Access and Land Use – Join the Conversation

As the popularity of overlanding and vehicle dependent exploration has grown, so has the discussion around land use. More and more people are turning to the great outdoors to seek solace and balance from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. With our population growing quickly, proper land use is paramount to healthy and sustainable recreation in our lands and waterways.   

We sat down with Todd Ockert (President) and Del Albright (Executive Director) from Blue Ribbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org to discuss land use and land access.

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Todd Ockurt

Blue Ribbon Coalition Sharetrails.org
President

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Del Albright

Blue Ribbon Coalition Sharetrails.org
Executive Director

Listen to the Podcast in its entirety below!

As Del explains, BRC/Sharetrails.org has been working for 30+ years both regionally and nationally to help “preserve our resources and public lands for the public. Not from the public…That’s really part of our (BRC/ST) culture is to explore, have the adventure, share the land – there’s places where we don’t belong, places that we do belong. That’s part of our mission and vision.”

And Todd is quick to point out the simple reason for becoming involved. Fun. “We want to make sure we have good forests and good public lands that are maintained so that they are sustainable… It’s responsible use of our public lands so that we can continue to recreate and go have fun.”

What does someone who’s new to overlanding and exploring in the US need to know?

Del sums it up easily. “Be Responsible. Setting the example. Carrying a trash bag. Volunteer for a club project. Writing a letter… ‘Land use’ is a package of persevering the adventure, the steps that we take to keep that adventure alive… It’s complicated and there’s a lot to it, but in reality it is that simple.”

Here are a few key takeaways from the conversation:

Have the right gear. “Anybody who doesn’t have a trash bag hanging on the back of their rig or accessible isn’t doing their part. Do you have to fill it up every time? No…but carry a trash bag.”

Get involved. “Overland Bound is just a start. Get online and learn more about the clubs and organizations in your area and contribute… If I can donate, fine, but if I can give a day of my time? That is the value right there.” There are problems that can’t be fixed with money.

Contribute. Consider setting $100 year aside to state and national organization memberships. In addition to the national reach of Blue Ribbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org, Del mentions CAL4WHEEL and/or CORVA as examples local to California.

Del has an acronym he came up with to make it easy remember:

JAIL – How to keep our public lands out of jail and what can the individual do:

Join

This is the most important action to take according to Del. You can join “nationally with BRC or if you want to start locally, whatever, start somewhere and join. Whatever makes sense. State. Regional. National. Local. Find the ones that make sense and throw some joining money their direction.”

Advocate

“Talk it up. When you’re talking to someone, share your passion. Why do you love exploring? What makes you so excited about driving around in the backwoods?”

Include

“If you ever get the chance to take a politician or someone that wants to learn more, give them a seat. Include them so they understand us.” Del definitely walks this talk.

Letters

“Write those letters when asked.” Most importantly, stay informed and active. When a post goes up asking for support, follow through and contribute.

At the end of the day, we are all working for the same end goal. Del adds one more thought, “The respectful consideration… Cleaning up, trash bags, trail work, all those things make up that magic word of ‘land use’.”

Corrie Co-Founder, Marketing and Editor @ Overland Bound. Often found behind the camera, keyboard or steering wheel. (But not all at once.)

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