HOW WE ACCOMPLISH OUR VITAL MISSION
By participating in the political process as a national voice, Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is able to advance opportunities for motorized recreation and true multiple use.
BRC has proven its ability time and time again to mobilize its membership. We can develop broad-based opposition to legislative threats and build support for recreation friendly legislation aimed at improving access opportunities for all.
Working with federal land administrators and public land managers, BRC promotes fair use policies and true multiple use philosophies, which have proven their effectiveness in preventing problems, such as user conflict and solving specific problems when they do occur.
By promoting cooperation between trail riders, resource industries, and other types of public land users, BRC has enjoyed many successes in resolving problems, preventing closures, and promoting fair land use policy for all.
Three decades of work!
The BlueRibbon Coalition was founded in 1987 by Clark Collins after he realized the impact that the Wilderness Designation and other similarly restrictive designations and policies would have on motorized and non-motorized recreationists. Upon being told by a former Idaho Governor that recreationists were “politically insignificant,” he began organizing individuals and clubs to provide more unified involvement of the grassroots recreation community in administrative, legislative actions, and legal actions that affect recreational access on public and private lands and waters.
BRC recognizes that 4X4 enthusiasts, ATVers, equestrians, hunters, motorcyclists, mountain bikers, snowmobilers, boaters and other recreationists have a right to enjoy their access to public lands and share common goals to protect that privilege. Today, the Coalition represents over six hundred member organizations and celebrates having individual, organization, and business members in all 50 states.
For a quarter of a century, the BlueRibbon Coalition has been “preserving our natural resources FOR the public instead of FROM the public.”
WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN & SUPPORT THE BLUERIBBON COALITION
The BlueRibbon Coalition Provides: Unparalleled Advocacy
After thirty years of continuous advocacy for recreation and access, the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) has earned significant credibility with land managers, Congress and the courts. Our coordinated efforts at local, state and federal levels have ensured that recreationists are no longer considered “politically insignificant.”
- Even among the anti-access groups, BRC is respected as a formidable adversary.
- BRC serves as a national voice for OHV enthusiasts and is regularly quoted or referenced by major media.
- BRC was instrumental in passing the legislation that authorized the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This legislation is the most significant legislative accomplishment of the OHV community.
- The BlueRibbon Coalition plays a vital role in helping enthusiasts work with both the Forest Service and the BLM to develop and implement travel management plans that provide enjoyable experiences and protect resources.
- BRC works one-on-one with land managers at all levels. This compliments our grassroots involvement with clubs and enthusiasts nationally, ensuring access and opportunity for generations to come.
- The BlueRibbon Coalition’s alternative “BACK COUNTRY RECREATION AREA” designation continues to gain ground and is helping resolve the long debate over Wilderness designation.
- Because scandals involving the Endangered Species Act (ESA) continue to emerge, BRC continues to vigorously oppose the misapplication of ESA. We stress the importance of sound science in public lands management.
- Through our online webzine at sharetrails.org website and our web-based alert system, BlueRibbon keeps recreationists informed and up-to-date on important issues affecting recreation across the country.
- BRC is regularly requested to testify before Congress on recreational access issues.
BlueRibbon Legal: Taking Advocacy To The Courts
Our Legal Action Fund “speaks softly and carries a big stick.” We have an exclusive fulltime legal presence creating an essential foundation of recreation advocacy. But our most visible focus is countering the endless stream of litigation by the anti-access crowd and when opportunities develop, going on offense with our own actions. Since 1996, the BlueRibbon Coalition legal team has taken the lead in dozens of lawsuits throughout the country defending reasonable recreational access. The BlueRibbon Coalition’s lawyers have appeared in more than a dozen federal district courts, four circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. A few examples are listed below:
- Decade’s long involvement in Wilderness Study Area suits defending threats and restoring riding opportunities
- Convinced 9th Circuit to reverse 20 year old rule that prevented non-federal interests from responding to enviro lawsuits
- Stopped road ripping and diverted closure energies to productive stakeholder solutions in Six Rivers Forest (CA)
- Filed suit in response to “manage through total closure” agency mentality at Tellico (NC)
- Lead litigant in “Roadless” area cases since 1999, including Idaho case that temporarily enjoined Clinton Roadless Rule
- Long standing presence in varied roles fighting for Eldorado Forest (CA) access, including attorney fee recovery
- Key role alongside partners in defending Yellowstone snowmobile access starting in 1997
- Filed lawsuit leading to the re-opening of Lake Powell to personal watercraft (UT & AZ)
- Evolving defense of Clear Creek (CA) riding against ESA and asbestos motivated closures
- Blocked anti-access settlement during key political transition from Clinton to Bush administrations (IL)
- First (and continuing) intervenor in critical litigation defending and re-establishing riding at Glamis (CA)
- Successfully appealed a “total closure” option of the Angelina National Forest in Texas and thwarted an identical effort on the Holly Springs National Forest in Mississippi
- Continual presence in Forest Service travel planning and appeals, recently including Black Hills (SD), Coconino (AZ), and Clearwater (ID) Forests
For three decades, the BlueRibbon Coalition has been working to preserve access. Much has been accomplished and daily we are reminded that there is still much to do. Drop by and see us regularly: https://sharetrails.org.