On June 1st Del Albright, BRC National 4 Wheel Drive Ambassador took over as interim Director for retiring Executive Director Martin Hackworth. “We’re grateful Del came in for four weeks to fill that gap. He’s been representing Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition (ST/BRC) at events for a long time and that really helped us with continuity,” said Mary Jo Foster, Chief of Staff…
BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC. MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition
Phone: (208) 237-1008
Date: August 6, 2018
SHARETRAILS.ORG/BRC REMAINS COMMITTED TO RECREATION ACCESS
POCATELLO, ID (August 6, 2018) – On June 1st Del Albright, BRC National 4 Wheel Drive Ambassador took over as interim Director for retiring Executive Director Martin Hackworth. “We’re grateful Del came in for four weeks to fill that gap. He’s been representing Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition (ST/BRC) at events for a long time and that really helped us with continuity,” said Mary Jo Foster, Chief of Staff.
After an exhaustive search by the ST/BRC Board (along with an outside advisor), the board hired Spencer Gilbert to “return ST/BRC to its aggressive advocacy roots.” Del and Stacie Albright retired from ST/BRC the following week to focus on enjoying the great outdoors and their training business! “We will be even more vigorous supporters of the jeeping community than ever before! We hope we can partner on helping them raise money for great causes (like they do at Jeep beach) and on keeping their trails open,” said Board President Byron Baker.
“Our first focus was on ensuring ST/BRC’s financial health now and in the future,” said Gilbert. “We know that the OHV market is exploding and that there is a lot of growth coming from families. We need to focus on the incredibly fast-growing number of families joining our ranks. Women also account for an increased number of riders and business owners. Veterans – we not only love veterans but know we need their advocacy skills! To meet these changes, we needed to change our ambassador program. We still have the same ‘point of the spear’ folks (added MORE in fact) but we needed to be better focused. We cut overhead by 60% to refocus our efforts on litigation and policy advocacy. Most of our paid consultants agreed to continue to work as volunteers, and actually helped us dramatically increase our fundraising. We knew that as a ‘national, modality neutral’ trail advocacy group we needed to reach out more (to women, single track, side by sides, veterans etc.) and mend relationships and build bridges. We felt like dealers (who are oftentimes the most affected) and travel adventure companies had been forgotten. We’ve been to seven states over the last two weeks (including meetings with legislators and advocates) fighting for access,” continued Gilbert.
One important program that is definitely still in place is the ST/BRC Legal Program. Paul Turcke has served in the role of lead counsel for ST/BRC since 1996. “The only certainty in life is change,” said Turcke. “But we hope that change in ST/BRC Legal will be to ramp up our advocacy efforts and be in a position to expand our team to provide an even broader level of service to the OHV and access community.”
ST/BRC has seen a 540% increase in media awareness and fundraising has followed.
Jack Welch has continued volunteering (very effectively) as part of our new snowmobile outreach. Randy Block also continues to help on the east coast (BRC is opening its first east coast office). We added a veteran’s ambassador, grouped dealers into regional advocacy and added a massive media/marketing partner team.
Don Amador, who was being considered for a role at our new 501c4, has decided to move forward with his own consulting company. “We will miss Don. We appreciate his work, especially in California. We are working on building massive coalitions in California of likeminded advocacy groups, and I’ll be there for two weeks building bridges! We have a very committed group of activists carrying our comments and message across the state. We look forward to opening an office there as well,” said Gilbert.
ST/BRC must report each year to the IRS its purpose, listed on our 990 as “work with local and national governing bodies, the Interior Department, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to influence public lands’ recreational planning. In addition, we serve the public through our website, magazine, and public meetings – educating them on public land-use issues. we provide legal intercession when legal remedies are needed to keep public lands open.”
“That’s what we do, that’s what we will continue to do.” Ric Foster, Policy Director.
“This isn’t about one person or a set of personalities,” stated Gilbert. “This is a mission driven organization that has worked to keep trails open for 30 plus years. We aren’t Spencer or Del or Martin or Don (not even our founder Clark- though he is special!) or whoever. We are a massive national coalition with a singular purpose to work on behalf of our members.”
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Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well — all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, Sharetrails/BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. – http://sharetrails.org.