Public Lands Department

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Public Lands Department

Let me introduce myself and tell you a little about what I do. My name is Ric Foster, I’m the Public Lands Department Manager and I have been with Sharetrails.Org/BRC for just over ten years. I’m usually the guy on the other end of the phone when you call the office…

by Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
Sharetrails.Org/BRC

Let me introduce myself and tell you a little about what I do. My name is Ric Foster, I’m the Public Lands Department Manager and I have been with Sharetrails.Org/BRC for just over ten years. I’m usually the guy on the other end of the phone when you call the office and want to talk to someone about whatever public lands issue you may have in your area.

I have a number of different jobs here including monitoring the agency news feeds for upcoming meetings and comment deadlines, keeping the computers in the office up and running and troubleshooting issues with software and emails. I do research, packaging and shipping, graphics and a host of other things for the organization. Most recently I have been working with Michael Patty, our Magazine Editor and resident graphics guy, overseeing the design and completion of the new website. (sharetrails.org)

We have spent a lot of time working to give the new website a fresh new look, to make it easier to navigate and most importantly user friendly. So please take a few minutes, check it out and let us know what think. You can do that by sending an email to feedback@sharetrails.org. While you’re on the website you should take the opportunity to sign up to get our Action Alerts and Land Use Updates. Which is also a clever way to talk about one of the most important aspects of my job. Of all the information that comes into the public lands department, a lot of it needs to go back out to you, our members, so you are aware of that next Forest Service or BLM meeting, comment period, piece of legislation and what you need to do.

During our most recent fundraiser we asked you to answer a few questions when you sent back your return cards. The questions were about Sharetrails.Org/BRC’s mission and about your recreating outside your home state. Along with that we also asked you to go online and take a brief 12 question survey with other questions dealing with land use and our alert system.

A couple of the questions dealt with where you recreate, your involvement in recreational access issues and how you get your information about these issues. The survey showed that most of you not only recreate in the state you live in but often recreate in other states. (This will be become more important later.)

Not surprisingly over 80 percent of you that took our survey are either somewhat or very involved in recreational access issues in your area. Knowing that the land use process is more often than not a multi-year process and takes time and commitment, we applaud your involvement and stand ready to help whenever possible.

What was a little surprising, was that only about 58 percent of you are signed up to receive our Action Alerts and Land Use Updates. With over 80 percent of you being involved with recreational access issues in your area and in neighboring states, it is important to get information from the agencies about land use planning, public meetings and comment periods by any means possible. Hence the need to sign up to receive alerts.

Sharetrails.Org/BRC’s Action Alerts are free, easy to sign up for. One of the cool features of the system is that it allows our subscribers to select if they want to receive ALL of the alerts that we send out or just alerts specific to their STATE. It also allows you to select other STATES you may want to get alerts on. We also send out national alerts which go to all subscribers and usually involve information on land use issues or legislation on a national level, which could affect everyone.

It’s important to know that the agencies send out information about planning, comment periods and public meetings by email, snail mail, media releases and articles in the local newspapers. On occasion we don’t get any type of notification at all. This is when we rely on our members and subscribers to let us know of any planning efforts going on in their area. So feel free to send us an email to publiclands@sharetrails.org or call the Public Lands Department at 208-237-1008, ext. 2.

To sign up simply go to sharetrails.org/subscribe. Don’t forget, for all those people that are on social media, you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.