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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The post about Rally WV has me very worried. In it there is a link to a radical environmentalist (and very uneducated) petition regarding the use of the National Forest for this rally. If you read through some of the comments of the 211 petition signers, it is really scary to feel so hated.

Mr. Niday, you asked a while ago what SCCA can be doing for ClubRally. I thing that the most important thing that the SCCA could be doing with regard to rally is to get more involved legislatively.

I BEG of you all to look at the model of the American Motorcyclist Association (whose new motto is "rights. riding. racing." ).
http://www.ama-cycle.org/
It serves our two-wheeled counterparts nearly EXACTLY as the SCCA serves us. It sanctions ametuer road-racing (club racing), Pro racing of all sorts (Pro racing), enduro, and cross-country (rallying), motocross (rallycross), and fun road riding get together events with gymkhanas, etc (autocross, conventions, etc.).

Besides event santioning, however, it is VERY in tune with legislative issues regarding motorcycling. As it is the most at risk, off-road trail-based riding/racing in forests make up for the majority of issues being worked on.

Please PLEASE check out this site:
http://www.ama-cycle.org/legisltn/index.asp
Please click on the "AMA Rapid Response Center" link in the left hand column after perusing this page...or the StateWatch and click on your state...or other rally states. You will learn about measures that affect us BEFORE the cards are stacked against us so much that we can't win.

The bikers learned about 25 years ago that in order to maintain a level of sanity in government regarding motorsport, that they had to get involved. If we don't care enough to get involved, we'll lose this sport. Its not fun work. But its necessary. The environmentalist lobby is the fashionable in-crowd for most young Americans looking to get passionate about something and not having a clue what they really believe in. Write your letters, monitor the DNR, DCNR, BLM, DOAg, USDA, or whoever else is controlling YOUR PUBLIC land and stick up for us. Environmentalist radicals don't understand us and don't care to. Motorsports enthusiasts are the minority now. And true environmentalists are leaning more and more radical everyday.

I don't know if the SCCA has the means to offer the same kind of legislative awareness campaign as the AMA, but if they can, that would be one of the greatest values to us as a whole. If not, perhaps we can find other sources (like the AMA) for information that affects us and ally with them or at least benefit from their research and keep our own legislative watch flame going. I doubt we can afford lobbyists in Washington like AMA, but it would be great if we could.

Sincerely,
Eric Burmeister
 

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I'm surprised we are allowed to rally on any public lands, especially here in California. It's really only a matter of time before we will have close to no road access, except maybe the middle of the desert or private roads.
There is a big difference between rally roads(most often public)and designated off highway vehicle recreation areas. I think maintaining access to our current roads will be very difficult.
Damian
 

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Eric,

It's economic impact not enviromental impact.
We already have the right under the Forest Service manual to conduct this type of events in the national forest. The problem we had was the lack of local community support. That was inturn caused by local infighting. If you get the lcoal community support, your can get the permits. All politics is local. This is not some national movement.

John
 

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Eric,

You half half right, I believe. Some of the situation in WV has a long history, that is local to this area. I am referring to some of the overall regional forest attitudes towards our sport. We have had 2 events turned down in the past, in 1994 and in 2002, in the Geroge Washington Nat'l Forest over in western VA. Monongahela NF is associated with that forest. The hiking and eco movements are strong in the area; these forests in western VA nad WV are the larget Nat'l Forest area east of the Miss river. The area is a strong target for advancement of the eco groups' agendas. The Forest Service in the area is hit hard by the political eco activites and activists, and sometimes just don't want to deal with the politics by sticking their neck out to support what may be a one-time event. Other NF attitudes ARE different in regards to rallying, and when they are not so close to Wash DC, the political dynamics are a LOT less.

It looks like other factors in the local politics are at work in the case of WV. Let John and Kendall work those, and then we'll get a true read on the WV Nat'l Forest situation when another road use app is submitted.

You ARE indeed right that SCCA needs to be involved in the Nat'l Forest issues. Please look at my post from a week ago about the comments needed to support the proposed system for putting ATV's on certain roads and trials and areas in the NF system. This seems backwards, BUT it is actually good since it recognizes ATV use as a legitimate recreational use in the NF system. In the Monogahela NF, all ATV use is currently banned so this is a step forward in that NF.

I would appreciate your help in bringing this particular issue to the PRB's attention for work. I think it a very good area for SCCA to work in, and is a start to the involvement you seek.

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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I am not surprised that we do have access to roads here in SoCal. Years before I even came here in '86, rallying and its community (CRS) had been strong and active for many years. Over the years, we have built up a trust, a working relationship based on the passage of information between the rally community and the US Forestry Service, which continues to this day. At a meeting last year when my idea of Baldy Run was born, Paula and I met with senior people and during the meeting they actually asked if they could do more for us. I and every other organizer want this great relationship to continue and I believe when the current permit period is due for renewal in 2 years, we should be able to extend it again without any problems.
 

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Eric,

It's great to see your post here; I just think it is one of the best worded things I've ever seen on this list. However (ain't there always a "however"?) did you submit it in letter form to the PRB or SCCA office for inclusion as an official correspondence? As we all should know nothing posted here is officially recognized by them. As it should be... IMHO.

John Elkin
"Don't go where the road don't go."- Ringo Starr
 

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Glen, At least he's overturning a lot of the non-access stuff that Slick and his cronies put in place. Someone there has seen the light and realises that they are public lands for all, not just a chosen few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>Eric,
>
>It's economic impact not enviromental impact.
>We already have the right under the Forest Service manual to
>conduct this type of events in the national forest. The
>problem we had was the lack of local community support. That
>was inturn caused by local infighting. If you get the lcoal
>community support, your can get the permits. All politics is
>local. This is not some national movement.
>
>John

I understand, John. And I hope I didn't help to stir up an equally irrational group of performance-rally flag wavers who will only serve to discredit our sport by overzealous "activism." Phrases on the other thread like "fight fire with fire" have me a bit worried.

Rather, I am just saying that we need to be aware of potential changes in legislature that can ALTER or REMOVE our current right to conduct events. Bills get thrown around federal and state government so often that we could be sleeping at the stoplight when it changes. My reference to the AMA as a model was one that shows how they have someone always monitoring the stoplight, and when they see it change or see a change being discussed, then they enact campaigns to keep their rights. If you don't know about it till its too late (one day submit an app and be told that "according to statute #XXXXX timed auto competition is not allowed in the XXX national forest...end of story" ) it means the end...like being blindsided by a new cage rule right after you finished your cage...in chro-moly...and there's no "grandfathering" here.

Thanks for soliciting comment during the comment period on the WV issue. That is the kind of information we need.

Eric
 

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Lurch, as usual you are right on with an issue AND with a good suggestion of a model to look at.
Here in the Northwest the local NMA (Northwest Motorcycle Association) is primarily a new organ for informing people of all the shenaigans that our elected, and unfortunately all too often _appointed_ land managers are up to.
The 4wd crowd also has a legislative watchdog and prints in their local newsletter what is the latest.

But it appears the PAID staff at SCCA has had other, more pressing concerns than the most fundemental one of the very gound we rally on.
Seems odd to me.

In the end, Dereks suggestion to actually _quantify_ the damage done HAS to be the best way to approach.
I could see attempting to see what an areas road maintanece budget was when there are not any 40 or 50 cars passing once or maybe twice, and suggesting that the rally traffic is statistically insignificant.

We all know that currently road use decisions are based on whim and expediency, not fact or law.
We must assert our statutory rights to the multiple use of the Nations Forest resources.


John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
 

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In addition to being more legislatively active and aware a rejuvination of host community appreciation is also needed. Rallyists not just organizers need to focus intently on building and maintaining local community relationships. If you can build a stong and mutually beneficial relationship with a large segment in a host community not only do you have a venue but you have a basis from which to launch any counter movement to head off legislation.


Fact is more rallyists need to be more active in the sport beyond the realm of competition. If we more actively follow legistlation and more aggressively pursue and build relationships with host communities we can better ensure our right to compete and the health of the sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>The 4wd crowd also has a legislative watchdog and prints in
>their local newsletter what is the latest.

I'll do a little searching on 4WD (Jeepers) clubs for relevant legislature watch sites, too. Good idea. These guys are more likely to use the same classifications of trail/roads as we are.
 

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>
>>The 4wd crowd also has a legislative watchdog and prints in
>>their local newsletter what is the latest.
>
>I'll do a little searching on 4WD (Jeepers) clubs for
>relevant legislature watch sites, too. Good idea. These
>guys are more likely to use the same classifications of
>trail/roads as we are.

Here's the one you want:
Blue Ribbon Coalition
http://www.sharetrails.org/

Specifically, look at their "Backcountry Designation" stuff.

Side note: Folks, please give up on the idea of pushing Rally as a "green" motorsport. We may feel good about our own efforts to be green, but keep in mind that those most vigorously opposed to us don't even want us to drive cars to work, live in suburbs, or own SUVs. There is no way the opposition will accept Rally as environmentally friendly. Do not try to advance the cause Rally road access with arguments that say we are less damaging to the environment than other motorsports. Such tactics only play into the hands of the preservationists' strategy of "divide and conquer". For example: What do you think the #1 complaint against off-highway motorcycles is? Not polution, not erosion, not endangered species, it's NOISE. Rally is still stuck in the 70s by celebrating noise. And now the trend is to run more of our stages at night. We also encourage noise for "safety" (did that Preius finally get banned in Canada for being too quiet...?). We're noisey, poluting, fire starting, road closing, animal scaring, legitimate users of public lands.

Pet Peeve: When preservations try to apply wilderness land use rules and ideas to public lands without wilderness designation. Oh, and don't get me started on "roadless designation" either ; )

Jim "wise use advocate" Cox
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This is, unfortunately, another area in which SCCA is less than well prepared to support its rallyists. As a club which primarily is devoted to road racers running at private facilites, political issues such as this are something SCCA has never really had to face. As we make up a small proportion of the membership, SCCA's motivation to devote much in the way of resources to this kind of issue is pretty small. You guys who are drawing comparisons to AMA have made a good point, they can stand as a model of how to responsibly lobby government on behalf of their members. Lets hope Kendall and John have good luck in fighting the good fight for reasonable public access for rallyists, as NASA Rallysport East is 100% devoted to rally, they have a lot invested in making it work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
>Here's the one you want:
>Blue Ribbon Coalition
>http://www.sharetrails.org/

Thanks Jim, Added to favorites. I'd be happy to volunteer some time to this. I think it is that important. Anyone else want to help with a responsible "legal watch" of governmental issues that affect rallyists and our sport?

Eric
 

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>>Here's the one you want:
>>Blue Ribbon Coalition
>>http://www.sharetrails.org/
>
>Thanks Jim, Added to favorites. I'd be happy to volunteer
>some time to this. I think it is that important. Anyone
>else want to help with a responsible "legal watch" of
>governmental issues that affect rallyists and our sport?
>
>Eric
Lurchie sweet-ums,
without a fairly radical "road to Damascus" sorta conversion in the folks who govern within SCCA rally dept, it would be just one more thing to fight/rip hair out about.

Nothing is more fundemental than a place to be able to do what we as legitimate recreational forest user have a right to do.
That is one reason I have advocating against the essentially dishonest touting of the 'Pro' word, when in fact nobody is. It just makes gaining access to the woods more difficult so a few can BS their friends and maybe a few willing;ly optimistic PR people.

Behind all the yakking about the 'Big Time' around the corner and the attempts to bootstrap the level of the sport seen in the failed recent regime, some have been suggesting that the primary mission of the paid and volunteer staff in this sport is the furtherance of the needs of the dues paying membership and the potential future membership.
You know, the build the base up and there will naturally emerge an tyop level and better competition.
But for that to happen, there needs to be effort, organisationally, at assuring legitimate use and countering the exclusionary efforts of other user groups.
This has been totally absent in the frezied fantasy of so called "Pro".

Even now the discussions turn to bizarre PGT tweaking rather than fundementals.
Oi!
Poor us.





John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
 

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Well, since I have been looking this over from time to time for years, I'll be happy to help. What do you have in mind exactly?

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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>Maybe Bush can run on a "Pro Rally" environmental policy? :)

I was just thinking that maybe Bush's desire to sell more land to loggers would actually benefit us in the end! Still, I'd rather have a limited rally circuit than watch even more of his chronies get rich off of national resources...
 

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Lurch,
Your points are well taken. Unlike several consistent others on Special Stage that do nothing but find fault with the SCCA, you have done a good job in outlining the issues and concerns. For that I thank you!
I am a Vice President for ACCUS and I will address this in the meetings next week. I will also address this with the National Motorsports Council that SCCA belongs to lobby on the sports behalf in Washington DC. That is their role and the reason SCCA pays over $15,000 per year to be a member of. They have handled many racing issues successfuly for us such as fuel, trailer safety and other regional and national issues.
I still feel the biggest issue we have is risk management and we are working diligently in that area. None of us can afford another incident be it spectator, participant or land issue.
As a person open to new ideas and thinking, I would love to see constructive feedback as to how to run the sport, fund the sport and deliver what you want. Unfortunatly, I only hear how the SCCA does not make the grade and is out of touch with the sport. (A challenge Mr.V.)
I look forward to hearing from you.
Steve Johnson
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Steve,

I didn't realize we had a mechanism at our disposal for "official influence" in Washington. This is great news. Perhaps you can forward some information on this council to help me understand their duties and resources so I don't work toward duplication of their efforts and to see how I might be able to complement them.



Mark,

In the short term, I have in mind a weekly perusal of some of the like-minded land-user sites (Blue Ribbon Coalition is an excellent example) and perhaps someone can come up with a "current land use issues page" that can be linked from one or more of our electronic rally outlets (SStage/Rally-Am./SCCA site/etc.). I would be happy to help with the research and content if someone else can do the webbyness part.


ps...don't get too wound up over that crotchity curmudgeon from the Northwest. JV has actually put forth some very good ideas, but unfortunately, he finds it hard to suppress the urge to drench them in sarcasm to the point where one has to read them twice or thrice to strip them down and get the point. I personally blame the crappy weather up there. JV, you know you lose credibility with your GOOD ideas when you get sidetracked with the vengeful verbal diarrhea. Hugs and kisses as always.
 
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