Open letter to all OHV users

January 1, 2010

  The time is NOW to get involved in your local community and participate in the governmental decision-making processes.  No longer can we be wary of participating in the political and local community processes.  The OHV Community must have a credible and recognized voice in local affairs which can only be achieved by personal involvement with our elected officials.

In order to increase the visibility and voice of the OHV Community, we must all increase our personal participation in our local and regional governmental decision making processes.  Each of us needs to participate and contribute in local affairs to ensure that our collective voices are heard.  The first step is to join and get active with your local OHV organizations or clubs then consider getting involved in:

  • Your local community collaborative planning processes such as development or review of Community Master Plans or Comprehensive Plans.  This is the first step in getting OHV areas planned and funded
  • An appointment to Citizen Advisory Boards or Committees
  • Volunteering for Parks and Recreation Boards
  • Getting to know your local Economic Development staff and explaining the positive economic impacts that OHV users and activities have on your local economy
  • Public meetings for travel management planning on USFS, BLM or other public lands
  • Expressing the need for local OHV areas and activities to your local Parks and Recreation staff
  • Attending and participating in regular City or Town Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings, County Commissioner meetings, etc.  Learn how these meetings are conducted  and make your voice heard when the decision makers ask for public comment
  • Promoting OHV participation in local events such as parades and other community events
  • Expressing the NEED for viable and safe OHV recreation areas at all levels of government, but focus on your local government.  Skate parks, soccer fields and the like are all being funded with your tax dollars because local constituents demand them from their local governments.
  • Organizing a local OHV “TEA PARTY”

Do not wait; do not expect someone else to do it.  Every little bit helps and the old saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” is spot on.  You yourself must get involved and make your voice heard.  Those that dislike or misunderstand OHV use are at the “local table” demanding government officials listen to them.  We, the OHV Community must do the same – get to the table TODAY and be a voice in our local public processes.

Bill Alspach
Woodland Park, Colorado
Member, Trails Preservation Alliance & Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association