This is an email from Thunder Mountain Wheelers (June 21, 2015) reprinted here by permission.
When you see E – Mail Blast Sponsored By at the top of each E-Mail Blast I send, have you ever thought why these businesses are up there? I want to give you some insight as to what every business member, every corporate club sponsor and every organization at the side of E-Mail Blast does for TMW, (the club), and members.
Each Business Member Sponsor
At the start of this year I decided to approach a few businesses in person and ask if they would like to help out the efforts of TMW with paid sponsorship of all the E-Mail Blast that I send out each month. I have to admit this was a shot in the dark for me to approach theses businesses. Not 1 hesitated or questioned what I wanted to do and wrote out a check to TMW. Why? Will each 1 of these businesses understand the importance of getting their name out in front of potential customers and keep their name out to the loyal customers they have now. Business advertising is a tricky area for every business. Will this ad reach the people intended. Will my dollar amount spent be worth the advertisement cost. Do I really need to spend this money right now. But there is something every successful business realizes, “You have to spend money to make money.”
The money these businesses have given for their name to be placed at the top of E-Mail Blast doesn’t go to Mike LeMaster, the one that puts out the E-Mail Blasts, but to the club IN HOPES that we will spend their hard earned dollar efficiently and to foster the growth of TMW in what ever way we deem necessary. TMW, at last count, has 25 business members in our club. Even though you don’t see the other 21 listed at the top of the page, their efforts with TMW are vital. Several when approached have given supplies, materials, small equipment and at cost deals for TMW needs. All our business members are listed in every newsletter sent out. I ask that you talk with and support these individuals if they have a service or item you would like to purchase.
At the bottom of an E-Mail Blast you see I have added Corporate Sponsors. These individual companies have contacted me about our web page advertising. They wanted to be a part of our efforts to preserve OHV riding. Yes, they are in the business of selling parts and merchandise to OHV riders but if you go check out their web sites you will see where they are actively involved with efforts to keeping the OHV riding open. They are also concerned with environmental issues. They want to support US and other clubs and organizations out here, because they understand how important the ground root efforts are to protect not only the environment but the right to use public lands to ride. Each 1 of these companies has donated large amounts of money to TMW for no bigger an organization than we are. Yes, I put them out there a lot more on our web site and newsletter but they deserve it.
Cost of running a web site, putting out a printed copy of the newsletter, sending club officials to meetings, gas reimbursements, meeting BBQ and other things isn’t cheap folks. We have a limited amount of money to get this all done and retain enough finances for unforeseen things that pop up. Grants don’t cover it all so that is why we need every business member, non member or sponsor we can get.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife OHV State Grant Program is vital to the operation of TMW. For the most part this grant is why we have trails to ride on throughout the state. Without it there would be NO OHV trails, either ATV, jeeps or single track. Yes, these trails are either on the Forest Service or BLM lands. And by the way let me clear something up, “They are our lands.” “Forest Service and BLM are there to manage them only.” “And God only knows if that is working.” TMW as of this year has been awarded 1.3 million dollars in grants. This money is “FOR ON THE GROUND USE.” 4.6 million dollars is dedicated to this cause each year funded by YOU buying the registration tag for your ATV. The Forest Service or BLM don’t even come close to having the money or the work force to do what needs done with these trails. They are eligible also for this grant money and make up the largest percentage of funds granted. In our area I believe the Forest Service is doing a great job of managing their grant funds to get the most accomplished for us. Before TMW applies for grants we meet with the Forest Service each year and talk about what we can do to supplement cost with our grant. This grant is basically “The heart beat of TMW.” So remember that every time you pay your registration fee where and what that money is used for. Some consider it a tax. I believe that is wrong because your tax’s money is used every where and you don’t have a say whether you want that money to go there or not. Your ATV registration goes to ON THE GROUND work and support of the trail you ride.
Yamaha OHV Access Initiative grants have provided almost $20,000.00 to promote environmental and safety concerns of ours over the years. Grass Paver, 3000 watt generator and the ATV dump trailers are just a few of the things Yamaha has given us money for. Their grant program is easier than the State OHV Grants but still require a case or a cause for what we a re asking money for. Their grant program is used around the United States to promote ATV use with clubs only. Grand Mesa Motor Sports being our local Yamaha dealer has been a great asset to have on our side applying for these grants. Kevin Anderson has gone over and above to accommodate us.
“On Our Side” with Government and Environmental
There isn’t enough time or paper to tell you what these organizations have done. The members of these organizations have given countless hours, dedication, effort and most of all their personal time for TMW and the OHV enthusiasts over the years. Don’t mean to put one above the other but COHVCO is the one that takes the lead, gets in the trenches, wallows around in the mud, and fights with every means possible for the benefit of OHV issues. Without their efforts OH V’s trail system wouldn’t be where it is today. I refer to them as “THE BIG GUNS.” They fight at the State level right up to Washington if necessary. With all organizations, it is hard to get people involved and takes a large amount of money to get the job done. I asked one of the long time members of TMW if he could remember a case COHVCO never took on and his reply was “No, not as far as what was ever presented to them by TMW.” But don’t forget that their efforts have to be supported by us, not only financial but with letter writing opposing issues that hinder our efforts. Jerry Abboud just sent out an email wrapping up their efforts with the grant problems that face clubs. I quote “I have heard so many complaints about the grant process by our grantees and participating agencies, that those of us at COHVCO have done all we can to this point. Any further success is in your hands.”
Just a reminder. Our opponent’s have lots and lots of corporate money behind them. I have the list of these donors for the Sierra Club and if you seen it you might not support those donors anymore. But just a clue, if you want to sustain life, or enjoy certain conveniences on this earth you will buy from them. Sad but true. New statistics came out showing that for every penny clubs and organizations spend to keep trails open and fight all the wilderness that people want to impose on us our opponents spend a dollar. It is hard to compete with these odds. If you feel like I do and want to see OHV riding in the future, you might give it a thought to supporting these organizations. 100 penny’s make a dollar and that is a start.
Members Of TMW
I don’t want this email to end without giving tribute to every member of TMW. Without your years of support from each one of our long time members and lifetime members and too all the new members that have joined and will join none of this would be possible. I can say that countless hours have been volunteered by our members and I do have a tally on that when it comes to maintenance, reconstruction and environmental concerns on our trails. Trust me it is several thousands of hours. And guess what? Thousands of hours haven’t been documented. As I said previously the Forest Service and BLM wouldn’t have a trail system like we have if it wasn’t for those thousands of hours dedicated to volunteer work. Facts from the Government Accountability Office in 2012 show that 2/3 of all work done on trail systems in the US, mainly in the western part of the US, are contributed by volunteers. In the report they address issues pertaining to huge problems within these agencies that could possible disrupt or destroy the volunteer programs. We are in an area now which needs changed and we are trying our best to get these changes. Will these agencies take their advice or better yet our advice?
So in closing I would like to say:
YES – every business member and every corporate sponsor is Important
YES – every dollar we receive form grants is Important
YES – every organization that we support also supports us and their fight is Important
YES – every Individual, Patron, Benefactor, Life time or Family Member of TMW is Important
If you can or able to do a little more for TMW or anyone mentioned, I would ask that you don’t wait and join the efforts to preserve our trails. There is something at every level of any club or organization that you can help with. What you think is insignificant, could be a major factor with TMW to get involved with. TMW Mission Statement reads as follows:
Promote, foster and provide an attitude of public service, volunteerism, safe riding practices and environmentally responsible techniques of riding off highway vehicles while preserving public trails, national forests and BLM Land.