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10 Years: A Milestone for BlueRibbon

by Clark Collins,
BRC Executive Director

Ten years is a real milestone for any organization. We've come far and the trail has been bumpy and challenging. At this important tenth anniversary for the BlueRibbon Coalition we should probably review how we got here.

I've told the story many times of how I became involved because my local riding areas were sought by the Sierra Club for Wilderness designation. Our Governor then told me "motorized recreationists are politically insignificant," causing me to network with other groups to change that perception.

Then in early 1987 Darryl Harris, publisher of SnoWest magazine, suggested formalizing the network I was building into a "BlueRibbon Coalition" to highlight the positive aspects of the groups involved. He would publish the BLUERIBBON magazine, at no cost to the organization, to get our message to members and the public.

I have to admit the name "BlueRibbon Coalition" actually troubled me at first. It didn't tell anything about who we were. I knew we would have to build our name recognition from scratch.

Having the name not limit who we represent has its advantages too, I've learned. This has allowed us to recruit equestrians, mountain bikers and hikers who are willing to share.

Much has happened in these ten years. Late in 1988 the Coalition became a full time job for me. In 1989 Adena Cook, who had been our volunteer secretary since 87, joined the staff as Public Lands Director.

In mid 1990 we began publishing BLUERIBBON ourselves. It has become "the source" for access protection information. BLUERIBBON has also become an important link between outdoor recreationists and our natural resource industries.

Working with our member organizations, we led the legislative effort in 1991 that resulted in passage of the "Symms" National Recreational Trails Fund Act. We've been fighting for funding ever since and are this year working on reauthorization of this important program.

Just last year we added a Legal Action Team to our organization. We will now be able to defend recreation access in the public relations, legislative and legal arena's.

That's a thumb-nail sketch of our history. I could have filled in all the details, and filled this whole magazine, with stories about what we've done and how we got here. But, more important are the stories of our members and member organizations.

We've grown from a mere handful of dedicated recreation activists to a nationally known and respected organization. It's been a lot of work for our small staff, but it's been the dedication of our members that has made our successes possible. It's been your support that has shored us up when we needed it the most.

Whether you've been a member since 1987, or have just joined this year, the BlueRibbon Coalition is your organization. Our sole purpose is the protection of your recreation access. We can accomplish very little without your help.

One of our members recently wrote, "When I joined the BlueRibbon Coalition I thought my $20 membership would pay you to fight my battles for me. I now realize I am part of the team and we can only be effective if I am willing to take the lead on local issues."

Yes, that's how it works. We've built the foundation of a good team and we've made significant progress already. But, the challenges to our recreation access are many and our opposition is well funded. Our success in the next ten years will depend largely on you.

June 1, 2016 3:10 PM

POCATELLO, ID (June 1, 2016) – Coalition (BRC) is pleased to reveal that its long-time partner in the fight to protect recreational access, Rocky Mountain ATV-MC (RMATV-MC), has agreed once again to generously match each dollar* raised to support BRC at the upcoming annual COW TAG event hosted by Klim, another long-time partner for access.

April 26, 2016 9:54 AM

POCATELLO, ID (April 26, 2016) -- Coalition (BRC) is pleased to announce the recent release of issue #4 of the BlueRibbon Magazine. This issue is packed with outstanding winter articles and a variety of recreation topics.

Hard copies of the BlueRibbon Magazine should be arriving at doorsteps this week (if they have not already arrived). If your copy has not yet arrived, there's no need to wait! The digital edition of the BlueRibbon Magazine is available today, in FlipZine or PDF versions.

April 13, 2016 10:04 AM

It's time once again for the annual COW TAG event! Please join KLIM and the Sharetrails/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) at this one-of-a-kind ride to be held on Saturday, June 25 at Kelly Canyon, ID. Proceeds benefit trail organizations and Sharetrails/BRC. Enter to win a 2016 Beta 300RR Race Edition!...

March 31, 2016 12:13 PM
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