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Trails for Future Generations
Last week I found myself in Miss-issippi hitching a ride to a meeting at the Holly Springs National Forest office with Mark Story, a member of the Memphis Motorcycle Club (MMC). Mark had asked me to accompany him and a few other MMC members to talk about the potential closure of some motorcycle trails in the Holly Springs National Forest.
We were running early, so we decided to grab a bite and talk a bit before the meeting. Mark was showing me some of the info he had gathered for our meeting with the FS. It was a lot of stuff and obvious to me that Mark had done many hours of work on this project. He showed me some photos of the trails, and I began to ask questions.
"To be honest," he sheepishly admitted, "I've only been riding out there three times." 'That's odd,' I'm thinking, 'especially given the time and effort he had put into keeping these trails open.' Sensing my curiosity, Mark volunteered; "I'm doing this for my kids."
Mark closed his presentation book. He knew I wanted to know more. He talked a bit about how he used to ride around on the family farm when he was a kid. Like a lot of us, college, career and life took priority over a youth spent riding. "But when I my kids got old enough to ride, I bought us all some bikes and started riding with other members of the MMC. I wanted to pass along my love of trail riding and an appreciation of the outdoors."
"There is something else;" Mark said. Then he told me about the first time he went riding at Holly Springs NF with the motorcycle club. "The first thing anybody did, even before we unloaded our machines, was to pick up trash." Mark told me how impressed he was that nobody threw a leg over a machine until the parking area was totally clean. "That's a legacy worth passing on to my children. That's why I'm fighting so hard for these Holly Springs trails."
Keeping trails open for our children and grandchildren is a big motivating factor to for the staff and volunteers at BRC. Passing on a legacy of recreational access is one of the greatest gifts people can give. Passing on a membership in BRC is another. A lifetime membership in BRC, given to your kids or grandkids, might be the best gift you can give.
--Brian Hawthorne is the Public Lands Director for the BlueRibbon Coalition. For questions or comments, he may be contacted at: BlueRibbon Coalition, 4555 Burley Drive, Suite A, Pocatello, ID 83202. Phone: 208-237-1008 x 102, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email