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Recreation Community Mourns Loss Of An Access Champion

October 29, 2014 5:56 PM
Grant Gerber, with his horse, Gandhi.

Grant Gerber, with his horse, Gandhi.

ELKO, NV (October 29, 2014) -- Grant Gerber, a long-time advocate for public access to public lands (and a true cowboy of the open range), passed away recently. "He [is] remembered for dedicating his life to fighting for local rights against federal encroachment," read the story in the Elko Daily Free Press, the local newspaper for Grant's hometown. But to the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and the OHV community, he was much more.

Grant Gerber was a former member of BRC's Board of Directors and a personal friend of many of the national organization's original founders. His dedication to keeping public lands open to the public showed in everything he did.

Grant was a driving force behind the creation of the Jarbidge Shovel Brigade. After a storm in the 1990s washed out a road in a northern Elko County forest, residents cleared the road so it could be used, against the U.S. Forest Service's directive.

Grant Gerber (left) with Del Albright, BRC Director of Operations.‬Years later, he put the knowledge gained in the Jarbidge event to good use helping OHVers keep a very famous trail open for business.

"In 2001 a gate was proposed on the famous Rubicon Trail," says Del Albright, BRC Director of Operations and a founder of Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR). "Overnight, FOTR was formed to stop the gate and fix the erosion concern of several government agencies," Del continued.

"Grant Gerber and the incredibly dedicated folks of the Jarbidge Shovel Brigade heard of the Rubicon gate and decided to help out. They sent 100 Jarbidge-used shovels to FOTR to help 'keep open' the icon of four-wheeling, the Rubicon Trail. FOTR put the shovels to work, some made it to public meetings as a demonstration of our commitment to the trail, and solved the erosion problem. No gate went up on the trail. FOTR, with help from the Rubicon Trail Foundation, continues to keep this trail open for all," Del concluded.
Grant Gerber in Washington D.C.

‬Grant was always on one mission or another to protect access rights and to preserve a vanishing way of life. He was a cowboy with a calling. It was on just such a mission- while riding coast to coast carrying petitions to Washington, D.C.,-that his horse, Gandhi, stumbled on a prairie dog hole in Kansas, taking Grant down with it. He was knocked unconscious. The severity of the injury was not immediately apparent, and after a brief visit to the hospital, he was released and the group continued on their journey, making it to the capitol by horseback on October 16, 2014. The movement garnered widespread media attention as riders trotted horses down the busy D.C. streets.

"He said he felt so good when he rode in there," said longtime friend, Demar Dahl. "He and I used to joke with each other a lot and banter. I said, 'What are you going to do next, ride to Washington?' The next day he called and said, 'We're going to go to Washington, go from sea to shining sea.' And of course he got it done."

After experiencing continuous headaches, Grant was again hospitalized, and underwent surgery in Salt Lake City. He passed away on October 25, 2014.

"We will all miss Grant," said Michael Patty, BRC Publications Editor. "His wit, his charm and his undeniable and unflagging energy is something truly rare. He was a one-of-a-kind maverick, and will always be remembered by everyone who had the privilege to meet him."


The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-BLUERIB - www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org.

May 31, 2016 3:24 PM
Some of the many historic OHV routes in the Pine Nut Mountains

BOISE, ID (May 31, 2016) -- Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, today slammed recent decisions that would severely restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) events and trail improvements in many areas in eastern California and Nevada.  The changes, in the name of sage grouse management, were demanded by a handful of preservationist special interest groups.

November 23, 2015 3:16 PM
Associated Image

MISSOULA, MT (November 23, 2015) --Various organizations, led by the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club, have filed a lawsuit challenging U.S. Forest Service planning efforts on the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  The complaint, filed on November 12, 2015, in federal court for the U.S.

November 23, 2015 10:38 AM

POCATELLO, ID (November 23, 2015) – Early last week, the BlueRibbon Coalition/ joined with other recreation groups in a letter sent to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in support of a balanced approach to managing public lands as part of the Moab Master Leasing Plan.

The letter addressed to BLM serves as formal comments from OHV stakeholders.  It also represents an effort between motorized and non-motorized recreation groups working together for the protection of outdoor recreation resources on public lands.

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