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Trail Work Day With Georgia Area Recreational Trail Riders Association (GARTRA)

September 27, 2012 7:38 PM

The following is a story from Greg Mumm's Turn the Tide 2012 Tour for Access. Find more stories like this one chronicling his epic journey across the United States at http://www.WeAreBRC.org


One of the really cool things that has happened on this trip is that time and again the timing has often worked out that I can join in on existing club activities that folks already have going on. I think that is mostly because enthusiasts and members of BRC are generally busy about doing club activities, from trail rides to work days.

GARTA Group

Left to right: Dave (whose last name I failed to get, my bad), Glen Campbell, Mark Carpenter (GARTRA President), Brendon Worley (Volunteer who stopped and offered to help), Bruce Dreher (GARTRA Secretary), Nathan Wascher, Yours truly (Greg Mumm), James Wascher (Trail Captain), George Stephens (another volunteer who stopped to help).

That happened to be the case when I contacted Mark Carpenter, president of GARTRA (http://www.gartra.com/outdoors/). They were already having a rescheduled work day out on one of the trail systems they have adopted as a group. Mark said, "Come on over. We would love to meet with you, and, by the way, we are putting you to work too!" So, Sunday, September 23 I headed over to go out and work with these guys.

‬Arriving in the parking lot, I quickly found out that part of my job for the day was to ride the four wheeler/tool truck to the various locations on the trail so they wouldn't have to. Single trackers, the lot of them. I thought, "Bonus!" Then, with knowing smiles all around, they hooked up the trailer. "Putt, putt, I'm the mutt."

Still, a better day for a work day could not have been. And, these guys get after it. Trimming, cleaning out silt traps, bolstering waterbars, and generally making sure the trails are still in order. I'm talking McLeods, Polaskis, and shovels. I am still sore and thinking, "These guys are out here once a month doing this, just to try to maintain trails they have."

Unfortunately, that is largely because, at somewhere around only 100 miles, in GA they don't have much opportunity for single track trails. Most of those are on FS lands and although they have tried in many ways and have a pretty good working relationship with the Forest Service, it has proven tough to increase the size of the systems. There are a lot of riders in GA, and not a lot of trails. It requires a lot of maintenance.

Me on an ATV

‬My ride for the day--minus the trailer. Does this ATV make me look fat or what?‪

Additionally, one of the other big issues they face is not enough volunteers to get the work done. Indeed, while out working on the trails with them, riders were out there riding and, although some even slowed to thank us, only two actually stopped to offer to help (Brendon Worley and George Stephens-Kudos guys!) Work days typically only include the faithful few in the club. Again I heard about how many people have resorted to frequenting private parks and how that affects the struggle to keep a club healthy and strong. Getting people to be involved is a tough nut to crack and I am seeing it nearly everywhere I go.

When we stopped for lunch (thanks for cooking Nathan), we talked about some of the other issues they face, such as with funding mechanisms in GA. Georgia has some semi-unique approaches to how they handle programs like the RTP program that present challenges to getting the right equipment to maintain trails and getting the agencies to take full advantage of what is available.

One thing in the conversation over lunch that stood out to me was on the subjects of how difficult riders with bad attitudes have been. We've experienced that at BRC too. It is discouraging. You know the type, riders who are happy to ride the areas, but not so happy to help keep the areas open, then first to criticize online and elsewhere when areas get closed.

But, I can tell you that the guys from GARTRA that I spent the day with have a good attitude and are constantly busy as a club about doing the right things. I had a really good time with all the good natured ribbing and getting to know them personally. That is part of the fun of what we do. Sure, there is a little hard work, but it is "feel good about yourself" work. It is the right thing to do and lunch never tasted better.

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BLUERIB - http://archive.sharetrails.org.

June 1, 2016 3:10 PM

POCATELLO, ID (June 1, 2016) – Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon 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.

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April 26, 2016 9:54 AM

POCATELLO, ID (April 26, 2016) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon 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.

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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!...

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March 31, 2016 12:13 PM
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February 5, 2016 10:20 AM
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December 16, 2015 10:43 AM
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December 15, 2015 12:02 PM
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