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Postby mike_belben » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:48 pm

i threw this together last night. long winded and not amazing, but i had to make sure it touched on a lot of different issues. please pass it around to your various clubs.

http://devalpatrick.com/issue.php?issue_id=7659218

i will be writing others more specific to the 4wd community as i compile information.
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Postby Scott Hatch » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:58 pm

Nice work Mike :up:


We pursued a previous issue (see below) before that went no where but I think it is important to constantly attack on this issue.

http://devalpatrick.com/issue.php?issue_id=7577495

Here is the thread from the previous issue:

http://forum.nea4wd.org/viewtopic.php?t=1695

and here:

http://forum.neow.net/index.php?showtopic=64824

There was also a counter thread/issue created but it appears it was deleted:

http://devalpatrick.com/issue.php?issue_id=7622027

but I saved the text that was posted on some anti sites

http://www.maccweb.org/emacc/emacc_04_27_07.html

3. HELP COUNTER THE PRO-OFF-ROAD VEHICLE LOBBY
By Ken Pruitt, MACC Executive Director

As you may know, Governor Patrick has established an on-line forum for discussion of public policy issues to allow for input by the public. Presumably, the more input on a topic posted at the Governor’s website, the more the Governor will pay attention to the issue. Recently supporters of off-road vehicles (ORVs) created a location on the site where supporters could support allowing ORVs in more state parks. It is obviously a coordinated campaign, as more than 250 people quickly posted messages of support. While MACC does not oppose ORV use in state parks outright, it does oppose any increase in such allowable use at this time. Its opposition is due to the rampant abuse of public (and private) lands by ORV users, whether or not the abusers are in the minority of all users. ORV use has caused tremendous damage to wetlands, including vernal pools, across the state, and currently there are few viable enforcement options.

MACC urges you to log onto Governor Patrick’s website to add your support to a competing message of caution against significant expansion of ORV areas in state parks (see below). To support this issue, go to:
http://www.devalpatrick.com/issue.php?issue_id=7622027.

You will have to create an account to log in. When you comment on an issue, only your initials and town will show on posting.

Here is the full issue statement (copied directly from the above link):

Title: ORV/ATV Use Needs Stronger Regulation & Enforcement
Coordinator: S.M. of Fall River
Stronger laws and enforcement are needed to prevent deaths, injuries, damage and nuisance from Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) collectively known as OHVs (Off-Highway Vehicles). ORV/ATV use (both legal and illegal) is causing severe negative impacts in Massachusetts far out of proportion to the the small percentage of the public for whom this is a pastime.

Children are injured and even killed; water quality is impaired by serious erosion, hunting areas are deserted by frightened game; trout streams & wetlands are turned into stagnant mudholes; air and noise pollution afflict quiet rural and suburban neighborhoods; farmers' crops are destroyed; hiking and walking trails are made impassable; threats and violence by out-of-control riders are increasingly common; and peaceful refuges for people and wildlife to enjoy a quiet, clean environment are irreparably damaged.

These problems are impacting privately-owned land just as severely as state parks and other public land. Private landowners are losing control of their constitutional right to control access to their property and all taxpayers are stuck with the bill for damage to public lands.

A recent poll by the Campaign for Conservation and Recreation found that only 6% of the public thinks that it is very important for public lands to set aside for motorized vehicle use, whereas large majorities favor public lands for conservation purposes and less intrusive recreational uses.

We need more effective laws for ORV/ATV use and greatly increased penalties for illegal use. Currently, law enforcement officers are unable to catch or identify illegal users, and courts are unable to apply effective sanctions. We need to provide law enforcement officials with more resources and private landowners with better ways to control ORV/ATV use on their own lands.

If ORVs here to stay, then safe and legal places to ride could be provided by private enterprise and even by the state, but the public demand for an outright ban is growing because of illegal, irresponsible and reckless use. Legislators who take money from the ORV manufacturers should be aware that they will be exposed and voted out.
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Postby tammylynn » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:41 pm

Nice response Mike. :hello:

BTW-we have an opening for a PR Director. :paul:
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Postby maxhome » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:28 pm

Posted on Baystate Forum soliciting support.

max
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:52 am

thanks guys. tammy are you serious or joking?
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Postby JayZR2 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:09 am

She's serious
hyp·o·crite   [hip-uh-krit]
noun
1. A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
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Postby Scott Hatch » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:48 am

I've split this topic into its own thread
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:16 am

JayZR2 wrote:She's serious


cool, so whats the deal then?
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Postby Scott Hatch » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:38 am

Are you a member of an NEA club like Yankee Toys?
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:45 am

so far, im only an unpaid member of Northeast Toyota Crawlers.. i wanted to find out about the situation with being dual enrolled in NEA and EC4, as i've been offered a land use position with them. i dont want to run into any conflicts of interest with anyone, but i would like to work in whatever capacity is most valuable to the general wheeling community of MA.
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Postby Scott Hatch » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:57 am

Just as with EC4WDA you would need to be a paid member of an NEA club
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Postby tammylynn » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:22 am

Well I'm going to throw a ring into the fire here but I don't know if I think a PR Director needs to be a paid member. Sounds like Mike is heading in the direction of becoming a member anyways.

We are looking for a dedicated PR Director and a Lobbyist. A lobbyist may be someone who is outside of our general membership and I think the PR Director could be as well.

PR Director- someone dedicated to creating and dispersing Press Releases, networking the NEA throughout New England and beyond, etc.

Lobbyist-typical things a lobbyist does.

Both would be volunteer positions to start but maybe we could discuss $? Certainly could handle reimbursements for now such as gas and administrative fees.
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Postby JayZR2 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:30 am

I would prefer a paid member. Not to dis credit Mike, I know he will work for the best interest of everyone, but thats my opinion
hyp·o·crite   [hip-uh-krit]
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:36 am

i have every intention of becoming a paid member of several organizations, the money wasnt a concern. my point was to illustrate that i have been waiting to find out if there were any conflicts created by dual enrollment in NEA and EC4. if there arent, i will pony up the dough shortly.

i should also say that i have no formal experience in public relations or lobbying, though i have been unintentionally headed in such a direction for quite a few years. im not sure what extent of qualifications you require or the level of time commitment you need, but if you wish to discuss it further, my email is mike_belben@yahoo.com. phone is 413-204-0804.

thanks
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Postby cmerrick » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:40 pm

Mike, very well written.
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Postby Paul » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:03 pm

mike_belben wrote:so far, im only an unpaid member of Northeast Toyota Crawlers.. i wanted to find out about the situation with being dual enrolled in NEA and EC4, as i've been offered a land use position with them : . i dont want to run into any conflicts of interest with anyone, but i would like to work in whatever capacity is most valuable to the general wheeling community of MA.


:lol:
Stick with Dave and Ec4, join Yankee Toys for $20 and you can be signed in here and see all our inner workings here too. Help Dave out, if we take you from EC4 it will look like we're trying to steal you or something foolish. You've got a lot of piss, vinegar, and intelligence Mike, don't burn yourself out... it is a long haul. Dozens of people each year get burned out banging their heads on the wall about this stuff. It is very agonizing to say the least. Use you energy and enthusiasm efficiently and don't let the situations get the best of you.

I love Mikes enthusiasm, and I want to work with him side by side, but throwing him in as a PR DIRECTOR when he knows little to nothing about our organization, and its history, accomplishments, etc. is a little bit over-enthusiastic. I say lets give him 12 months on the job and see how he does before we throw him up in the pilots seat.

.02 :paul:
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Postby Scott Hatch » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:55 pm

like Paul said, its a marathon not a sprint. Its really easy to burn out working land access and both organizations have lost good people from burn-out.

I think there is a role that needs to be filled representing both organizations on a political stage. There is no reason that you could not do this for ALL 4x4s users, the NEA, and the EC4WDA. This would lend strength of numbers to you.
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Postby tammylynn » Fri Oct 19, 2007 2:00 pm

I wasn't throwing anyone into anything.... :lol: I was simply mentioning that we have an open position. That leaves the ball in anyone's court if they are interested or not. Mike definitely displayed impressive qualities in his response that he posted and it seemed as though he might be interested in something like what we are looking for so I thought I would just toss it out there. I was joking a little bit but we are seriously looking for someone.

I think when it comes to the PR Director or certainly the lobbyist (which would be two very separate positions) it is common for organizations to sometimes go outside of their "membership". More than likely the PR person will be a "paying member" but if someone comes to us who has the qualifications and desire we should be willing to outsource. Same thing with legal representation. It would be nice to have someone from our inner circle but so far nobody has stepped up and I know we have qualified people out there. If you really want them to be a "paying member" in order to do the job then let them join as an Individual Member...ya I know another fire...lol

Mike-we will be working to compose a job description for both the PR Director and the Lobbyist positions.
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Postby mrfreakinwhite » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:21 pm

Getting off topic, but:
my point was to illustrate that i have been waiting to find out if there were any conflicts created by dual enrollment in NEA and EC4. if there arent, i will pony up the dough shortly

I see a need for a connection between the two orgs.
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Postby Paul » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:48 pm

mrfreakinwhite wrote:Getting off topic, but:
my point was to illustrate that i have been waiting to find out if there were any conflicts created by dual enrollment in NEA and EC4. if there arent, i will pony up the dough shortly

I see a need for a connection between the two orgs.


ya think?
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:54 pm

thanks for all the words of encouragement from everyone, i definately appreciate it and take all of your opinions to heart. many times im driven by anger, in this case at the asenine desicions of DCR and the ignorance of JQpublic here in MA, at the disproportionate taxes paid by the middle class and what the free-ride for lower class mentality is doing to shape our future. in terms of burning out, i dont know how effective id be if i stopped being angry about all of it. (sort of a lose lose situation.) i also feel a moral obligation to do something, since i feel like i know how the system could be fixed if i could just make people listen. learning how to do that seems like the biggest challenge.

i dont think im up to the NEA positions at this time, im just too new to this as paul mentioned. i had to wikipedia the definition of lobbyist just to be sure i knew what you were talking about. :oops:
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:12 pm

mrfreakinwhite wrote:Getting off topic, but:

I see a need for a connection between the two orgs.


i wholeheartedly agree. the strategy of the DCR that has worked so effectively to treat the ATV community as all but insignificant (except for collecting that registration fee ofcoarse) is simple numbers. "you are less than 6% of all users, you arent important enough to be a part of our mission."

if all of the ORV clubs, all of the ATV clubs, the dirtbike clubs and finally the sled clubs formed one loose association to lobby the DCR and state congress, it would probably amount to a 1/4 or more of all park users, and our combined sales tax/excise tax/registration fees alone would knock the greenies out of the water. add in our economic clout as we recreate all across new england and you have politicians that smell money to help fund their reelection campaigns.. ready and willing to earmark funds for our votes.

we are all recreationists at heart, i dont see why we couldnt work out our differences at the table and then go hammer up and down the DCR's door with the combined resources.
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Postby mike_belben » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:22 pm

after reading the wikipedia about RTP programs that paul mentioned, a combined motorized user group would probably fit this to a T, able to get funding much easier than a single user group. throw in mountainbikers for the non-motorized group requirements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recreational_Trail_Program
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Postby rblank » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:33 pm

mrfreakinwhite wrote:Getting off topic, but:
my point was to illustrate that i have been waiting to find out if there were any conflicts created by dual enrollment in NEA and EC4. if there arent, i will pony up the dough shortly

I see a need for a connection between the two orgs.


Best of luck. Others have tried to no avail.


Mike, your a smart guy, and you have a talent for articulating well in text what you're trying to get across. I've told you this before. But Paul and Scott are right. Avoid the temptation to get involved in everything and try to fix it all at once. That's how you'll get overwhelmed and burn yourself out. You'll still be angry, but you'll feel like you're not making a difference. That's the way I felt, I speak from experience. Paul's been through it, Scott's been through it, but we cool off, gather our thoughts and end up back in the game.

There are many, many avenues to the Land use battle. The best thing we can all do is spread the work load, set small goals at first, and let momentum carry us forward. We need a plan instead of a bunch of people working on their own little projects.
*DISCLAIMER* - The views expressed herein are the personal views of the author and do not in any way represent, nor imply to represent, the views of the North East Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, it's officers, members, or affiliates.
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Postby Paul » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:06 pm

Some fodder for Mike to digest:

The "I'm a taxpayer and I have rights and my taxes are going towards this park and I'm a resident/constituent" plea often falls of deaf ears. To the politicians you have to simply show them "what's in it for them" The preverbial carrot. If they can't find how its going to benefit them, aka, votes, they're not interested. The Green movement outnumbers us 2-1, so it's very difficult to just say "I pay taxes and I want ORV access" when there's a lot more people saying "I pay taxes and I want these things banned"

ergo my argument: banning is not a realistic solution, what are you going to do with the ever increasing population of ORV's? The only practical solution is to give them places, more places to go. :paul:
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Postby tammylynn » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:36 pm

mike_belben wrote:
i dont think im up to the NEA positions at this time, im just too new to this as paul mentioned. i had to wikipedia the definition of lobbyist just to be sure i knew what you were talking about. :oops:


Seriously no worries. I honestly wasn't trying to throw you in when I first mentioned it I was sort of kidding around. We will fill the positions when the time is right. :)
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