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Old 10-25-2016, 12:18 PM
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Grumpy Grumpy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 625
Default Comments on WSTC Richland Conference

Iíve been asked to give my thoughts about the Washington State Trails Coalition biennial conference that was held here in the Tri Cities on Oct. 13-15. I will endeavor to get those thoughts down without getting too confused.

First, and really most humbling, was having the PNW4WDA see fit to have me, along with Gary Harting of the Desert Rats, represent the Association at this gathering! To David McMains, thank you for the vote of confidence, that means a lot.

Next was the enthusiasm with which the brass at RCO, DNR, and WSTC seemed to welcome the fact that motorized recreation would be represented during the conference. I had kind of dropped the ball seeing about a display space, and when I asked Perry Barrett, WSTC Treasurer, if we could sneak in, he was more than helpful in making sure we had a spot. He even put us where we had a view.

Gary and I attended several sessions that looked like they may apply, even if only slightly, to OHV. The first was put on by Danica Ready of Methow Trails. She went through the who and what of the group, and their accomplishments and plans for the future. Pretty impressive, and I recommend getting to know them. I visited with her after the session, and found her to be very open to input from us, even though the trails system up there for us is not that big. She allowed as another point of view would be welcome, and thought having motorized sit in on their collaborative meetings would be a good idea.

The next group we invaded was the Statewide Recreation and Planning-SCORP session with Leslie Connelly, Policy Specialist with RCO. They are starting their five year planning process, and we were given an overview of that, and some interesting financial information that Iíll post later. She had us all write our main concerns on a sticky note, which were put on wall sheets for each subject (access was a big deal!). We then broke into groups to discuss what weíd come up with. While everyone was having input on the various subjects, me being me, I got Leslie off to the side and had a very good discussion about, basically, how we havenít been included in a lot of the conversation. I found her open to discussion, and she seems to agree about our being a needed part of things. The info gathered is being distilled down to something manageable, and I will have a copy to share when itís ready.

We sat in with the Friends of Badger Mountain while Sharon Grant went through all the twists and turns getting where they are today. Lots of ups and downs, including an uncooperative developer. Iíll avoid that part, as I know the guy. Badger is close to my clubs heart, as we were able to help with an issue they had with a kid that got into the preserve and got his truck stuck up one of the draws. Yup, we got it out.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Kim Reeves from the British Columbia Association of 4x4 Clubs/Outdoor Recreation Council of BC. Very impressive young man, and I, for one, think we could do a lot worse than working with this bunch on any common issues we may have.

Now for what was, for me, the high point of the weekend. At lunch on Saturday, Jon Snyder, Policy Advisor, Outdoor Recreation & Economic Development to Governor Inslee, was the guest speaker. After he went through what I am sure is a somewhat standard presentation, he opened the floor to questions. Yes, I did take the opening. I observed that, even though one of his slides included emblems for the various types of OHV, I didnít hear that aspect of recreation mentioned, and what can we do to help fix that? His answer did indicate he knows weíre out here, and that each type does have unique needs. Well, we didnít even finish dessert and we had the brass at the table. Snyder, Glenn Glover from DNR, and Ted Willhite from the RCO Funding Board in particular. It turned into a good discussion that, if we play things as we should, could start to turn things our way. All three gentlemen seem genuine in their desire to have all users equally represented in the discussion, and that, to me, seems to be a change from past experience in many areas.

If I may, I believe the door has opened a crack, and the powers at each of the various OHV groups in the state need to gather for some strategy discussion, then follow up. I see PNW4WDA, WOHVA, and AMA as those who need to get this rolling, and hold these folks to their word to start including motorized in the future planning for recreation in Washington.

Again, thank you for allowing us this opportunity to represent motorized hobbyists at this level. I was an honor for Gary and me both.


Dave Walters
Tri Cities Peak Putters
Land Use Coordinator
Kennewick, WA

Dave Walters
Tri-Cities Peak Putters
Land Use Coordinator
WOHVA Board member

It's a Scout thing
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