Help BRC Take the Fight to the Courts

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Editorial by Sonia Bartz ,
BRC President

Recently I saw two new bumper stickers that reminded me of the very first article I wrote back in 2008: "Ignore your rights and they'll go away." The first bumper sticker read "If you're not outraged then you're not paying attention," and the second read "The world is run by those that are involved" (which is a spin-off from the more famous saying, "The world is run by those who show up"). How fitting given some of the challenges we face today.

Throughout the year, BRC has distributed press releases and alerts notifying us of numerous Wilderness initiatives, including the massive Wilderness Bill, H.R. 980. At the same time BRC legal has remained closely involved in the ongoing issues in both the 9th and the 10th circuit regarding the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Likewise, the BlueRibbon Coalition has continued its extensive participation with the planning and implementation of the Forest Service's Travel Management Rule and the Revised Management Planning of the BLM. Whether it's Wilderness, the so-called "Roadless Rule" or driven by other agency planning, these are not just local issues. They have impact to all of us across the nation.

Having an impact on what impacts us brings me to my point. Advocacy is a contact sport. The key to effective advocacy is networking and being engaged and active--being involved. One of the best ways to raise awareness and prevent outrage is to be visible and active at both a local and national level, also referred to as networking. We each need to work diligently to establish connections at our state and regional levels.

Next, we need to establish a rapport with the local, state or regional government officials and make sure your recreational interest or organization is represented at critical land use meetings. BRC's goal is to build credibility, forge relationships, and position ourselves as a trusted resource on land use issues. You should too. Through this process we listen, learn and present our point of view.

We also need to establish relationships and partnerships with other organizations to widen our circle of influence. Building partnerships at a state, region or national level brings a host of benefits to any organization, including knowledge, experience, and resources. Building and maintaining a unified front among those partnerships can significantly increase our impact on policy makers and other special interest groups.

It's necessary to take these steps when it comes to advocacy. For some of you, given limited resources, it may be more challenging to look for and take on all the issues. But when an important issue presents itself, don't shy away. Big things can happen when you take the necessary steps.

--Questions or comments regarding this article should be directed to the BlueRibbon Coalition: Phone: 208-237-1008, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email: .

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