Because of our strong commitment to protecting access in Utah, where many popular roads, trails, and recreation opportunities face risk of closure from relentless efforts from anti-access groups and local governments committed to restricting access, we are incredibly grateful for the support from exceptional Utah-based organizations like the Utah Public Lands Alliance. UPLA is one of the key organizers of the increasingly popular Winter Jamboree at Sand Hollow, and they are incredible allies in protecting access through advocacy, volunteerism, and promoting responsible use of public lands. This year they committed $10,000 to BRC to assist us in our fights to keep some of the greatest trails on earth open.
We are currently tracking our end-of-year fundraising drive, and I noticed an ad for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in my Facebook feed for their end-of-year fundraiser. This is one of the organizations who is constantly working to restrict access to public land. BRC is a defendant intervenor in SUWA’s appeal of the San Rafael Desert Travel Management Plan, which could close hundreds of miles of roads and trails south of Green River, UT. We are gearing up for what will be a major fight for access in the Gemini Bridges/Labyrinth Rims Area near Moab. We’ve been involved in the forest plan for the Manti-La Sal National Forest, which will impact access to popular areas near Moab, Blanding, Manti, Price, and Castledale. And we will soon be releasing action alerts for six planning documents to implement numerous actions to implement the Dingell Act in Emery County. While SUWA and other anti-access groups are consistently engaged on these issues, we’re showing up on your behalf every step of the way.
After clicking on the ad, we saw that they have a goal to raise $250,000 before the end of the year, and they are almost half of the way there:
Now, we know that this might sound crazy, but we actually think we can match them in more than advocacy. We know there are enough outdoor recreation users that we can match them in their fundraising too. As we’ve watched this one group use their strong fundraising base to shut down popular mountain bike trails, dispersed camping, and motorized recreation everywhere, the number of people who should be joining our coalition to protect access should be growing by the lawsuit. As their targets shift to some of the most historic and popular trails around world-class destinations like Moab, we know we have serious fights coming. They use their funding to commission studies to justify restrictions on all forms of recreation. They have hired staff to manage their media relations. They manage strong volunteer programs to place closure signs all over public lands at the same time they pressure land managers to prevent volunteers who support recreation to sign routes that are open.
It’s not enough to challenge their lawsuits and administrative actions. We need to be building a whole movement to support recreation access to our public lands. We know we have the numbers of users to hit the same fundraising goals. We know that off-road recreation is an economic juggernaut, and that users who spend $10,000s of dollars on off-road vehicles and recreation experiences can afford to contribute to support the fight for access to public land.
SUWA is trying to raise $250,000 by the end of the year, and we are hoping that the strong and growing community of off-road and outdoor recreation enthusiasts who believe public lands should be open to the public can help us hit the same goal. Remember that as part of the CARES Act individuals can claim $300 and married couples can claim a $600 dollar tax deduction for a charitable contribution to 501c3 such as BRC. We know we will never hit this goal if we don’t ask, but with your support we believe anything is possible. We have a $10,000 head start from UPLA, and we need your help for a strong finish towards this goal!
We are encouraged to see already that people are creating fundraisers to support our year end push on Facebook. The more people who pitch in, the more likely it is we will hit our goal: