Just a few weeks ago, a group of four-wheelers, mountain bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts exercised their constitutional right to protest the actions of our government. In response to the proposed wilderness bill currently being promulgated by California Senator Barbara Boxer, more than 100 people gathered in front of the state capitol in Sacramento to make clear their opposition to the Wild Heritage Wilderness Act, which, if passed, will leave nearly 2-1/2-million acres inaccessible to any type of motorized vehicle - including bicycles. For the willingness to donate their time and resources to a cause that ultimately benefits all of us, those of us at 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility would like to say thank you.
We have urged greater political involvement in these pages before and have applauded the efforts of such groups as the Blue Ribbon Coalition as they continue to fight to keep public land open to the public. But the truth is despite the best efforts of some wonderful off-road advocates, we continue to lose a little more access every year.
It has been my experience that four-wheelers are some of the most environmentally conscious people to be found on public lands today. As a general rule, they are courteous to hikers and bikers, they donate time to perform trail repairs and maintenance, and they despise those who would use the backcountry as some kind of personal dumping ground. So the fact that four-wheelers are so often villainized in the press tells me that we have not done enough to promote a more realistic image of ourselves and our sport. Unfortunately, that takes time and money.
In the meantime, I want to encourage all of you to be involved in the ongoing fight to keep our lands open. Join a local or national off-road club, vote on important legislation that impacts our sport, and take every opportunity to promote the validity of four-wheeling.