President's News Letter - July 23, 2010 Edit Blog Entry
Dear Members and Supporters:
Looking back to the 2010 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the couple of months preceding it, I must say that the Association has come a long way in a short time.
At the beginning of this year, membership was very low and animosity toward the association seemed high. Most of the Board Of Directors (BOD) and previous BOD agreed that the primary reason for this was a failure to communicate to our membership with any consistency. After the AGM, the BOD was committed to addressing this communication problem. One area that we thought would help with this problem was the creation of a new website which would have forums for open, direct and transparent dialogue. All forest service road information and news from governments and private companies that impact our interests will also be posted in the relevant forum so that information is disseminated as quickly and widely as possible. This website was launched several days ago and, while it is a work in progress, is accessible at http://www.4wdabc.ca
Another task that has been accomplished is a complete overhaul of our membership system. We have cut the time of mailing out new memberships down to less than a week upon receipt of payment and even to less than one day at times.
A huge success came in April with a key access agreement and program run by the City of Coquitlam. This success was achieved by many 4 wheelers coming together and making it known to the City of Coquitlam how much this area was cared about and how important it was to our community. The 4WDABC played an important part in this success and we intend to propose this as a template in future discussions with other districts and regions where we have lost or are losing access. We would like to express our thanks to Melony Burton who is the driving force for this program within the City.
Also in April, we were somewhat blindsided by a TV news article on Earth Day, highlighting the garbage dumping in the East Stave Lake area. Our VP, Chris Grant managed to contact the reporter and arrange for Steve Dillen, Director of Land Use, to highlight the 4 wheel drive community’s efforts to mitigate this type of damage by sharing information about our annual Stave Lake Cleanup event. This aired on Global the very next evening, April 23rd. Our feelings are that this was a success as it raised a fair amount of awareness about the 4WDABC and the responsibility of 4 wheelers in general.
We held a BOD meeting in April where it was resolved that the 4WDABC is bound to represent all 4 wheelers and lobby for designated areas for all types of 4 wheeling, including mud bogging and rock crawling. Our code of ethics, tread lightly and wheelin' wisely all come into play here as well. This is an area that we consider a 'work in progress' and welcome any and all input on this.
In late April, we were excited to have a new volunteer join us and represent us as a Land Use representative in the Peace Region. Deny Chramosta brings many years of 4 wheeling experience and is an excellent addition to our association as it tries to better represent all regions of this huge province. Deny is a member of the Peace Canyon Toyota Swamp Donkeys, a club that also joined our Association. We welcome Deny and the Swamp Donkeys to the Association.
Also in late April, a group of wheelers on BC4x4.com came together to do a vehicle recovery of a Bronco II which had rolled in the West Harrison area. This group also delivered the Bronco to the owner’s driveway in Chilliwack. My son and I arrived too late to assist but we were impressed by the number of people who will assist others they do not know and to such a degree. The Association would like to thank all those involved in coming to the rescue of these people!
The month of May was consumed with Stave Lake Cleanup details and scouting for the event to be held on June 5th. At the end of the month, we were contacted to assist with a fellow who got hung up on a stump in the Eagle Mountain area. As it turned out, we were able to assist and these people were on their way.
We have been in contact with an informal club in the Okanogan area called the Urban Rednecks who are lobbying for designated areas for mud bogging and rock crawling. The 4WDABC have urged them to register their society and have expressed support for this endeavor.
June 5th saw the arrival of the Stave Lake Cleanup Event. WOW! What a huge success! There were 91 volunteers, 48 trucks, 9 trailers, 3 dump trucks, 1 backhoe and all that effort resulted in 22,500 Kilograms (22 tons) of garbage being picked up and delivered to the Mission transfer station. There was also 2,000 kilos of steel recycled. This was an incredible success and our sincere thanks go to all the volunteers and the two organizers, Carolann Van De Ligt and Chris Grant, VP, 4WDABC.
The 4WDABC arranged a time to provide Melony Burton, City of Coquitlam, a tour of the Eagle Mountain trail system from a wheelers perspective with the final stop at Eagle Ridge overlooking a 180⁰ view of Surrey to the south around to Mount Seymour to the north. It was a gorgeous evening, one of the few at that time of year, and we shared some incredible views and some fun on the trail. There was even a bald eagle circling overhead which gave credit to the name of the area.
Once the Stave event was completed, we refocused on launching our website, which unofficially was launched on July 13th. While the bulk of the organizational detail is in place for the website, we will be tweaking the 'look and feel' as we go along. Our huge thanks go to Corey Jong who volunteered to set up the website and then began the process of customizing it to suit our needs. We couldn’t have done it without volunteers like Corey.
Another event of significance is the recruitment of a new member and Land Use Representative for the Kootenay/Boundary region. The Association welcomes Daniel Zarchikoff to our growing list of volunteers. Daniel was born and raised as a Kootenay resident who is well versed in the backcountry areas of his region as well as being versed in the access issues involved.
Our individual membership numbers have just hit 100 and we now have 8 member clubs.
As of today, this is a brief synopsis of what we have been doing for the last three and a half months. Now, where are we going?
It has become extremely clear that the membership and prospective members all want some fun re-inserted in our Association. The BOD has spent a fair amount of time considering suggested ideas and events in order to accomplish this. It was determined that a couple of things had to be put in place prior to having these events. The first was event insurance. We are currently investigating the cost and terms of such insurance. Second is that we need a waiver of liability for any trail events that we host or are hosted on our behalf by member clubs. This is being looked at as well.
Once these insurance and liability issues have been addressed, events will be organized and scheduled. We welcome any and all input from our members as well as prospective members to assist us. We can always use volunteers. As a start to this dialogue, there is a recent discussion about a BBQ event being proposed on our website. If you have some time, please come and signup and feel free to take up some discussions on any topic, or start a new one. The BBQ topic can be found here:
As most will confirm, the Backroader magazine was very popular and we haven't managed to publish an issue in the last 3 years. We want to change this. We welcome write ups about trail runs, stories, customizations, history of our Association, issues affecting your area, whatever you have that would make interesting reading is welcome. Please submit you’re your articles to the 4WDABC. If we receive enough content, we WILL publish the Backroader magazine. Email articles to: email@example.com
As I read over this news letter, I realize that a lot has been happening since the AGM, too much really for one update to be sent to the membership. In the future, I will send these updates out monthly.
In closing, I would like to request any and all comments and suggestions from our membership to be either emailed to us or posted on our website. We value your input in helping us improve our Association to better represent you.
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION OF BC