To pro­tect the trails of BC


THE OTHER DAY as I was on­line, I thought to my­self why can’t we just get along? Why is there so much con­tro­versy and pol­i­tics in the wheel­ing world? Es­pe­cially where so­cial me­dia plays a part, as there is no one truck, wheel­ing style, or skill set that is bet­ter than an­other.

With two for­mal Face­book groups in Bri­tish Columbia, of over 17,000 and 35,000 mem­bers, any­thing and ev­ery­thing that hap­pens on those pages is highly

vis­i­ble not only to the mem­bers, but also the me­dia, and those that want to find fault within our com­mu­nity. The in­ter­nal con­flict is ex­haust­ing to vol­un­teers; and pre­vents those who want to step up and help from do­ing so, as no one en­joys be­ing in the line of fire.

Time spent mit­i­gat­ing sit­u­a­tions that have gone awry is time that could be bet­ter spent cre­at­ing ed­u­ca­tion and safety pro­grams; or or­ga­niz­ing com­mu­nity events like the Big Brothers and Big Sis­ters run, to build a pos­i­tive le­gacy and change lives.

Frankly, we can’t achieve our goals of pub­lic ac­cess to pub­lic land un­less we fo­cus all our en­er­gies on joint ven­tures. To achieve this, we need to en­cour­age the val­ues of re­spect, ac­count­abil­ity, and men­tor­ing. Like all fam­i­lies, we aren’t go­ing to agree 100% of the time, but we can find a civil way to re­solve our dif­fer­ences.

Ev­ery year the Four Wheel Drive As­so­ci­a­tion of BC votes for one per­son who em­bod­ies those char­ac­ter­is­tics as “Wheeler of the

Year”. I feel that two of my fel­low wheel­ers, both with per­spec­tive that is wise be­yond their years, truly de­serve this ti­tle. Both sit at the heart of BC wheel­ing world; Kim Reeves (pres­i­dent) and Matt Ion (So­cial Me­dia/Web­mas­ter).

Without Kim as pres­i­dent the last seven years, we would not have many things that our wheel­ing world takes for granted;

in­clud­ing both the Hale and Na­hat­latch Shel­ters. He dreams in liv­ing tech­ni­color of what can be ac­com­plished, and sim­ply makes those things hap­pen. It takes a “vil­lage” to care for the wheel­ing world and turn it into one fam­ily, but that vil­lage also re­quires a strong leader such as Kim. Matt pa­tiently works through the ten­sions in the so­cial me­dia as­pect And pro­tect this and web­site, lead­ing main­te­nance runs, help­ing clean ups, rais­ing aware­ness for events, and numer­ous other tasks as needed.

Re­cently we tem­po­rar­ily lost ac­cess to the Na­hat­latch For­est Fire Look­out, and the is­sue quickly be­came a hot topic. Tem­pers flared, many peo­ple had ideas on find­ing their own so­lu­tion; the board worked dili­gently to keep the is­sue at a low sim­mer to en­sure per­ma­nent dam­age to our abil­ity to rene­go­ti­ate ac­cess was not jeop­ar­dized. True to form, within ten days the board had met with the stake­hold­ers to iden­tify the is­sues and suc­cess­fully rene­go­ti­ated ac­cess for not only mem­bers, but the en­tire wheel­ing fam­ily in BC, which leaves us in a pos­i­tive light, rather than risk­ing a loss of ac­cess to other ar­eas.

All of us look for­ward to see­ing how the as­so­ci­a­tion grows over the next few years as many new projects come to light. I’d like to say thank you, and I’m sure many oth­ers will agree, to the board of the as­so­ci­a­tion, for the role mod­els they are, and all the sac­ri­fices they make, to build one wheel­ing fam­ily work­ing to­ward a com­mon goal.

As a com­mu­nity.

360 de­gree views are rare.

We prac­tice cau­tion.

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