Got this email today. Thought I would share it with ya'll.
This notice is being sent on behalf of the AB4WD President:
We will be having a conference call on July 5th at 6:00 pm. All club
presidents and AB4WD delegates/representatives are requested to call in.
Further details of the call in procedures, and some locations where people
could meet if possible to reduce the costs will be sent out before the
meeting. Drafted club standards (aka guiding principles) will be
distributed before the meeting.
There have been serious changes to the land use rules in southern Alberta
near Willow Creek where four wheelers where specifically targeted by the
Minister. These changes were made as a result of the publicity of some
irresponsible people on the May Long Weekend, and despite a quick response
letter by the AB4WD (see content below). Please become involved to discuss the
issues, the AB4WD's response(s), what we need to make a difference (money
and more help) and what we have been doing proactively to improve our image.
Included in the discussion will be a review of drafted club standards or
guiding principles. These standards have been drafted with the input of
volunteers from several clubs and are intended to be general guiding
principles for four wheeling on public lands. Input from SRD and the
stockmans association is being sought, and will hopefully be provided before
the meeting. The intention of the review is to make any changes as
required, and to vote on the standards. Clubs will then be expected to
adopt the standards. In the future, we will also work on developing
recommended trail practices that clubs will be encouraged (but not required
at this point) to adopt.
In the future, we will also have recommended trail practices that clubs will
be encouraged to adopt. These practices will be drafted by working groups
(Calgary, Edmonton and others as available) and voted at the main AB4WD
Content of AB4WD statement after May long weekend incidents:
The Alberta Four Wheel Drive Association (AB4WD) supports sustainable use of trails by promoting responsible use and adequate access to public lands. We are concerned with the events that took place in the Eastern Slopes during the May long-weekend of 2007. This behavior is not a result of trail use, but of a few people being irresponsible and disrespectful to the area and the other users.
The AB4WD believes that disrespect, congestion, and subsequent environmental damage can be reduced and prevented through proper management of public areas, and not closing them down completely. Closing areas defers the problem and compounds congestion in adjacent areas. Proper management could include limiting the number of people permitted in sensitive areas at a given time to a sustainable level, and having a user pay system to cover maintenance and enforcement costs.
The AB4WD is also promoting responsible and sustainable trail use through developing standards that clubs and members will be held accountable to. Encouraging all four wheelers to join registered clubs will promote education, mentoring and accountability. The standards, along with increased membership and understanding will encourage further sustainability and respect for the environment and other users.