Feb 20, 2018

Change requires Engagement


Being lovers of the outdoors, we are frustrated by the amount of "trigger trash" or general garbage we see when we are enjoying public lands. We often think about how nice it would be to do "trail clean ups" and other projects in our local forests and parks. Of course, we always leave our camps cleaner than we found them, and we help educate others about how to care for the environment when overlanding. The key when taking action to is to make sure you have an audience and the message is clear.


There's nothing wrong with leading like minded folks from NWOL on a trail clean up. But think how much more impact you can have for our activity if you reach out to other activity groups and engage them in your crusade. We share a lot of terrain with snowmobilers, for instance, who use the same roads and trails in the winter that we enjoy in warmer months. They have a large well organized network who have tremendous relationships with the DNR and USFS. Asking them on a trail clean up could expand influence and create working relationships that go much further. What about hiking or biking groups? Their members are keen on environmental impact, and joining forces with them would have the dual benefit of giving them a view to how we value the same things they do, and that we are not an enemy when it comes to land use.


Don't just go out and pick up litter - have a mission. Create an event that can reach an audience beyond overlanders and off-roaders. Engage other public lands users in positive and encouraging way. Elevate the discourse to include things that WE can do to preserve OUR lands. Here are some guidelines to consider:


Create a plan

  • have a specific goal and desired outcome that is easily communicated

  • consider all the necessary logistics of achieving success

Contact authorities

  • work directly with land managers who have the most to gain from your efforts

  • show your plan and gain their trust

Reach out to NWOL for support

  • tap into the resources at NWOL to get help with the logistics of your plan

  • volunteers to act as coordinators

  • meal or refreshment support

  • knowledge of the area or people to talk to

  • ideation/confirmation of your plan

Design an engaging event

  • pick a time frame that has the best chance of attracting participation

  • pick an area that sees a lot of mixed use, so many will associate with the benefit

  • make it easy to participate - 4 to 6 hours with lunch provided or similar

Advertise & invite others

  • whats the event for

  • who benefits and why

  • what's in it for them

  • why will their participation matter

Wrap up

  • provide invited organizations with objective measures of success for the event (tons of garbage - number of trail repairs etc.)

  • solicit feedback on organization and effectiveness

  • write up a summary for publication with the impacted land managers (e.g. DNR, USFS, etc)


Let me know if you'd like any help getting something kicked off, I would love to get as many of these type events going as we can.



Mar 9, 2018

Good idea! I've cleaned up areas before, but just quietly, usually on my own. Hmm... I like the idea of teaming with others, especially people who might not normally view 4x4 vehicles/owners favorably.

Mar 9, 2018

My dad was the first to point out to me years ago that working in the background is great - but people need to know that you're working to support a common cause instead of defeating it. His term - "you don't want to appear furtive or nefarious". :)

Jul 22, 2018

Years ago, when I was a member of "the4X4network", we used to have an annual clean up event at Tahuya (Our main play area) in one event, we hauled out two full truckloads of general trash and three abandoned/burned out cars. With the support of the local garbage and towing companies, it cost us nothing but our own gas. I remember it making the news one year for a two second blurb, but a major news story about the Clinton family getting a cat or something was more important for broadcast.

This is great, Bryan. NWOL just received its charter membership to Tread Lightly, so you will be seeing more activity on this subject in the near future.



New Posts
  • Idaho State Journal: Article The rocky peaks and forested stream valleys covered by the withdrawal attract skiers, hikers and other recreational users. It’s an area where grizzly bears, wolves and other wildlife roam back and forth across the Yellowstone border — and where the scars of historical mining still are visible on some hillsides. The Forest Service recommendation follows concerns among business owners, residents and local officials that two proposed mining projects north of Yellowstone could damage waterways and hurt tourism, a mainstay of the local economy. Read More: https://www.idahostatejournal.com/us-agency-endorses-plan-to-block-new-mining-near-yellowstone/article_bcdd4508-7ff9-5908-827e-492f3b6adeae.html #NWOL #northwestoverland #Yellowstone #Idaho #BillingsMontana #Mining #ProtectOurLands #TreadLightly
  • This message is just a reminder that when traveling public lands, it is vital that all trail leader and attendees, educate themselves on the area that they will be traveling to. There are many resources available on the internet and at the regional land use management offices throughout the PNW. Specifically, Washington State's "Green Dot Road System". You can learn more at this URL about the restrictions and accessibility of the Green Dot System. https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/green_dot/ https://www.dnr.wa.gov/maps Please take the time and read the fine print. It's up to all of us "user" of public lands to know the rules and limitations. Thanks! Dan
  • http://nwsportsmanmag.com/state-to-hold-meeting-on-central-washington-green-dot-road-changes/
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
Copyright © 2018 Northwest Overland