Land use isn't something that usually gets brought up in high-profile political debates, but access to legal off-road trails is invariably a political issue. If you want to preserve that access, you've got to know who to vote for. That's where the Trail Political Action Committee (TPAC) comes in.
In their own words, TPAC is a "non-partisan political action committee dedicated solely to championing responsible off-highway vehicle recreation on designated roads, trails, and areas on public lands through the electoral and legislative processes."
Off-road parks in the US go on the chopping block all the time. As fans of legal opportunities to fling dirt like maniacs and turn money into noise, we've got to be vigilant about holding on to the land use rights we have.
TPAC is trying to keeping off-road trails open by contributing to "pro-access politicians" who support Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation and will actively oppose proposals to curtail off-road recreation.
The Committee claims to keep track of elections across the nation so it can focus on close races where pro-access candidates need the most help. They also monitor legislation and do their best to raise awareness when a bill comes out that might limit off-road access. Since "off-roading" isn't the sexiest thing to run a political campaign on or even defend, I'd guess this keeps TPAC pretty busy.
Obviously, you're going to want to vote for your representatives based on all the issues they stand for. Or at least, most of them. But an organization like TPAC could be instrumental in mobilizing enthusiasts to keep trails legal.
TPAC has a mailing list you can join on their website to stay apprised on on OHV issues as the come up, and I'll see if I can get Don Amador, TPAC's founder, to jump in and answer any questions you might have.
While we're on the subject, does anyone else have a solid source for off-road related political happenings, or know a "pro-OHV access" candidate who's running in an election now?
Image: Race Point ORV Trail on Cape Cod, MA by Global Jet/Flickr