FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS

Backpacking Light (www.backpackinglight.com), an internet-based community of hikers known for their pro-wilderness values, is forging partnerships with organizations such as the pro-trails Blue Ribbon Coalition (www.sharetrails.org) to join forces in the fight for American Wilderness preservation.

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by Backpacking Light Staff | 2009-04-01 00:00:00-06

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS

Bozeman, Montana (April 1, 2009)

Ryan Jordan, Backpacking Light's founder and publisher, was surfing the Internet one day when he came across ShareTrails.org. "When I read the opening statement on the home page, 'The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving responsible recreational access to public lands and waters,' I was bursting with excitement, because that's our mission too!"

Jordan immediately recognized a number of parallels between Backpacking Light and the BRC:

  • Both organizations participate in the process of evaluating public land management agency travel plans;
  • Both organizations love trails;
  • Both organizations believe that America's wild land gems should remain accessible to all humans;

"But the real harmonic potential transcends all that," Jordan said, "and we have some pretty powerful ideas for getting hikers and ORVers to use public lands in harmony."

Backpacking Light's proposals, currently being investigated in a lengthy feasibility study, include:

  • The development of completely noiseless ORVs with zero emissions of any type, zero sound of any type, and zero fuel consumption. Jordan notes that Wikipedia provides great latitude in its definition of a vehicle, which opens up a number of possibilities for creating the alternative ORV of the future. He notes that some of the outdoor industry's most innovative companies are developing alternative ORVs that meet Jordan's criteria, including Inov-8, Alpacka, and Wenonah, to name a few.
  • Creation of the new niche industry of "hiker-taxiing," by which ORV owners receive money from hikers for taking them on rapid tours of their favorite trails. The benefits to this program would include fewer blisters, faster reconnaissance, having to invest less time into personal fitness, and the opportunity to "hug" an ORVer by riding on the back of his (or her) motorbike. "There are serious risks of increasing conflict with this program, but the rewards of intimacy could lead to long-lasting partnerships. Opposites attract, and we can't fight that," says Jordan.
  • Being mentored by the BRC in a new partnership with EA Sports to develop a series of video games to promote hiking. "ORVers have forged incredibly successful relationships with video gaming companies, and we want a piece of that action too," says Jordan, who won the 1982 Donkey Kong tournament at the El Dorado Casino Hotel in Reno, Nevada, and hikes a lot too. "It's time that the hiking community is recognized for their intensity and excitement among our screen-addicted youth, but we can't do it without those who've paved that road ahead of us." Jordan will model the new game series after PlayStation's MX World Tour, but focus less on riding motorcycles and more on doing things motorcycle people could never do, like hike through a forest of blowdowns or haul all your stuff out to an island camp at the middle of an alpine lake using just a Therm-a-Rest and some duct tape. "Hey, we have a lot to offer too. Just give us a chance to rock your XBox, OK?"

Because these are long term projects that provide significant logistical, philosophical, and political challenges, Jordan is eager to promote harmony out of the gate with more realistic short-term endeavors. For example, Jordan advocates distributing earplugs at multi-use trailheads from minimum-impact dispensing machines disguised as permit kiosks. He hopes this project will lead to a complete virtual-reality sensory equipment package that will deaden all senses to surrounding ORV activity, including vision, hearing, smell, and the general awareness of the surrounding environment. Jordan noted that some pretty sophisticated devices are already on the market, with manufacturer Bell and others leading innovation in this area. The goal here is less about creating harmony and more about eliminating the awareness of each other. Jordan says that this may be a "unique first step to a long term solution because right now, we're pretty much total aliens to each other. We don't even drink the same brands of beer."

Jordan hopes that a BPL-BRC partnership is forged on the horizon soon. "The opportunity to maximize the enjoyment of wild lands for all is too good to pass up and now is the time to make it happen."

The tides of change may indeed be rising. A few weeks ago, as snow began to melt from Montana's trails, Jordan encountered an ORVer and BRC member - walking - back to his car on a muddy trail. "What happened, are you OK?" Jordan asked.

"Yeah," the teenage biker said, "my bike broke down a few miles back, and I got a raging blister from walking in these stupid boots." As Jordan and the young man departed, Jordan's guilt overwhelmed him. He turned, and said, "Hey kid." When the biker turned around, Jordan tossed him his New Balance 802's and a Lara Bar. The biker choked back a tear and muttered a simple "Thanks."

---

The Blue Ribbon Coalition is a non-profit ORV advocacy group that supports the establishment of Congressionally designated backcountry where motorized use can co-exist with ... other recreational uses as well as other management activities while still preserving the backcountry character of the landscape.

Backpacking Light is a media company that publishes a weekly online magazine about lightweight hiking, backpacking, and other human powered sports. Backpacking Light recognizes that the intention of the Wilderness Act of 1964 was to preserve existing and identify continuing opportunities for wilderness land protection in the United States, and that environmentally sensitive backcountry areas should be closed to motorized use. In addition, Backpacking Light recognizes that the preservation of the "backcountry character of the landscape" is difficult in the absence of agreement on the definition of "backcountry character."


Citation

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS," by Backpacking Light Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/bpl_ohv_orv_pr.html, 2009-04-01 00:00:00-06.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS on 03/31/2009 21:46:12 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
In trying times, new forms of synergy will emerge. on 03/31/2009 21:56:39 MDT Print View

Bravo Mr. Jordan! You have taken the first step towards healing the divide between two communities with many similar interests.

Jared Cook
(rooinater) - F

Locale: Northwet
Re: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS on 03/31/2009 22:32:24 MDT Print View

I'm glad to hear this! I've been a dirtbike and atv rider longer than I've been hiking, not to mention believe in sharing! I enjoy both and won't give up either. It's good to hear that a group from the Backpacking community (especially the lightweight backpacking community) is reaching out to help bridge the wall between the two sports!

Edited by rooinater on 03/31/2009 22:33:53 MDT.

Jared Cook
(rooinater) - F

Locale: Northwet
Re: Re: In trying times, new forms of synergy will emerge. on 03/31/2009 22:37:33 MDT Print View

I would certainly hope it wouldn't be because of 4/1/09 (even though it was released 3/31 on the pacific coast), even if it seemed a little jovial in parts. otherwise i would have just lost a signifigant amount of respect for backpacking light if they didn't hold to it. A means for change and cooperation, is not something to joke about and i won't renew my membership if that's the case.

Edited by rooinater on 03/31/2009 22:42:55 MDT.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
ORVs and Wilderness on 03/31/2009 22:47:08 MDT Print View

I'm sorry I can't agree with the use of powered machines in the wilderness. I also think that rushing people along the trails diminishes the nature experience. Isn't there enough speed and rushing in daily life? Do we really need to drag it into the wilderness? There are some uses of the wilderness that simply should not be. There is use and there is abuse and machines definitely abuse the land. For example, ATV scars remain for years and years. One of my favorite hiking areas here in Michigan - Pinckney Recreation Area - has been overrun by the mountain biking crowd and it is impossible to enjoy a hike there now. I'm tired of always having to give way to machines.

We do not drive cars, motorcycles, ATVs, dirt bikes, and ORVs into churches. We should show the same respect for the wilderness for it, too, is sacred.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
BPL Partnership cont. on 03/31/2009 22:52:38 MDT Print View

And if this is what Backpacking Light wants to support, I will not be renewing my membership. Why should I have to wear earplugs to cut out the noise of ORVs?? Why should I have to step off-trail to give way to them? I get enough machine noise in my neighborhood from over-loud motorcycles to gas-powered lawn equipment. I go to the wilderness to escape the incessant noise of the city. I refuse to be part of a group that condones taking the noise of the city into the wilderness. There is no way to have it both ways - you can't have both machines and a wilderness experiences.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
However on 03/31/2009 22:54:53 MDT Print View

However, if this is an April Fool's joke (and I sincerely hope it is), then I have fallen for it. Go ahead and laugh.

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F - M

Locale: Somewhere out there
all in on 03/31/2009 22:55:58 MDT Print View

blahablahablah

Edited by ryan_hutchins on 04/02/2009 10:29:11 MDT.

Jared Cook
(rooinater) - F

Locale: Northwet
Re: BPL Partnership cont. on 03/31/2009 22:56:25 MDT Print View

blue ribbon coalition is not about getting orv's into wilderness areas, the main focus is keeping trails that are open, open. Not expanding into "wilderness" areas. orv's don't belong everywhere, but they do belong where they are allowed.

Edited by rooinater on 03/31/2009 22:58:13 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: However on 03/31/2009 22:59:47 MDT Print View

This is an April Fool's joke, notice they're basically talking about powerless powered vehicles. Kind of like perpetual motion machines. Good one. You fooled a few.

The giveaway is this sentence "The development of completely noiseless ORVs with zero emissions of any type, zero sound of any type, and zero fuel consumption." The idea this sentence allows KTM's zero-emission bike fails because it requires electricity for it's recharging and there is no mention from KTM that it emits zero sound. "Zero sound of any type" can't allow the sound of wheel's turning, braking, etc. The other giveaway was the date, April 1st, 2009.

Hey for those in Australia or Canada, do they have an April 1st there? (if you answer "no", the reply question is "oh, so April starts on the 2nd there?" [grin])

Edited by marti124 on 03/31/2009 23:25:24 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS on 03/31/2009 23:16:13 MDT Print View

Does this mean I can now drive one of my Hummers without all the normal flack.

OK, only on 1 April.

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F - M

Locale: Somewhere out there
Wilderness Vs. perceived wilderness on 03/31/2009 23:28:46 MDT Print View

blahblahablah

Edited by ryan_hutchins on 04/02/2009 10:30:01 MDT.

John Brown
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
BPL partnership with Polaris on 03/31/2009 23:40:55 MDT Print View

Ryan Jordan just gave me permission to disclose that BPL has entered a partnership with Polaris to develop a JetPack that burns merino wool. The 7 oz version can jet you up to 7000 feet, the 12 oz version jets you over a 12,000 foot pass.

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 03/31/2009 23:41:38 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS on 04/01/2009 03:42:42 MDT Print View

Wow! Now I can take my performance enhancing drugs along with riding a hot motorcycle and really cover some miles!! woohoo!!!

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Fooled me for a minute on 04/01/2009 07:05:16 MDT Print View

But then I read through to the part about the shoes and had a good laugh. Thanks.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Fooled me for a minute on 04/01/2009 07:15:43 MDT Print View

phew thank goodness this is a joke, I was about to cancel my membership!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: BACKPACKING LIGHT SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH OHV/ORV COMMUNITY TO PROMOTE MULTI-USE HARMONY IN AMERICAN WILDERNESS on 04/01/2009 07:20:04 MDT Print View

He never defined ORV in his article? Ditch the ALL CAPS. That is unnecessary.

Oh, I see it has been outed as a joke. I didn't read it closely...hehe.

Edited by jshann on 04/01/2009 07:25:20 MDT.

Walter Isenberg
(wisenber)
It would be Foolish to miss this opportunity on 04/01/2009 08:41:07 MDT Print View

Hopefully this will help foster harmony among ORVers and hikers. The ORV forums are filled with complaints about bear bells and whistles diminishing their ability to enjoy the soothing sounds of an unbaffled two stroke engine.

Constant trail maintenance by the backpacker crowd has also lead to the ongoing destruction of ruts dug into trails that provide needed traction.

By opening the channels of communication between these groups, hopefully we can open channels on the trails and end the noise pollutions created by bells and whistles.

Walter Isenberg
(wisenber)
It would be Foolish to miss this on 04/01/2009 09:26:42 MDT Print View

When will we be able to begin booking the ORV "shuttles"? I am trying to ween myself from performance enhancing substances, but I would still like to maintain my 40 mile per day average.

Edited by wisenber on 04/01/2009 09:31:23 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on 04/01/2009 09:29:52 MDT Print View

A slightly more accurate graphic for this article was suggested but ultimately dropped by the PC-BPL editorial staff.

truth