Pack it in, Pack it out OR Lose the Right to use it!
The Sad but Real Truth about the Endangered Off-Road Lifestyle
Hi, my name is Audrey Mason. I have been an active off-roader my entire life. I currently ride a Honda 400ex, and cruise in an YJ jeep with my husband K.J. Mason. I was introduced to SDORC, a non-profit political coalition of volunteers dedicated to protecting and preserving off-roading, through our family Rob & Kathleen Smith. The Smith’s are long time active members of SDORC (San Diego Off Road Coalition) coordinating large events, raising awareness and spreading the word of important current issues and top legislation endangering our off-roading lifestyle. For example, land closures, lawsuits, potential endangered species, most issues that off-roaders are facing and are unaware of.
I began to understand the importance of what they were fighting for when it finally affected me personally in 2012. One of my favorite parts of Ocotillo Wells SVRA that I grew up going to with my dad, closed in 2012 added to Anza Borrego designated trails only due to an endangered plant. I joined SDORC to fight back against losing our American Right to USE public lands.
Now, please don’t take me the wrong way, I deeply care about Mother Earth and strongly believe in not leaving anything behind. But, one of the most important parts of off-roading is enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Experiencing parts of the world that 95% of the world will never get to see. Not to disturb it or leave a trail of my own, but, to take in the incredibly spectacular beauty and natural wonders of the world.
Yet, sadly most places you cannot off-road too anymore. Whether it be a single track, or a wide enough route for a 4 wheeler to enjoy, the sad truth is that: if we haven’t already been banned, a gate installed to keep us out, there is limited use on designated trails or a location is currently facing further trail closures.
The sad truth is that Off-roaders are naïve to the strong opposition we face against several environmental organizations trying to close access, gate off or limit use to trails only stating, “off-roaders cause serious damage to natural and cultural resources requiring further protection management”... Next thing you know there’s a lawsuit filed by Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to close another part of our precious open public lands.
Not only does this affect our deserts, but also wilderness, forests and beaches. As Off-Roaders, Hunters, Hikers, Rock Climbers, Horse Back Riders, River Rafters, Fisherman, Mountain Bikers, Outdoorsmen or “Hunter Gatherers” as I call us: Please Unite together and Stand up for our Right to use Public lands.
Stand Up, Unite and Fight For Our Off-Road Right, Join the San Diego Off-Road Coalition.