On motorheads and responsible dirt-biking

  Dear HCN,

I have been riding motorcycles for 27 years, and currently my son and I have six bikes, four of them dirt bikes. Recently, Clark Collins of the Blue Ribbon Coalition was kind enough to send me a sample copy of his group's magazine. The coalition's aims, such as promoting responsible use of public lands, are beyond reproach, as is their code of ethics ... "respect designated areas." I wholeheartedly agree with these aims and firmly believe that there is a place for recreational vehicles on some of our public lands (HCN, 12/9/96). Unfortunately, the bulk of the magazine was the most outlandish and confused right-wing nonsense I've ever read. Some examples:

* "... many (environmental groups) want to put an end to civilization ..." ( a book review)

* "Most understand the folly of leaving things be for nature to manage by itself." (editorial)

* "... the Sierra Club and other so-called "environmental groups' oppose human use of not just these (timber), but all other natural resources." (editorial)

* "Much that passes for environmental decline is an abstraction, generated by computers." (Alston Chase column)

* "We must work to decouple conservation policies from regulation ..." "A policy cannot be good for the environment if it is bad for people." (editorial from The American Conservation Ethic Project)

Perhaps some insight into this proliferation of hostility toward not only environmental groups, but also science and reason, can be gleaned from the organization's supporters and members. These include Boise Cascade, J.R. Simplot, Potlatch Corp., and Crown Butte Mines Inc. Do you suppose the Blue Ribbon folks are being used?

Sorry, Clark. I'm a dirt rider and love the sport dearly. But I'm also a father and feel that our "rights' to use public land carry with them the responsibility to leave it in at least as good condition as we received it. I don't see that your group, or those with which you are siding, is really interested in doing that.

Bob Clancy

Sandia Park, New Mexico