For those of us that are U.S. citizens, it’s that time of year again to get out and vote. Some of you have probably already made up your mind. However, many more of you are most likely undecided.For those who are undecided, I encourage you to look at the candidate’s stance regarding public land use.
As an avid RVer, public land to recreate and disperse camp is very important to me. It should be to you too. However, how do you know the candidate’s position on public land as it’s seldom, if ever, mentioned during their campaign. The method I use to determine their current position is to look at what groups have endorsed the candidate.
For starters, any group that supports wilderness areas is against the use of RVs, motorized recreation and sometimes mountain biking. You can always learn more about congressional approved Wilderness designations and I encourage you to do so.
As you will see, wilderness does not support RVing. When set in motion in 1964, the Wilderness Act is now being used to close lands that really don’t qualify. This means banning recreationalists from their favorite places.
It is also worth noting that the President of the United States nominates the Secretary of the Interior. This position oversees a huge amount of Federal land. It’s under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Basically, the Secretary of the Interior sets the tone for land use during the Presidents term in office.
Using the Antiquities Act of 1906, the President can easily lock up huge amounts of public land by designating a new national monument. National monuments have a whole different set of rules on the land you and I use. As you see, those holding federal office can greatly influence how we all recreate on our public land.
On the state level, you will want to check out who is supporting the Governor and Public Land Commissioner. These two positions greatly influence what activities the public can enjoy on state land. Once again, groups that support wilderness, conservation or wildlife are looking to restrict you and I from RVing on state land. This is important for adventurous RVers who enjoy all of the adventures on America’s public lands.
Vote and Take a Stance on Public Land Use
The same goes for local/county candidates. This is especially true regarding the potential county commissioner’s stance on public land use. Are they ready to stand up for you when federal officials want to prohibit motorized access to your favorite camp? Or, will they readily comply?
RVers are thankful for our public lands. And, regardless whether you are a veteran RVer, dirt biker, or snowmobiler, I urge you to get out and vote for the candidate that supports the use of public land by all user groups.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.