Letter: Let’s stop the stereotyping
Thank you, Ryan Hoffman, for attending the June White River Trail Runners (WRTRS) ATV/UTV club meeting. We appreciate him accepting our invitation to discuss the June 25 Citizen Telegram Hubbard Mesa article, and editorial.
Many WRTRS members, including myself, found it interesting, but not surprising, Hubbard Mesa once again made the news. Unfortunately, the article and editorial painted a certain user group in a very negative light, and was considered by many rather one sided. The area has been enjoyed for many generations, and only within the last few years seems to be on certain people’s radar.
Why is the ATV club taking such an interest in the article primarily focused on firearm enthusiasts? Because many club members are also part of the latter.
From our Facebook page: “There again is the old saying a few bad apples spoil the bunch. People who are not properly trained in handling and shooting of firearms should take a training class…” and, “Unfortunately it only takes a few from any user group to ruin it for all. I am a multi user of our great public lands and I too wish there was a little more regulation when it came to how some use public land without consideration for others who should be allowed to use it as well…”
What the article failed to mention is the annual Hubbard Mesa Clean up held every year in April. Each year the WRTRS ATV/UTV Club and the High Country 4 Wheelers Club work with the BLM to coordinate this event. Together these two clubs pick up two 40-yard dumpsters full of trash, discarded furniture and appliances, and 65-75 tires. The WRTRS ATV/UTV club alone volunteers over 350 hours each year cleaning and maintaining our trails. What has been, and continues to be, disappointing is other user groups do not join us at these events. Personally, in the six years I’ve been involved, I’ve witnessed only four joggers, and one bicyclist helping out.
The point is we are proactive. We know the land owner at one point a few years ago was going to shut all his land off when our two groups worked together with him and we began annual trash clean ups. The other point is we welcome anyone to join us at a future club meeting, clean up or other event. Our clubs formed to educate, and to lead by example. One club member said he stopped and offered a bicyclist a bottled water recently. Personally, while riding my ATV out on the trail, I slow down, flash a peace sign, move my dust mask and smile at bikers and bicyclists. I say let’s stop the stereotyping and generalizations and get along. Let’s keep them clean and safe to keep them open.
The White River Trail Runners ATV/UTV club meets the last Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. For further information, check out their Facebook page.
WRTRS ATV/UTV Club secretary and president
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.