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    Please join SAWS!

    Oregon needs more representation! Oregon needs more information sharing! Oregon snowmobiling needs YOU! Please joins SAWS.

    Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

    Todd White (Tedd) is your Oregon SAWS Director & Representative. I am also an Oregon Representative. We can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected] respectively. Please let us know if you hear of any land-use issues affecting snowmobiling.

    Who is the Snowmobile Alliance of Western States?

    An idea was launched in August 2004 on the World Wide Web. This idea was not unique in a general sense. The goal was to motivate a group of people to unite and fight for what they believe in. What made this idea unique was the target audience – snowmobilers.

    Snowmobilers have endured compounding losses of riding areas for years, and we will continue to do so if we do not come together in force to protect our right to ride. This is not news. A series of articles called “Environment, Incorporatedâ€‌ were published in the Sacramento Bee starting April 22, 2001, with numerous follow-ups, detailing the inner workings of environmental organizations. We are up against a number of huge, highly organized and well funded groups. Environmental organizations utilize the internet to reach thousands of households, informing members of situations that need their attention, regardless of where their members or the situation might be located. This method has proven to work very well for these organizations.

    Since that method had been working so well in the fight against us we figured that we could use the same concept to inform snowmobilers of potential closures. It was our vision that our members would receive information about their local riding areas as well as areas outside of their state of residence (we know how many of you travel each winter in search of powder) rivaling the effectiveness of those that wish to close down our chosen form of recreation. In answer, the Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) was formed.

    Our SAWS goal is simple – we want to keep snowmobilers riding areas open, period. We communicate to our members through our web site and by email only, passing along information that will allow our members to easily let those in charge of OUR public lands - our riding areas - know how you feel and what you think they should or should not do regarding management of OUR public lands. We wanted to maximize our numbers and effectiveness so we chose not to charge a membership fee. Our hope was that without any cost associated with membership, snowmobilers would not hesitate to join.

    As of September, 2007, we have over 2200 members from across the United States and several Canadian provinces. The majority of our current members are from the states of Idaho, Montana and Washington. We also have state snowmobile associations from Alaska, California/Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and numerous snowmobile clubs from many western states that have also joined SAWS to help in our goal. The individual members of these organizations increase our effectiveness substantially. This tremendous response validates the need for an organization such as SAWS. We need to continue to grow in order to be able to make a major difference and have a voice in the outcome of all potential closures. We want to be able to squash the tirade of the extreme green organizations that have hundreds of thousands of members, and millions of dollars, that want to see snowmobiling erased from this planet.

    Our Mission: to provide education regarding public lands policy and outdoor recreation ethics in order to preserve and protect access to traditional trails and terrain on public lands, so that future generations will be able to enjoy nature through snowmobiling as generations have done in the past.

    Our Vision: The future of snowmobiling is under constant attack by the extreme preservationists who would like nothing more than to see our sport relinquished to the history books of yesterday. Through their misinformation and outright lies, they will stop at nothing to achieve their self-serving goal.

    We have a choice. We can bury our collective heads in the snow, and pretend this problem is not occurring, or we can band together and fight for our right to snowmobile. By uniting the voices of thousands of snowmobilers together we can win many of these battles and protect our form of recreation. By combining the efforts of snowmobilers from throughout the western United States and beyond into one organization, we will represent an enormous number of snowmobilers whose collective voices must be heard.

    Through the sharing of experiences with snowmobilers from multiple states, we will learn of past successes (and failures) to ensure that upcoming land use issues are dealt with swiftly and appropriately. And by bringing this magnitude of snowmobilers throughout the west together on our electronic communication highway, under one umbrella, we can make a difference.

    SAWS has only one priority - to keep our riding areas open. Our purpose is not to be a social outlet but rather as activists whose combined knowledge and strengths will benefit the greater snowmobiling community. We will focus on preventing riding areas from being shutdown due to changes in land use designations that are detrimental to snowmobiling.

    SAWS believes that we currently have enough designated wilderness in this country to support the small percentage of recreationists that wish, or are allowed to, visit these areas. We do not support adding additional lands as wilderness. Presently there are over 107 million acres of designated wilderness, of which the majority is located in the western United States. And there are millions more acres of land that the extreme preservationists are attempting to add to these current acres of existing wilderness. As we are sure that you are aware, motorized and mechanical forms of transport are not allowed in wilderness areas.

    SAWS supports multiple use recreation of our national forests, and does not support exclusive designations that eliminate one form of recreation in favor of another. Therefore we do not support the forest service practice of recommending areas for wilderness designation, and closing these areas to snowmobiling while they await wilderness designation approval from Congress.

    SAWS supports Webster's definition of a compromise. That is; "a settlement in which each side makes concessions". We do not believe in coming to the table to discuss how much we are willing to give up. Instead, we believe the discussions need to start from the standpoint of what new areas they are willing to open for snowmobilers, in exchange for closing an area currently open to snowmobilers.

    SAWS is a free email/web site 501(c)(3) non-profit communications organization setup and dedicated to the above mission statement.
    That is all we do! SAWS does not spend any of our members donated funds mailing our information to our members by US mail, which would be quite expensive to do, considering that we currently have over 2200 members. Financially, SAWS receives less than $5000 a year in donations (based on a 3 yr average).

    Where do your SAWS donated funds go? We mainly use donated funds to cover our costs which consist of two teleconferences a year, web site fees, educational and promotional items, and occasionally we will request that a SAWS Rep attend a land use related function out of their local area or state of residence. If this occurs, which is very rare, the SAWS Directors usually agree to cover their costs. SAWS also donates funds to existing legal actions to protect snowmobile access, as SAWS has no legal team on retainer (but we are fortunate in that we receive some no-cost legal advice). We send donations to existing legal funds such as the BlueRibbon Coalition Legal Action Fund and other established funds. During 2006, we sent $1500 to fight the caribou related snowmobile closure in north Idaho. We temporarily bank excess funds from any given year in reserve, which will later be applied to the next legal issue or costs that SAWS determines is important to help protect snowmobile access.

    SAWS is an all volunteer organization. There are no paid positions. All of us that volunteer for SAWS also work full time paid jobs to support our families. SAWS volunteers not only spend numerous hours attempting to keep our riding areas open by adhering to our vision statement, but we also enjoy spending time with our families and are extremely passionate about snowmobiling, just as our members are. Therefore, SAWS officers can not be at all snowmobile related events across the country. SAWS relies on our members to attend events near them and represent SAWS in a positive manner. After all, SAWS can only be a major influence and make a difference in keeping our riding areas open through the positive actions of our members.

    SAWS, together with your help, we CAN make a difference. And most importantly,

    NO MORE WILDERNESS!!!
    www.TeddUnlimited.com
    www.Facebook.com/TeddUnlimited.com

    #2
    RE: Please join SAWS!

    Originally posted by Oregongirl
    Oregon needs more representation! Oregon needs more information sharing! Oregon snowmobiling needs YOU! Please joins SAWS.
    Thanks for posting the SAWS info. In case anyone missed it, SAWS can be found at:

    http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org

    Ben

    Comment


      #3
      RE: Please join SAWS!

      Originally posted by ben
      Originally posted by Oregongirl
      Oregon needs more representation! Oregon needs more information sharing! Oregon snowmobiling needs YOU! Please joins SAWS.
      Thanks for posting the SAWS info. In case anyone missed it, SAWS can be found at:

      http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org

      Ben
      Thanks Ben! We've had two new members join since this was posted. That's a good start!!
      www.TeddUnlimited.com
      www.Facebook.com/TeddUnlimited.com

      Comment

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