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    "Thrillcraft" Threaten Our National Heritage?

    I recently came across a website promoting a book that tries to define a certain culture as a "thrillcraft" culture and claims that this culture is a threat to our national heritage! It defines "thrillcraft" as a "machine used primarily for recreation" in which many owners "enjoy challenging themselves..seeking out steep slopes or rough pathways.." Also that " Thrillcraft users fulfill excessive and unnecessary thrill-seeking experiences With 65% of Americans over 20 estimated to be overweight, use of thrillcraft, and the lack of exercise that goes with it, can even be said to promote the growing obesity problem in the country that burdens our health care systems The government, rather than assisting and aiding such behavior by not enforcing or creating rules or regulations, should aggressively fight the use of thrillcraft as a public health menace just as it supports anti-smoking campaigns. How many more reasons do we need to mount a national campaign to end the thrillcraft plague?" Gee whiz, I've always felt like a large part of our "national heritage" was our freedoms that allow us to live better and have a few "excessive and unnecessary" experiences! Not only that, but that being outdoors and actively off-roading promoted good health and in itself was a legitimate form of exercise. Notice how the picture they use is of an extremely overweight and out of shape individual taking lands away from those that enjoy hiking in the sand dunes! "It's time to take back OUR lands????" Unbelievable!!!

    What is "their vision"? Their vision is a TOTAL BAN of all "thrillcraft" on public lands! Stating that this "plague" is similar to smoking, and that any use of a thrillcraft creates noise to those who wish to enjoy themselves while participating in their activity of choice, without us fugitives disrupting their sacred space! Perhaps we should ban talking in all public places, or driving cars! They don't believe the concept of multiple use. They want to shut down our public lands to the elite who chose to enjoy the lands in a certain way that holds true to their narrow vision effectively shutting the large portion of Americans out of our lands that we have fought to preserve! Of course there are places where it is not appropriate to drive dirt bikes or atv's. We have laws in place that do not allow this, but that is not enough for them. They know that there are only a few that try to bend these laws, but they want to call us all "bad apples" implying that even those that have deep respect and display great care for the land they use are fugitives and can't possibly fit into the same category as those who "truly appreciate the land".

    Here is an example of the misrepresentation displayed over and over again by this group. They use this picture not saying where it is, if it's someones private land, or a designated ATV park as an example of "thrillcraft" abuse. If you look closely at this picture you can see equipment that looks like mining equipment or something similar. More than likely this is some sort of mining operation or a construction site. Over and over again in the video they show Caineville or the sand dunes in an area that is open to atv use trying to use this as an example of abuse. These areas are far away from any city or town and have almost no vegetation to speak of. The open area near Caineville has been reduced in size significantly to protect a certain subspecies of cactus, and still this is not enough! They label us as fugitives for following the law and riding in designated areas and use this to show how national parks or similar that are already off limits to OHV's are being abused. These places are NOT being abused by OHV's, that's why they have to use pictures such as the one above or the dunes, or Caineville to display this "abuse". How stupid do they think we are?

    Yet another picture from their website where they say the sound of snowmobiles disrupt the wildlife. Disrupt wildlife? To me it looks like the buffalo are almost flocking towards this snowmobiler. They may be wanting to be fed and the sound of the snowmobile is a signal that food is coming! Maybe this "thrillcraft" extremist group wants to hike some food in to these animals during the dead of winter when food is too scarce for their survival.

    "Accidents kill about 800 people a year" IN THE WORLD, actually if you read the fine print, it's more like 500 and they don't say how many of those were drunk, or not wearing the proper safety gear, or were not licensed/under aged, or breaking the law some other way. They also don't tell you that FALLS account for 13,322 deaths in the US alone last year!

    Another flat out misrepresentation! Are they really trying to say that this guy in this jeep is on the other side of this sign that says "closed area" and that he is the one that shot up the sign? More than likely the jeep is traveling on a designated route and yes, the sign was shot by someone, but I am guessing it was someone with a gun... a hunter perhaps?..perhaps a hunter ON FOOT? Who knows really, but that's the point..THEY DON'T KNOW! To me it looks like the jeep owner is following the law.

    What does this have to do with the price of rice in China? Are we not allowed to follow a dream in America? Isn't that what makes our free economy work? Should we outlaw golf, skiing, home ownership, car ownership, mountain biking..and basically all we enjoy as Americans because it requires sacrifice to enjoy it? I can attest that it does take a certain amount of money to involve yourself in this sport, but I can also attest that it is nowhere near what they are claiming nor is it necessary to spend anything but a very small amount. I have been involved with this sport for over 20 years..the first ten of which I was either in school or living at home. People that chose to purchase everything in this photo have the right to do so and should not be punished because they may not be considered "the average American". These "non-average" Americans are the hard working class, skilled, educated, TAX PAYING Americans that make this country great, as well as those starting out, working a part time job going to school, just getting by but still enjoy off roading on the weekends. It takes money an sacrifice to raise a family today and people should be commended for that, not rebuked! More likely than not, this is an entire family getting together for a family reunion of some sort. Perhaps they share machines, trailers etc.. but who are we to say? And more importantly, why should we care?

    I think it almost goes unsaid that I love the sport of off-roading. It has brought our family close in a way that I can't see many other things doing quite as well. We love, care for, and respect the land we use and the country in which we live. I would hate to see these rights taken away from us because of a few extremists that can only see the world through a narrow scope, or wose people that are misled by these extremists by these misrepresentations! I hope if you chose to visit this site you will do so knowing their mode of operation and an open mind. I hope you will take time to send a letter or an e-mail to voice your concerns about our freedoms as Americans, and not to give them support or momentum of any kind!

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