Families for Outdoor Recreation stands for one common sense, yet highly challenging goal; allowing public access to public lands for all.
This group was created when different out-of-state groups started pressing the BLM and Forest Service to close off trails and roads across Montana.
FFOR organizes and collaborates with groups and other parties focused on the recreation and use of our public lands. We work with all members of interests to ensure that our lands stay open to the public. This includes maintaining trails and roads while preventing road closures and working to end the unethical practice of groups purchasing private lands that in turn get sold to the government in large blocks. FFOR is also working to ensure that the vast wilderness areas being considered within Montana’s borders are not created.
The number one way FFOR fights the good fight is by informing interested members what is occurring where, and when we must act. If education and action doesn’t create the preferred results, we then file lawsuits and appeal previous decisions made. FFOR also fights appeals that Environmental groups file that threaten public access.
FFOR also gets the word out about which political figures are helping our fight, and which ones are working to cut off access to all parties of interest. Although FFOR is non-partisan and firmly believes in staying non-partisan, Congressman Rehberg has been a great help in our fight while Senator Tester and Senator Baucus strongly support the creation of wilderness Montana, each even creating their own wilderness bills. Knowing what each candidate supports and has done for recreational users allows each voter to make a more informed and appropriate decision.
Why Access Is ImportantPublic land is defined by the dictionary as the following: Land that is owned by the United States government. The purpose of the United States government is to serve its people. Americans pay taxes to ensure our government does what is in the best interest for our people. This includes maintaining public land for public use. Wilderness groups and extreme environmental groups, funded by wealthy donors located mostly in other states and countries, are working to cut off all parties of interest from using public lands. This includes families that have no access to recreate by whatever means preferred, and companies extracting natural resources available throughout the region. Please keep in mind that FFOR does not get involved with the battle between what groups should be able to obtain access to public lands, and which groups shouldn’t, but instead focuses on preventing public lands from being closed off to all.
FFOR’s HistoryEd Melcher, an avid snowmobiler and outdoor recreation enthusiast, along with various community members, were noticing the closure of trails and access in Montana and beyond. These concerned community members investigated ways to further prevent the closure of land and in 2005 decided to create a non-profit organization that could be used to raise money and fight all land use and access issues that occur. This organization has been an essential tool throughout the last few years and has helped maintained access to areas that would have otherwise lost access. Ed still is the chairman of the board, with a board that consists of mostly outdoor recreational dealership owners and the heads of outdoor recreational groups.
FFOR couldn’t exist without the help of it’s sponsors and members. The sponsors financially support FFOR. When we maintain trails and keep access open to the public, the economies based on outdoor recreation increase. This is further explained below. This relationship and basic understanding of economics helps maintain our presence. With this continued support and success, everyone working to maintain public access wins. Please sign up by printing off the membership card below and mailing it to PO Box 20275, Billings, MT 59104.
To quickly summarize the economics on the matter, there are over 40 dealerships across Montana that sell ATV’s, motorcycles, snowmobiles and other outdoor recreational vehicles. Just to clarify, this does not include the businesses focused on bicyclists, hikers and horseman. Without having access to land, or by minimilizing accessible trails, people ride less. When enthuisiast ride less, they don’t upgrade or purchase new vehicles as often. Outdoor recreational users don’t visit smaller towns and spend the night at hotels and eat out at the local diner. When the dealerships have less sales, they have less reason to hire new employees. This is not a secret, but a conversation that can be had with the employees and owners of dealerships all across Montana, and beyond.
Iron – Donation ranging from $10 -$99
This includes name recognition on FFOR’s site for an individual.
Copper – Donation ranging from $100 -$299
This includes name recognition on FFOR’s site for a business or organization.
Bronze – Donation Ranging from $300 – $499
This includes name recognition on FFOR’s site along with the option to put up a business card.
Titanium – Donation Ranging from $500 – $999
This includes name recognition on FFOR’s site along with the option to put up a business card. The recipient will also receive a plaque.