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[RC] AERC and what we do with our funds - Dean A. Conti

>"..... to hire a lobbyist who will help persuade politicians to keep trails accessible  and open yet more public lands to trails....."


>Perhaps a Ridecamper with legal training can address this issue.  I think that I remember that non-profits are not allowed to lobby for legislation, or are severely restricted.


>Don't get me wrong, if the legal issues can be solved I will make a yearly donation towards an AERC lobbiest in Washington.






Our family also belongs to the local chapter of Back Country Horsemen and as an organization they do a couple of things that AERC might consider adopting:


1) Besides the standard basic membership charge they also offer several different “titled” memberships with ever increasing fees. You don’t get anything additional except your name printed once a year in the newsletter. A considerable percentage of the membership chooses to send in extra money.


2) They offer a non-tax deductible fund that members can contribute to that is used specifically for lobbying.


I would challenge all AERC members that are financially capable to be dues paying members of Back Country Horsemen. (AERC as a group is a member). BCH exist primarily for horse camping and trail riding. They work hard to keep trails open, both in the political and physical realm. The members of our small local chapter volunteer thousands of hours each year on trail maintenance and creation. They deserve our unqualified support and gratitude.


A suggestion to the ride manager that a couple days ago said she would not offer her ride again because of financial loss due to a last minute Forest Service charge. I am personally concerned with the financial condition of every ride I attend. If I was at a ride and was told of this predicament I would gladly put cash into the “hat”. IMHO the most valuable and hard to replace asset of AERC is the Ride Manager group (with trail access as a close second).


This sport is by no means inexpensive and I can understand how many could be straining their financial capabilities. Once again, IMHO, the members that have the financial flexibility should actively and happily agree to carry some extra financial burden.






Dean A Conti

Alpha Precision Machining, Inc

19652 70th Ave S

Kent, WA  98032


253-395-7476 (fax)