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trails fund (long)

Ridecamp is a great think tank.  I've heard a lot of good ideas for
raising money for the trails fund.  I think that between ever expanding
developement on one hand and extremist (leave things just for wildlife
and hikers) "environmentalists" on the other hand AERC could find good
use for all the trails money it can raise.  So I think all of the ideas
should be developed.

Ask ride managers to include a voluntary check-off on their apps.
         (voluntarily for the RM's to participate too of course)
Add a voluntary check-off to the AERC renewal forms - member fills in 
         amount to donate to trails fund 
Set up the in memory/honor of - Perhaps include the one-liners in the
      yearbook as well as the EN.
Pursue corporate sponsorship
Look into setting up a charitable trust.

I also think that people are more inclined to donate for a very specific
goal - ie  to raise money to buy a piece of land to preserve horse access
on it or to build a trail corridor to open space through a developing area.
It would be tremendous PR for endurance riding if - when a situation arose
we could finance a trail or small open space purchase - just imagine having
the AERC trail or open space listed in trail guides etc.  Needs a large
fund base before we could even pursue something like this of course.

But we should also not forget that a very effective way to get money
for things like trails or open space it to lobby the government for it.
I suspect that most of us prefer to be out on our horses and don't want
to get involved in politics but we all should look into joining local
trails groups, back country horsemens assoc, horse councils or ??? and 
putting some of our time into this issue as well.  I have to admit that
I have yet to follow through on my own "I should join the Colorado Back
Country Horsemen" resolution that I made months ago when Duncan suggested
this and posted contact info for various state BCH groups.  (Duncan can
you post this again?  I think its valuable information and people are
thinking about trails again.)  

And of course, we need the serious trail troopers like Betsy Gilman,
and Vickie Smith who already put time into trails locally and we should
continue, and try to expand, this part of the trails fund, so that we can
support people willing to attend regional/national conferences and 
symposiums.  The response from ridecamp on this has been great BTW - 
I have not been pushing for money since Connie Berto mentioned the 
trails fund mechanism to fund a registration fee. In spite of this no
push approach you have pledged $160 (WAY TO GO GANG!)  Don't worry - if
there in any extra money after paying expenses for Vickie and Betsy I will
put it into the Van Hove travel fund <VBG> - no I guess I'd better just 
send it to the AERC trails fund.   


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