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MiscellaneousComing Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
Posted by mike on 2008/9/17 7:51:29 (2243) reads

Jeep Jamboree USA announced in their latest newsletter that they would be spear-heading the creation of the National Off-Road Association (NORA), and organization whose goal is to provide a single voice for off-roaders in the USA, similar to what the NRA does for gun-owners.

The goal is to have the organization backed by an impressive list of big name off-road retailers and a large individual membership who will be able to hire effective lobbyists to ensure that off-roaders voices are heard.

In addition, the organization hopes to be able to provide basic research and studies about the real impact (or lack thereof) of off-roading on the environment.

From the newsletter:

Navigating rolling terrain, traversing tricky rock grades and spines, making your way through wild regions to reach expansive vistas - these are just a few of the reasons so many people are passionate about off-road adventures.

Every day, across the United States, off-road enthusiasts get into their off-road vehicles and take to the trail. However, the roster of the places where they can legally and responsibly go is shrinking.

That's where the National Off-Road Association (NORA) comes in. NORA will bring together responsible OHV enthusiasts to be a unified voice, to learn about important issues, and to strengthen the nationwide family of off-roaders so that they can affect change.

"It's important for off-roaders to come together as a community in order to continue doing what we love," says Mark A. Smith, Off-Road Hall of Famer. "NORA will help us to create that strong community."

Members of NORA will come together not only to share their passion about exploring off-road terrain, but also to share information. Many off-roaders don't know about impending trail closures, or they might hear of closures in their area but not those farther away. NORA will provide a network of information sharing so that members can stay up-to-date on all issues that affect them.

In addition to sharing information that is already out there, a specific example of how NORA will also help expand the knowledge base of the industry is by initiating three studies. These studies will be produced by a university or independent company with the goal of discovering, through information gathering, the real effects the off-road industry has on an economic, environmental, and geologic level.

NORA will also provide a place where members can make their voices heard. Members will not only be informed about issues, they'll also have the tools they need to do something about them. NORA will provide members an opportunity to speak to like-minded off-road enthusiasts, as well as reach out to those land management agencies and elected officials who are making decisions.

While becoming a member of NORA provides many benefits, including a wide array of manufacturer discounts and rebates, it also comes with some responsibility. Every month, members will be asked to respond to three Action Alert items, which will increase the organization's leverage and encourage positive change in the industry. Members will also observe an off-road code of ethics that will help balance the use of off-road trails with the need to maintain a healthy environment.

Strength and success for NORA will only come from a large group of passionate people who want their voices to be heard. This unified voice will help to preserve the off-road industry and ensure that people who love to off-road responsibly will be able to do so for many years to come.

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/10/1 15:26  Updated: 2008/10/1 15:29
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/8/28
Posts: 95
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
I think we need to Unite the Clans or in this case the 4wd community organizations....Like its been said before...United We Stand and Divided We Fall....this to me equals more division in the 4wd community...although a nobel effort i would think they could have put their $$$ and effort into one of the better known and connected organizations already functioning....but who knows they may just very well do a better job than those already existing...and I guess give them a chance to prove themselves...I will.........

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/9/19 11:52  Updated: 2008/9/19 11:55
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/6/29
From: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 3
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
I have spent several hours on the phone with the folks at Jeep Jamboree discussing this project.

What is going to set this apart from other efforts is that NORA will partner with several Big Time Retailers and their members they plan to use the money to fund/underwrite Major University reports of environmental & economic impact studies to use as ammunition when a court challenge threatens our access.

When Unites 4WD and Tread lightly go to court they never have this resource.

I for one an tired of calling and emailing other orgs. dozens of times and I have yet to ever hear back from any of them..

I have a drawer full of "form" letters US Senators who are going to look into the issue.

NORA will give a voice like the NRA we will have the member body the Money and the attention of law makers.

Do you have any concept of just how big the Off-Pavement community is.

We can join together and use money and the studies to win battles in the courts. And we can use our membership number to win battles at the voting booth.

Look for a PODCAST soon that will unveil more details.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/9/19 22:01  Updated: 2008/9/19 23:34
Just popping in
Joined: 2007/9/12
Posts: 14
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
First off, I apologize if this seems like an a$$hole response.

When I've wanted access to my United 4WD representatives, it's been pretty easy to find them and speak about issues pertaining to the 4wd community. Both United and TreadLightly have the backing of the major manufacturers and all of the major "retailers." You couldn't convince me any way, shape or form that NORA would be any better than United or TreadLightly. It will take away from the membership base that each of these organizations already pull from. United and Treadlightly have different mission statements and customers that aligned with each organization, I just can't see where NORA will help and will only hinder.

"we can join together and use money and the studies to win battles in the courts. and we can use our membership number to win battles at the voting booth." This statement contradicts everything about what we're stating in our previous posts. Yet again, by having another organization, you divide and the environmentalists CONQUER!

I'm apart of an organization that represents upwards of over a thousand 4wd enthusiasts, so let's not question each other of our knowledge of the 4wd community.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/9/29 23:25  Updated: 2008/9/29 23:25
Just popping in
Joined: 2008/9/29
Posts: 1
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
This is an example of why we're losing access. Too many OHV "leaders" would rather start their own group rather than work to support and enhance the groups already in place. We dilute our own ability to get stuff done by adding such groups. How is this different than NOHVCC or UFWDA except that it's run by a for-profit group? What if instead of starting a new group every few months, we properly supported BRC and UFWDA by garnering wider support to give these organizations the financial resources they need to complete the mission already defined? There is no secret to what needs to be done. We need a group with enough resources to make it happen. Having several different groups just limits the potential of each group thereby ensuring no group will succeed. I hope the JJ folks rethink this.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/9/19 8:59  Updated: 2008/9/19 8:59
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/11/28
Posts: 47
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
Seems like Mark A. Smith is too old / stubborn to work with anyone but himself in leading an organization of this nature.

Quite sad really, since I had a lot of respect for the guy, but like others mentioned, there are several organizations out there fighting for the same cause, and in most cases in the legal realm work together to bring their legal assets to bear in those cases. Yet another organization actually would I think cut funding from these other more established organizations.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/9/17 21:44  Updated: 2008/9/17 21:44
Just popping in
Joined: 2007/9/12
Posts: 14
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
How is this any different than United 4WD Association? Yet another organization that may help but only takes the bite out of a larger, singular organization.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/9/18 12:00  Updated: 2008/9/18 12:00
Just popping in
Joined: 2008/9/18
Posts: 1
 Re: Coming Soon: National Off-Road Association (NORA)
Agreed. I think we're already diluted and asked to give alot of money and time to various organizations tasked with "fighting for our rights". NOHVCC, U4WDA, BRC, Tread Lightly!, various regional organizations, and on down to the club level, we're pretty much flooded. asdf instead of reinventing the wheel? Have you seen NOHVCC's library? Basically it comes down to people thinking it's easier to start from scratch than it is to support existing structure, or improve it if it isn't doing it well.
I support the idea, but I can't say I can support yet another Association...
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