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 Post subject: Where is the industry support for access issues?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:37 am 
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Posts: 24
For whatever reason I end up reading all of the local access issues, I guess it provides an interesting blend of kiting, politics, behavioral science etc. and an escape from the same only posts from the same old blowhards...

It seems all these access issues follow the same basic thread and when properly handled the same basic solution. One thing that continually baffles me is the utter lack of presence of any of the kite industry in any of these issues. I am not talking about the local user groups, instructors, retailers etc, as these guys seem to do all the heavy lifting. I am talking about the actual board/kite manufacturers. Seems to me these guys have a lot of personal and self-interest in maintaining access to kiting locals throughout the globe. In almost ever other sport the manufacturers have a sizeable lobby to ensure users can enjoy the wares they sell them.

For those interested in a highly functional example of this take a look at The Access Fund , http://www.accessfund.org . This non-profit based in the U.S. supports access to rock/mountain climbing locations all over. They do everything from outright land purchases, grant funding, and expert assistance to local users groups to successfully navigate their local government red tape to accomplish their goals.

So in summary I think some of the kite manufactures should spend a little less $ of producing the same run of lame videos and do something productive and start a advocacy group to assist actual kiters with access issues.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Where is the industry support for access issues?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:16 am
Posts: 108
Location: TO
The Access Fund is a great model as a sport advocacy group. I joined the Access Fund over 15 years ago, and have always thought their approach would be perfect for kiting.

I continue to be impressed by how effective The Access Fund is, even in what seems on the surface to be hopeless situations dealing with closed areas, private land owners preventing climbers from access their property, and long running bureaucratic battles.

For example, just recently, after over 20 years of work, The Access Fund has received notice that US National Park Service will be Authorizing Fixed Anchors in Wilderness Areas. This is huge news, something US climbers have been trying to get for decades. A kiting equivalent would be opening all wilderness areas to snow-kiting (for those of you that know that you can't snow-kite in may designated wilderness areas under BLM governance).

The Access Fund
- Have reversed laws that threatened climbing and access to wilderness areas.
- Purchased land where there is climbing.
- Established laws protecting land owners, where climbing occurs on private land.
- Continue to help improve the image of their sport, through several programs including "adopt-a-crag" where climbers participate in trail clean-ups on both public and private land.
- Continually communicate about access issues to members.

I think it would be great if we could get together to form a similar, professional advocacy group(s).

Are there any kiting advocacy groups that even come close to this sort of record, or have this type of vision?

I've mentioned this group to my local kite boarding association, they kind of laughed it off, and couldn't get past the fact that it wasn't kiting related.


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