Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Advocating access to public lands carries a responsibility to be part of the solution for managing the public lands.  As a strong proponent for participation to make a difference, I am a full time advocate for recreation and the Managing Editor of the OutdoorWire family websites. is dedicated to four wheel drive recreation...

Advocating access to public lands carries a responsibility to be part of the solution for managing the public lands.  As a strong proponent for participation to make a difference, I am a full time advocate for recreation and the Managing Editor of the OutdoorWire family websites. is dedicated to four wheel drive recreation featuring technical articles and information to promote, protect, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. focuses on California issues. is focused on environmental, administrative and legislative news and information. is Access and Landuse Central with an overall index to the contents of the family of websites. 

John Stewart

Be A Good Sport: Tread Lightly

Be A Good Sport: Tread Lightly

Last time I covered the code of ethics that guides off-road driving. I’d like to go into greater detail here, and will use the Tread Lightly! pledge as a guide.

Tread Lightly! has separate categories for land and water, though the rules are similar for both. I’ve combined them, because many off-road enthusiasts also enjoy boating. (For more on Tread Lightly!, go to They make it easy to remember the rules.

Continue reading
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John Stewart

UFWDA ACTION ALERT - Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area


On June 11, 2008, members of the North Carolina US congressional delegation introduced HR 6233 & s 3113 to return management of Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area back to the National Park Service by setting aside the recently enacted consent decree that has virtually eliminated pedestrian and off-highway vehicle access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area. The bill will reinstate the Interim Management Plan for Species Management adopted through the NEPA process and public involvement by the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and set aside the consent decree. The consent decree was a result of law suit settlement with Defenders of Wildlife and The National Audubon Society represented by Southern Environmental Law Center.

How to be the most effective
1) Visit – visiting your elected officials is the most persuasive method of convincing them to support HR 6233 and s. 3113
2) Fax - faxed letters indicating who you are, where you live, why you care, and why they should care are more persuasive than other methods of sending a letter.
3) Call – a personal call is very effective and more effective than e-mailing
4) E-mail – e-mailing a letter is less effective than visiting, faxing or e-mailing a letter, but will work if that is the method that enables you to do your part.
5) Mail – using the U.S. Postal Service takes up to 30 days for delivery so it is the least effective choice in contacting your elected officials.

How to find your US Senator or Representative
To find your US Representative(s) click here
Or go here directly:

To find your US Senators click here
Or go here directly:

Talking points
These talking points are derived in part from information at the Free Island Press, July 1, 2008, “The Case For Passing Legislation That Returns Management of the Seashore to the Park Service”. And from information on the University of North Carolina website,

« Ask them specifically to co-sponsor the bills
« Ask them specifically to support passage of the bills
« Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area was established first and foremost as a national seashore recreational area under its enabling legislation
« The 2007 nesting season, prior to implementation of either the Interim Management Plan or the consent decree, was the most successful piping plover breeding season in over 20 years
« Under the consent decree, a single plover chick is given enough beach area to cover the decks of three U.S. Navy super aircraft carriers, the largest warships on earth
« In most American communities, a convicted child molester can live closer to a public school than a fisherman and his family can get to a plover
« The Atlantic piping plover population is fast approaching 2,000 nesting pairs -- a figure that makes them eligible for de-listing as threatened
« American oystercatcher numbers were better last year under the interim strategy than they are this year under the consent decree, proving the consent decree doesn’t work
« The Outer Banks of North Carolina attract 5 million tourists each year to the area’s many beaches
« The park is largely inaccessible under the consent decree during the spring, summer, and fall, when the majority of Americans who visit the park take their vacations
« In 2003, tourists spent $600 million dollars in the Outer Banks. The consent decree is causing a tremendous loss of this tourism revenue resulting in an extremely damaging economic impact state-wide in North Carolina
« Before implementation of the consent decree Judge Boyle declared his intention to provide the environmental groups exactly what they sought without hearing any evidence from either point of view and precluded the intervening parties, Dare and Hyde counties and the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance, from entering any evidence at all in open court. This occurred within the first few minutes of a February, 2008 scheduling conference in Judge Boyle’s court.

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John Stewart



Revtek’s 2-inch lift system for the ’05-’08 Nissan Xterra 4x4 is the perfect solution for outdoorsmen on a budget. Designed for easy bolt-in installation, this kit employs 2-inch spacers front and add-a-leafs rear to provide a level ride height and enough room for larger 285/75 tires with a positive offset wheel. This system retains the stock shocks and struts and does not alter suspension geometry. Revtek Suspension, 877 LIFT TOY;

Based in Portland Oregon, Revtek Suspension prides itself in producing “real world” engineered suspension systems and components for Dodge, Ford, GM Jeep, Nissan and Toyota trucks/SUV’s. Revtek systems are designed and tested in-house, resulting in the most installer-friendly, best-riding kits on the market.
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John Stewart

Campfire Safety

Campfire Safety

by: John Stewart
Natural Resource Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs

It is coming down to the Dog Days of Summer and it has been a long dry summer with many outdoor opportunities restricted due to sever fire danger.

Even though many public lands are under fire restrictions, campfire safety is still of concern all year. Everyone should follow fire safety precautions when visiting public lands to help to keep our public lands free from fires.

If you have a campfire, please abide by the following rules:

* Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass, pine needles and leaves.
* Build your fire in an approved ring or build a ring of stones around your fire site.
* Pile extra wood away from the fire.
* Clear the area down to bare soil.
* Keep your campfire safe and small, especially in windy conditions.
* Never leave your campfire unattended.
* Drown the fire with water and dirt, stir remains, add more water and dirt, and stir again.
* Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and re-ignite later.
* Make sure your fire is dead out before leaving.

If you must have a fire, consider a metal container such as an old washing machine tub that is at least six inches above the ground. A metal fire container helps confine the hot coals to reduce the risk of the fire spreading.

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy the fire. Just remember to keep it contained and make sure it is out when you leave.
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John Stewart

4th Annual Southern Monster Truck Showdown

The 4th Annual Southern Monster Truck Showdown, July 11-13 at the Florida Parishes Arena in Amite, Louisiana.

This year's show includes, among a ton of other things, a Tuff Truck contest on Sunday that is open to anyone to enter. The entry fee is $30 at the gate (or $20 in advance) and it's a "winner-take-all" event. First place receives 100% payback of the entry fees, plus $500 added from the show management. The course will consist of dirt bumps and mounds, cross ties in the dirt and other smaller obstacles, nothing too severe. It's more for show than anything, and is timed.

There is a mandatory driver's meeting at 1 pm (between 1 and 1:30 pm).  All drivers must be checked in before the meeting.

The rules and registration information is available at If you have any questions, contact event organizers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the arena office (phone number listed on website).

See ya there!!
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