LAJOC joins OF4WD through an Associate Membership
LAJOC was approached by OF4WD (the Ontario Federation of 4WD Recreationists) in the fall of 2009 and we were asked to consider joining their organization. OF4WD was looking to increase their numbers in order to better their negotiating power with the MNR, the Trail Use Council, etc. While LAJOC supported their efforts, in principle, we could not come to an agreement on terms. Recent events have caused the LAJOC Board of Directors to reconsider.
This spring, we were contacted by Peter Wood, OF4WD President, and presented with a new proposal which seem to better satisfy the interests of both organizations. OF4WD seem to have taken some of our recommendations into consideration and have created an Associate Club Membership Program.
This will allow OF4WD to increase their numbers and, thus, provide a stronger support base for their advocacy work while allowing the Associate Member clubs (who already have their own insurance policies) to retain their autonomies.
The following quote comes from a recent communication from Peter Wood and explains the purpose of the Associate Club Membership:
“Associate Club Membership Program
The purpose of the OF4WD Associate Club Membership Program is to extend the reach of our advocacy work to a greater number of 4x4 enthusiasts.
Whilst full OF4WD membership provides insurance benefits, access to OF4WD trail events, the members only website and newsletters, the advocacy work we do benefits all 4x4 enthusiasts.
We believe it is important to create an opportunity for a greater number of 4x4 enthusiasts to see what we are doing directly and to provide a conduit for their feedback.
As many of our members know, the trails scene in Ontario is evolving and there is an increasing focus being placed on recreational trails and on land use planning for crown lands. There are some specific initiatives of late that the OF4WD are engaged on. It is extremely important that we strengthen our position at the table and increase our capacity to represent you, the 4x4 community.
Your support via the Associate Membership program will further the OF4WD goal to maintain and develop sustainable 4x4 recreation in Ontario.”
There are a number of issues behind the scenes with respect to trail use and public land access, which make it important to have an organization, such as OF4WD, in place to ensure that the interests of four wheel drive enthusiasts are taken into account. Since the LAJOC Board of Directors felt that OF4WD was taking steps in that direction, we highly recommended that our club join them and give them our full support.
LAJOC Vice President