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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Thursday, September 19
The Niche Near You
In today's economic climate small communities, especially small progressive communities, do well by finding a niche and expanding it. In Salmon, Idaho, the niche is river running. From experience I know that Salmon is one of the best places in the country to run outstanding wilderness rivers. Without river running the small town is likely to be a skeleton of what it is today.


In Whitefish, Montana, it's skiing. In Ely, Minnesota, canoeing. These are places where their niches define the community. Now we are in Ritchfield, Utah, where the niche being carved is ATV riding. Nearby in the Fishlake Forest ATVers enjoy not only the Great Western Trail but also the 1,200 miles of the Paiute Trail. These are just the established well-known - "famous" - trails. There are hundreds more miles of trails here and the country is learning about them.


Richfield has benefited tremendously. For example, Ron Bushman started the Marysville RV Park several years ago mostly because he saw the potential in the growing ATV market. Then, he said, he had 32 units. That has grown to 81 units which are 87 percent occupied during the peak season. From 1987, when the Paiute Trail opened, the sales tax revenue of the community had doubled by 2001.


Bushman was one of several community members and land managers who were attending the ATV Jamboree in Ritchfield, where our American Frontiers team was staying for two nights. We all gathered at the Jamboree for a roundtable discussion.


Mayor Ken Kimball was also in attendance. A man who values public lands and understands that there's a relationship between communities and public lands, Kimball also appreciates the ATV crowd that gathers each year for the Jamboree. "Without exception," said Kimball, "this thing [ATV Jamboree] is one of the best things that has ever happened to this community. It's meant a lot to Ritchfield. It's put us on the map, and we like being on the map."


Kimball also understands the challenges facing the public land agencies, primarily the lean budgets and staff responsible for managing such large tracts of land. Because of the impossible odds of policing the large tracts of lands, Kimball said that "it is up to the rest of us to help police these areas." He's right, I believe, in stating that we are all stewards of the lands and we should play our part in helping protect them.


Each year it is becoming more evident in the West that lifestyles are changing. Logging, grazing, mining, etc. are going away. That leaves communities in a quandary as to how they will survive. Young people leave to find employment in big cities so finding niches will become more important. At one time Ritchfield was little more than a small community in a big country. Now it's a large place for ATV riding. The difference does more than keep it alive, it makes it special.


When the roundtable discussion ended several of us went on an ATV ride in the hills west of Ritchfield. I thought a lot about how well the ATV trails served the area. I thought a lot about the fun I was having riding the ATVs in non-sensitive areas - places "they belong." I'm a fan of hiking, kayaking, rockclimbing, bicycling, all things silent. However, today I thoroughly enjoyed riding the trails over the hum of an ATV.
for Thursday, September 19
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
An experienced outdoorsman, Jan Nesset knows that everyone has to pitch in at camp
A native of Montana and the third of four children, Jan Nesset joins American...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Wednesday, April 28
Jan Nesset
American Frontiers: Part II: Taking Stock
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Sunday, December 1
Jan Nesset
Canyonlands in December
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Thursday, November 21
Jan Nesset
Snow Raspberry Bounty
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Sunday, November 17
Jan Nesset
The Bisti Badlands
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Friday, November 15
Jan Nesset
Public Land Flows Through It
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Thursday, November 7
Jan Nesset
A Day At Earth Analytic's Home
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Tuesday, October 29
Jan Nesset
Slot Canyon Adventure
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Monday, October 28
Jan Nesset
Some Things Never Change
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Sunday, October 27
Jan Nesset
Back To The Wave
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Monday, October 7
Jan Nesset
The Thing About Summits
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Saturday, September 28
Jan Nesset
A New Beginning: National Public Lands Day
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Thursday, September 26
Jan Nesset
Big Day of Sneak and Salvage
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Wednesday, September 25
Jan Nesset
History-Coated Strawberry
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Tuesday, September 24
Jan Nesset
The Last Of It
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Monday, September 23
Jan Nesset
Dinosaurlandia
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Sunday, September 22
Jan Nesset
Over The Edge
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Saturday, September 21
Jan Nesset
God Bless America
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Friday, September 20
Jan Nesset
Sometimes It's A Tough Life And We Get To Do It
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Thursday, September 19
Jan Nesset
The Niche Near You
   >> more...

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Wednesday, September 18
Jan Nesset
Snow Day
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Tuesday, September 17
Jan Nesset
A Capitol Reef Bull's Eye
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Monday, September 16
Jan Nesset
A Lucky Rift
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Sunday, September 15
Jan Nesset
Riding The Hog's Back
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Saturday, September 14
Jan Nesset
Oh Rhythm My Rhythm
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Friday, September 13
Jan Nesset
Precious Images
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Thursday, September 12
Jan Nesset
From the Hole to the Staircase
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Wednesday, September 11
Jan Nesset
Happy Days
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Tuesday, September 10
Jan Nesset
Do You Believe In Magic?
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Monday, September 9
Jan Nesset
The Bridge Over the River Why
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Sunday, September 8
Jan Nesset
Public Lands And…Not You?
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Saturday, September 7
Jan Nesset
That Place So Special
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Friday, September 6
Jan Nesset
Just Looking To Have Some Fun – Be Dammed!
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Thursday, September 5
Jan Nesset
Do The Wave
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Wednesday, September 4
Jan Nesset
The Condors Are Coming!
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Tuesday, September 3
Jan Nesset
Fires Are For The Birds
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Monday, September 2
Jan Nesset
Back On Top
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Sunday, September 1
Jan Nesset
Perfection
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Saturday, August 31
Jan Nesset
The Wheels Have Left The Tarmac
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Friday, August 30
Jan Nesset
Star Light
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Thursday, August 29
Jan Nesset
The Traditional Connection
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Wednesday, August 28
Jan Nesset
Onward and Upward On Mountain Bikes
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Tuesday, August 27
Jan Nesset
Checkerboard Kings and Queens
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Monday, August 26
Jan Nesset
Aldo Leopold As Ranch Manager
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Sunday, August 25
Jan Nesset
A Story In Everything
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Saturday, August 24
Jan Nesset
Fire In The Whole
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Friday, August 23
Jan Nesset
"Good Morning, Flagstaff!"
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Thursday, August 22
Jan Nesset
Hoping For The Best
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Wednesday, August 21
Jan Nesset
Could Get Stinky
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Tuesday, August 20
Jan Nesset
Wheels Asunder
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Monday, August 19
Jan Nesset
Hurt Me, Thank You!
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Sunday, August 18
Jan Nesset
Roads Aplenty and Rocks of Pleasure
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Saturday, August 17
Jan Nesset
Of Dragons and Fire
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Friday, August 16
Jan Nesset
Motorcycles and the Zen of Route Mechanics
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Thursday, August 15
Jan Nesset
Puzzled
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Wednesday, August 14
Jan Nesset
A Day Off, Sort Of
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Tuesday, August 13
Jan Nesset
A Delightful, Light Day
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Monday, August 12
Jan Nesset
Courage On Eagle Mountain
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Sunday, August 11
Jan Nesset
Farewell
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Saturday, August 10
Jan Nesset
My Aching Back In The Saddle
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Friday, August 9
Jan Nesset
Back In The Saddle
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Thursday, August 8
Jan Nesset
In The Saddle
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Wednesday, August 7
Jan Nesset
Shut My Mouth!
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Tuesday, August 6
Jan Nesset
Diversity and Song
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Monday, August 5
Jan Nesset
An Unraveling
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Sunday, August 4
Jan Nesset
A Bagged Peak
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Saturday, August 3
Jan Nesset
Lines On A Map
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Friday, August 2
Jan Nesset
GPS-Marriage Made In Heaven
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Thursday, August 1
Jan Nesset
Free Wheelin'
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Wednesday, July 31
Jan Nesset
An Excellent Start
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