Having been in the advocacy game for more than 5 years now I was pondering the concept of the “quick win”. You know, where people ask for access from land managers, have them say “yes” and get in and build?
I must admit, I’m beginning to wonder if such a beast exists at all…
You see, in order to demonstrate to a land manager a long standing need for facilities, there needs to have been, umm, well, a long standing need. What this means is that although you might have only just asked for a particular set of facilities, bets are on that others have been asking for something similar for a fair while before you get the go-ahead.
Take the dirt jump project that I’ve been working on in Canberra for over 4 years now. We’ve finally got high level Government support, and this is great, but it took one of the Members of the Legislative Assembly to write a letter saying “this has been on the table for 4 years now, and we see the merit in it and think it should go ahead” before that high level support came through. Had a letter been sent saying “someone came in last week with this as a proposal and we think it has merit”, I doubt that the outcome would be the same.
Yes, it seems that like it or not, trail advocacy is usually going to be a long process, not one of lots of quick wins. So, settle in for the long haul and really take pleasure in the fruits of your labours (and the labours of your predecessors) when they finally do see the light of day.