We are sad to report the ride will not happen. We spent a lotta time trying to pull it off. We had permission from the federal government reaffirmed, we had an interpretation of the governor’s executive order that allows us to have the ride if we maintained social distancing and we had a plan to do that. We had three vets willing to vet the ride and the head vet was involved in our planning. We had private landowner blessing and support of a huge ridership who has been patient beyond belief. We so looked forward to bringing AERC and EDRA people back into the same camp. In the end AERC BOD refused to even hear our plan let alone sanction our ride. Some AERC BOD members, namely Naomi Preston and Jessica Cobbley, really advocated for us and were shut down. The EDRA BOD evidently looked at our data and voted no. We were not asked to present our plan.
Sorry riders, we really thought we had the risk at a very much acceptable level. We certainly were willing to accept it. But we lost.
Prepaid entries will be refunded minus any pay pal fees.
Max and Darlene Merlich
Many thanks to those of you out there anxiously awaiting word on our ride. We’re anxious too!
It comes down to this. Will either of our sanctioning/endorsing orgs give us the go ahead? We’ve gotten the go ahead from our landowners, from the federal lands we cross, and our ride veterinarians. We have a really good plan ready for execution, as far as maintaining proper social distancing, per our Governor’s guidelines. We just need the support and advocacy of just one of our sanctioning orgs. We listened in on a meeting within AERC tonight and were not encouraged. We had some really good advocates within the organization speaking up for us, but it didn’t help. They don’t want to make a decision until 5/11/2020. That’s just too late for us to get things in order for this ride and they know it. We’re still waiting on the final word from EDRA so fingers crossed there.
We will be making the final decision on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. If it’s a go, we hope that folks have enough time to get their ducks in a row to make it to the ride. If not, we know we fought the good fight. Max, in particular has fought hard for this ride. You should just know that right now.
So, until Wednesday, keep your fingers crossed and think good thoughts.
~Darlene, and Max too.
We have read Oregon Gov. Brown’s new proposed rules for opening up our state. We had hoped they speak directly to the size of gatherings but they instead say the six foot social distancing must be maintained. AERC and EDRA both have said insurance will not be issued if we cannot comply or don’t comply with the order. AERC will decide by committee in a board meeting May 4, so they say. EDRA is looking into it as well. Our controlling agency, the Crooked River National Grasslands, has said the order must be complied with on their lands and the issuing/cancelling permits (we have one) is under discussion.
Bottom line for us is, we feel we can pull this off and maintain the social distance rule with ALL PARTICIPANTS following procedures and relying on other means of communication of ride issues such as trails, holds and such. However we cannot take this on without having insurance and that is up to the sanctioning/endorsing organizations. May 5 is our deadline for this. At this point we have communicated this and are awaiting decisions. Thank you for your patience.
~Max Merlich, Grizzly Mtn Ride Manager