CAMTB FAQs

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Local clubs are where stuff gets done. They’re the ones with the boots on the ground, attending the local planning meetings, volunteering on the trails, and working hand-in-hand with their local land managers. All advocacy is, after all, local. CAMTB is its member organizations, all of which are local. CAMTB aims to be a resource to those local clubs and organizations, to support their efforts. With a vast network of advocates and trail bosses from around the state, we have an immense knowledge base from which to draw. As a 501(c)(4) we are in a position to affect change in Sacramento that could benefit mountain bikers statewide. We urge you to continue supporting your local clubs, and if they’re not doing so already, urge them to work with us.

Discussions about the need to form a California organization began at the California Trails and Greenways Conference in 2018. Informal discussions continued online.  At that same conference in April 2019, efforts began in earnest. The foundational documents were filed in October 2019. We received our IRS EIN in late October 2019. We received our nonprofit determination letter in Q1 2020. Read more about our history here.

As a 501(c)(4) we can take positions on legislation, endorse candidates and ballot measures, and actively lobby on their behalf. A 501(c)(3) cannot do this as effectively without risking their nonprofit status. There are many practical reasons for creating a 501(c)(4). Initially, the CAMTB steering committee created a 501(c)(4) to get in position to prepare for the 2020 general election. The most effective environmental organizations are 501(c)(4)s, often with companion foundations. This top-down approach has been missing from mountain biking advocacy. Our long-term goal is to form a companion educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit, "The CAMTB Foundation." Many of the tasks needed to achieve our mission are of public benefit, are charitable and educational rather than political. This will allow us to accept tax-deductible donations in the future.

As a 501(c)(4), donations to CAMTB are NOT tax deductible. Most of your local organizations are 501(c)(3)s, and donations to them should be tax deductible.

These documents were developed with input from multiple mountain biking advocates and stakeholders from around the state. Discussions were held and multiple iterations were proposed with a lot of debate on our slack channel. In fact, an entire channel was dedicated to its development. An informal vote was held on the CAMTB Slack workspace in early 2019 to adopt our current working mission statement. The steering committee worked with an attorney to compile and file our foundational documents based on that mission statement.

CAMTB’s policies are developed after deliberation and discussion on our public Slack channels, then taken up by the Board of Directors to formulate a position based on the consensus of participants. All of the action takes place on the CAMTB.slack.com workspace. Slack is a secure communications app that is incredibly flexible, allowing for searchable online conversations. It facilitates remote collaboration and conversation, and is much more efficient than email. Any mountain bike advocate with a stake in California is welcome to join our slack channel and get in on the conversation.

See our Board of Directors and Staff pages to learn about the folks behind CAMTB. Better still, send any of them an email or say hello on Slack.

There are many ways to help CAMTB. First of all, be a responsible mountain biker! Have fun on the trails but be good stewards and ambassadors at the same time. As an individual you can donate, become a Sponsor, or Join us as a Member of the California Mountain Biking Coalition. Membership options are under development and should roll out in 2020. If you have a skill you’d like to offer such as graphic design, content writing, accounting, social media, video production, grant writing, legislative analysis, legal consulting., we’d love to hear from you.

First, find out if there’s a local mountain bike club or organization that covers the trails you care about. If you can’t find one, reach out to a neighboring organization and ask if they can recommend a contact. Most advocacy and trail volunteer groups are aware of those working around them. You can join our CAMTB Slack channel and start a conversation.There are many people there willing to help answer questions, give advice, find resources, and help guide you through the maze of mountain bike advocacy. CAMTB is here to help facilitate those types of discussions and efforts, and link advocates with the resources they need to move forward.

Generally, CAMTB is supportive of bike parks and we believe they can provide an excellent opportunity to grow ridership, improve rider skills, and provide opportunities for underserved communities. They can be a valuable asset to any community. However, bike parks are usually handled by local city or county governments, and their respective recreation and parks districts or departments. We feel that advocating for bike parks should be led by local clubs, and CAMTB’s focus should remain on broader regional challenges and opportunities. There are many individuals and organizations on our Slack channel who have expertise in bike park construction. Feel free to start a conversation there.

With the help of an active Advisory Council composed of representatives from local organizations around the state, CAMTB works towards building consensus that truly reflects California’s mountain biking community’s wishes before taking any official position. We want to speak for California mountain bikers, and the advocates and organizations from around the state who represent them. Additionally, we believe that local organizations know and understand their communities’ needs and challenges best. We will always consult with and include those organizations in any decisions or positions that may impact their riding opportunities.

Feel free to contact us (any board member) and ask your question directory. Or you could reach out to any of the board members on Slack and we'll find out what we can for you. This will be a living document with questions added, responses changed, as our needs and the public understanding of what we do grows. If your unanswered question is worthy, we'll add it to this FAQ document.