AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Clark Collins passed away on Nov. 30 at the age of 77.
Collins' storied career as an advocate for off-road motorcycling includes helping found the BlueRibbon Coalition public land access group, building national and regional coalitions among trail users and helping get the federal Recreational Trails Program enacted into law.
"Clark Collins was a tireless advocate for off-highway vehicle access to our public lands and was instrumental in the creation of one of the few national funding mechanisms that support trails for off-highway vehicles," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Clark's legacy is that he did much to protect our nation's resources for the public, rather than from the public, matching the BlueRibbon Coalition's signature mission."
Born on Dec. 19, 1941, in Idaho, Collins caught the motorcycling bug while serving in the U.S. Navy in 1962 when he and a friend rented a Vespa scooter in Rome, Italy.
Collins' role as an advocate for off-road motorcycling began during the 1980s, when the riding areas on which he raced hare scrambles events were threatened with closure. In 1987, he founded the Blue Ribbon Coalition, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting responsible recreational access to public lands.
Collins' advocacy efforts in Idaho helped get U.S. Sen. Steve Symms (R-Idaho) re-elected in 1986. Symms went on to introduce the National Recreational Trails Fund Act, also known at the time as the Symms Act, in 1991. The act created the Recreational Trails Program, which provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
After retiring in 2006 as executive director of the BlueRibbon Coalition, Collins began working with ATV organizations in Idaho, serving as president of the Idaho State ATV Association.
He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2010.