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It Is Time to Cross the Rubicon NOW! It Is Time to Cross the Rubicon NOW!
LET THE DIE BE CAST! Julius Caesar had just delivered a major ass-whupping. He had been fighting in the Gallic wars against 3 million... It Is Time to Cross the Rubicon NOW!

LET THE DIE BE CAST!

Julius Caesar had just delivered a major ass-whupping. He had been fighting in the Gallic wars against 3 million Gauls who were just as strong as the Romans militarily. Even so, Caesar managed to annihilate 1 million Gauls, enslave another million, subjugate 300 different tribes and destroy 800 cities. While the campaign was effectively over and Caesar had won, no one really told the Gauls, so they were still fighting.

“Unfortunately for Caesar, Gaul did not have the hair club for men”

Leaving nearly all his forces in Northern Gaul (now France) to mop up and deal with the skirmishes that were left, Julius Caesar retired to southern Gaul with just one measly legion of 5,000 men. Presumably while eating a salad at dinner, Caesar received a letter from the Roman senate. The decree told him that he must dis-band his armies or be considered a traitor to the Republic.

He had no intention of obeying the decree, that would be suicide, but all his forces were in the far north of Gaul and it would take them months to get them to where Caesar was.

Pompey and the Roman Senators knew they had just checkmated Caesar. But while they were lounging around in robes, laughing, bragging about getting rid of Caesar and (presumably again) drinking beers: Caesar did the unthinkable. He turned to the few Captains that he had with him and said, “Let the die be cast”. (That is loosely translated as “YOLO!” for you millennials)

Separating Gaul and France, and determining their border, is the Rubicon river. According to Roman law at the time, if any provincial governors were to cross the river with troops, it would be considered an act of war.  So on the 10th of January, 49 B.C. Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river into Italy with only a single legion of 5,000 men named Legio XIII Gemina, igniting a civil war.

“Hey! Dumb-asses! There is a bridge over here!”

Time has washed away just how ballsy this move was by Caesar. For one, it is amazing that his massive steel balls did not drag him to the bottom of the Rubicon. But even more amazing, is that Pompey’s forces in Rome VASTLY outnumbered Caesars single legion, and Caesar’s troops still had to march all the way to Rome before they engaged them.

It was an absurd, major gamble for Caesar. There was no turning back for the legion. It was do or die. By attacking with such a small force, Caesar had to fight smart, fast, effectively, and not waste a single one of his men. He was under pressure to do his absolute best.

Pompey and the Roman senate were flabbergasted. They did not expect Caesar to seize the initiative, go full-on Kamikaze with one little Legion, and charge Rome. They started second guessing themselves and their forces, and after changing their under-garments, decided to flee. Caesar would be appointed dictator within a year.

“He was also known for his wonderful salads”

Most people fail to act, or they wait to long to act, because they think they are unprepared or not good enough. Or they only act when they are FORCED to.

Land use lull…

This has been the current state of land-use and keeping public lands open to the public for the past decade. We have only “reacted” and mobilized our troops when a trail or trail system was in danger; when we were forced to. We were only “saving” trails, not “fighting for” trails, always on the defensive. When the battles were over and the dust settled, we became complacent and just wheeled the trails that we were left with.

Ever since, land-use has been in a major lull without a major trail to “save”. Several land-use groups have now even been gutted, their battle-hardened generals tossed to the side. Memberships in organizations are down, trail work-parties are near impossible to staff, etc. Without a crisis to solve, apathy is running more rampant than ever before.

I say: Let the die be cast. With today’s current political climate, NOW is the time to act. NOW is the time to attack and go on the offensive. Let’s pounce on the enemy and leave them reeling.

Another military great, General George Patton, once said, “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” We do not need a great plan, we just need throw a violent punch, cross the Rubicon and cast that die.

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Kurt Schneider Land-use Advocate

Kurt Schneider has been involved in Off-Road Motorsports his entire life. Literally growing up in the back seat of his father's Wagoneer, Kurt's childhood was spent camping and four wheeling over nearly the entire country. For the past two decades, he has been very involved in many aspects of the off road industry as a land-use advocate, a writer, a race team promoter and manager, a racer, and educator. He is a founding member of the Kyburz Krawlerz 4x4 club, and has been relentless in fighting to keep public lands open to public. For Kurt, off roading is not a hobby; it is a lifestyle.

  • Patrick McKay

    October 8, 2019 #1 Author

    I don’t know about California, but in Colorado we’re still very much in the middle of major land use battles. The ongoing Pike San Isabel NF travel management process is threatening to close up to 50% of roads in the National Forest. We’re still very much on the defensive here. It’s hard to imagine what going on offense would even look like.

    Reply

    • Chuck Brinkley

      October 8, 2019 #2 Author

      I’m with Patrick there.
      In Arizona we seem to always have some entity nipping at our heels to close access. On the one hand it has been a motivator to come together but on the other I don’t know where or what the offensive is either.
      I am listening though!
      Great read by the way.

      Reply

      • Kurt Schneider

        October 16, 2019 #3 Author

        One way to go on the offensive…..is to SUE land managers and land management agencies. The “other” side does that constantly, but our side has been very hesitant to do so because we want to work with the land managers and not stoop top that level. I also think we could look back into RS-2477 routes and really begin pushing those. It has been seen as a “lame duck” kinda thing that will never work….but have we REALLY pushed for those routes to be open. We could raise money and work with lobbyists to change laws or create new “pro-access” acts at the federal level, We could work MUCH harder to get companies involved in land-use. Especially the SxS companies. There is MUCH we can do. We just need to DO IT.

        Reply

  • Del Albright

    October 9, 2019 #4 Author

    Much like a football game, it takes some out of the box thinking to make ourselves jump to the offensive. If there are any friendly politics at all, we need to capitalize on that and look into opening new trails or re-opening old trails that were closed in the past. Get some new ground. Now. I’ll ask Kurt to chime in here as well. Del.

    Reply

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