I get asked all the time why the RAF does things the way that we do. However, the real question is “why doesn’t the RAF do things like everyone else does?” So throughout this 20th year I am going to do my best to tell some of the back story behind who the RAF is and why we do what we do.

I suspect many of you know that the RAF was born when the original founders simply saw a need to do what we could to save some of those special places that we call the backcountry. While on the note of the term backcountry—the RAF cannot lay claim to that word, but we are proud to own what the term backcountry means to the RAF community.

We knew there were organizations out there that represented the backcountry in their various states, such as MT, ID, and other western states. That ownership concept was not something that this group was uncomfortable with. Those original founding members were folks who owned and operated their own businesses so responsibility was not a foreign concept. Thus, when we said “let’s do this,” all that was left to do was to dig in. 

We knew it was going to be hard, and we knew we didn’t have money or staff, but that didn’t seem to bother any of us. It was that initial work ethic with volunteers that set the RAF tone. A “get it done” mentality with whatever resources you have is who the RAF was, and remains today.

As the year goes on I will expand on this theme but wanted to kick us all off in the RAF’s 20th year with a big high five and Go Get ‘Em attitude.

– John McKenna, RAF Chairman

Submitted on January 13, 2023.

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