Act Now: Save Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!

The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Save Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
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Dear James,

On Dec. 4, 2017, President Donald Trump signed proclamations significantly reducing the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments in southern Utah’s world-renowned panoramic canyon country. Not only would these monuments be diminished in size, they would also be fragmented into separate units.

Urge BLM to protect Grand Staircase-Escalante’s important scientific, historical, and cultural resources!

President Trump’s actions to shrink these two monuments are being challenged in federal court. Despite this active litigation, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has drafted land use plans for both the new smaller monuments and a separate land use plan for the public lands that were removed by the Trump proclamations from Grand Staircase-Escalante. These new plans will guide how lands within and outside of the new monument boundaries are managed until the courts make further determinations. In particular, the lands cut out of the new, smaller Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are being threatened in the draft plans by potential new coal mining, oil and gas drilling, and other development. While the courts will ultimately determine the fate of these monuments and public lands, it is important to participate in this process, both to register your disapproval of these actions and to voice your opinion on the values these lands contain and how they should be managed.

Send your comment to the BLM now!

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996 to preserve important scientific, historical, and cultural values, including world-class paleontological resources. Since then, more than two dozen new dinosaur species have been among the many scientific discoveries on lands within the original monument boundaries. The Grand Staircase-Escalante’s spectacular scenery and outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation have drawn visitors from around the world, providing an economic boost to nearby rural communities.

Many extraordinary places lie outside of President Trump’s revised monument boundaries, including significant parts of the Kaiparowits Plateau, Paria Canyon, Circle Cliffs, and the Hole-in-the-Rock Road corridor. These lands are the most vulnerable to development and must be managed to ensure conservation of their unique geologic, cultural, and ecological values.

Your voice is critical to this effort. Please submit a public comment today!

For the wild,

John+Gilroy+80x80.png John Gilroy
Director, U.S. Public Lands
The Pew Charitable Trusts
#SaveOurEarth #EndangeredSpecies #StopClimateChange #ClimateChange #StopGlobalWarming #RecLaw #RecreationLaw #OutdoorLaw #ORLawTextbook #OutdoorRecreationLaw #OutdoorIndustry @savebearsears @doodahNOkach @UtahDineBikeyah #ProtectTheBearsEars #MonumentsForAll



Have you ever read your insurance policy? You should! The one at issue in this case specifically excluded the risks the policy was bought to cover.

An event organizer of a 5K Extreme Rampage purchased an insurance policy that specifically excluded coverage for a 5K run with obstacles, mud runs and tough-guy races.

Johnson v. Capitol Specialty Ins. Corp., 2018 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 447

State: Kentucky, Court of Appeals of Kentucky

Plaintiff: Chris Johnson D/B/A Extreme Rampage, and Chris Johnson, and Christopher Johnson, Rampage LLC, Christopher Johnson D/B/A Rampage, LLC, and/or Extreme Rampage, Casey Arnold, Individually and as Administratrix Of the Estate of Chad Arnold, and as Next Friend and Guardian/ Conservator for Miles Arnold, and as Assignee for All Claims Held By “The Johnson Parties

Defendant: Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation

Plaintiff Claims: negligence; violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act; fraud; and breach of contract

Defendant Defenses:


Year: 2018


Insurance litigation about a claim for an event, service, trip or liability is much costlier and time-consuming than any litigation concerning an injury.

In this case, the event owner and organizer of a mud run obstacle course in Kentucky purchased insurance for the event, which excluded all coverage needed for the event. Effectively, the plaintiff in this case paid for paper that had no value.

The trial courts and the appellate court agreed with the insurance company because the exclusions were in the policy that was available to the insured prior to the event.


The plaintiff in this appeal created an owned a mud run obstacle course the Extreme Rampage. Johnson the individual created Extreme Rampage LLC, which then organized and ran the event.

The event was a 3K obstacle race, similar if not identical to mud runs, death races, etc., The race was to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The horse park required a $1 million-dollar policy covering them.

Johnson contacted an insurance agent over the phone who completed an application and sent it off. A quote was received and accepted. The cost was $477.00, which should have been the first clue; it was too cheap. The only part of the application or proposal that Johnson saw was the “subjectivities page” which stated the policy was to be issued after a list of things were verified. The items to be verified list things as rallies, cattle drives, etc., but did not list obstacle course, running events or the like.

When the policy was issued it contained two exclusions. The first was labeled the sponsor exclusion by the court and stated:



This endorsement modifies insurance provided under the following:



Description of Operations:

Special event — 5K run with obstacles.

. . .

With respect to any operations shown in the Schedule, this insurance does not apply to “bodily injury” to any person while practicing for or participating in any sports or athletic contest or exhibition that you sponsor.

And the second exclusion labeled by the court as the participant exclusion provided as follows:




Descriptions of Activity/Operations

Mud Runs and Tough Guy Races

This insurance does not apply to “bodily injury,” “property damage,” “personal or advertising injury” or medical expense arising out of any preparation for or participation in any of the activities or operations shown in the schedule above.

During the race, one of the participants collapsed and died. His wife sued. The insurance company denied coverage. That means the insurance company was not only not going to pay the claim, they were not going to pay for attorneys to defend the case.

The Insurance Company filed a declaratory action. This lawsuit was between Johnson, the policyholder and the insurance company where the insurance company was looking for a ruling stating it had no duty to provide coverage. This is a request for immediate decision from the court on the interpretation of the policy.

Johnson, the insured and Arnold the family of the deceased participant both filed suit against the insurance company. The trial court combined the two lawsuits into one. Both filed motions for summary judgment and the insurance company filed its motion for summary judgment.

After reading the exclusions, the policy only covered spectators at the event. The spectators had to be 100′ from the event so any spectator injured that was closer than 100′ to the event could sue, and Johnson would have no coverage for that claim either. Basically, the policy was a worthless piece of paper for the event.

The trial court granted the insurance companies motion for summary judgment, and this appeal ensued. Both Johnson and the Arnold family appealed.

Analysis: making sense of the law based on these facts.

Insurance policies have their own set of laws. Even though they are contracts, after the contract is formed, new ways of interpreting a policy are created.

One such rule is any ambiguity in the policy will be ruled or interpreted against the insurance company. Since policies are presented as a take it or leave it contract, any mistakes in the contract are ruled so the policy holder wins.

The first claim is a quasi-fraud claim based on the lack of information concerning the exclusions. The court looked at this more as a situation where the event organizer did not read the policy.

Johnson cannot avoid the terms of the insurance contract by pleading ignorance of its contents. It is axiomatic that “insured persons are charged with knowledge of their policy’s contents.

Because Johnson signed the policy (? Application not the policy, in reality) Johnson was held to the terms of the policy.

Although Johnson claims, based on his interaction with Delre, that the terms of the policy were not what he had anticipated, no genuine issue of material fact exists that Johnson signed the policy and, as a matter of law, was presumed to know its contents.

The next argument was the insurance agent the event organizer worked with was an agent of the insurance company Capitol. As such, the agents could be liable and the agents could create liability for Capitol. An agency is created when the principal, the insurance company, grants specific authority to the agent.

“Actual authority arises from a direct, intentional granting of specific authority from a principal to an agent.” The Restatement (Third) of Agency § 2.02(1) (2006) provides that “[a]n agent has actual authority to take action designated or implied in the principal’s manifestations to the agent and acts necessary or incidental to achieving the principal’s objectives, as the agent reasonably understands the principal’s manifestations and objectives when the agent determines how to act.”

However, there was no evidence in the record to show any agency between the insurance sales person and the insurance company, even though the sales person is called an agent.

The next argument was over the language in the policy. The event organizer argued the exclusion should not apply because the term “sponsor” was ambiguous.

Exclusions in insurance contracts are to be narrowly interpreted, and all questions resolved in favor of the insured. Exceptions and exclusions are to be strictly construed so as to render the insurance effective. Any doubt as to the coverage or terms of a policy should be resolved in favor of the insured. And since the policy is drafted in all details by the insurance company, it must be held strictly accountable for the language used.

After narrowly interpreting the policy, any ambiguity in the language of the policy must be interpreted in favor of the policy holder and against the insurance company.

…[t]he rule of strict construction against an insurance company certainly does not mean that every doubt must be resolved against it and does not interfere with the rule that the policy must receive a reasonable interpretation consistent with the parties’ object and intent or narrowly expressed in the plain meaning and/or language of the contract. Neither should a nonexistent ambiguity be utilized to resolve a policy against the company. We consider that courts should not rewrite an insurance contract to enlarge the risk to the insurer.

However, the court found the term in this case, was not ambiguous.

The event organizer then argued that the Concurrent Proximate Cause Doctrine should apply in this case. The concurrent proximate cause doctrine holds that when an insured event flows from an insured event, the protection afforded by the insurance policy flows with to the new event.

Where the loss is essentially caused by an insured peril with the contribution of an excluded peril merely as part of the chain of events leading to the loss, there is coverage under the policy. Stated alternately, coverage will exist where a covered and noncovered peril join to cause the loss provided that the covered peril is the efficient and dominant cause.

The court found that there was no insured event to begin with so nothing could “flow” to the uninsured event.

The appellate court upheld the motion in the declaratory action by the trial court stating the insurance company Capitol had no duty to defend the event organizer Johnson and thus any liability to the Arnold family.

So Now What?

This is simple. You MUST do the following things if you are the owners, sponsor, organizer or insured with an insurance policy.

  1. Read it
  2. Understand it
  3. Make sure it covers what you need it to cover.
  4. Find an agent who understands what you need and can communicate that to all the insurance companies he may be working with.
    1. If that means getting the insurance company out from behind their desk and down the river, to an event, or in your factory do that.
  5. Always confirm in writing or electronically that the coverage you requested and need is covered in the policy you are purchasing.
  6. Ask to see the policy and any exclusions, prerequisites or other requirements before paying for it. Once you open your wallet, you won’t get your money back.
  7. If the price of the policy is too good to be true, start investigating. On average a policy should cost $5 to $10 per person per day for outdoor recreation coverage. That amount is the bottom line and can go beyond that. If you are purchasing a policy at 1980 prices $2.00 per person per day, you are buying worthless paper.

You cannot be in business without an insurance policy. Contrary to popular believe, insurance policies do not attract lawsuits. How do people know if you are insured? If they do not know you are insured, how can someone decided to sue just because you have money.

If for no other reason, you need a policy that will pay to prove you are right. The attorney fees, court costs, exhibits, witness fees alone on a small case will exceed $50K. That means with no policy or a bad policy, you are out $50 to $100K before you even begin to pay a claim.

Insurance policies are difficult. I spent six years, three before and three after working for Nationwide Insurance. Reading a policy, let alone understanding it is mind numbing and hard. But you better or you will be standing in the cold, because someone took your house.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

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Author: Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management and Law

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By Recreation Law    James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom,, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #SkiLaw,

Colorado Environmental Film Festival Environmental Photography Exhibition

Does your photography move audiences to think about our environment? Show us your work and make a difference. Best of show in the Annual Environmental Photography Exhibition at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado. Cash awards. Great venue and a great cause. Held in conjunction with the Colorado Environmental Film Festival. There will be a photography keynote speaker and reception. Details at

Under 19 and over 19 award categories.

Enter Your Photograph Now!

Important dates:

· Call for Entries deadline: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

· Notification Date: Friday, November 20, 2018

· Physical Delivery Date Deadline: Friday, February 15, 2019

· Opening Reception: February 22, 2019, 5:30-7:30pm with Keynote speaker (6:30-7:15pm)

· Exhibition Open at American Mountaineering Center: February 22-April 26, 2019

Please share with all photographers, outdoor organizations, nature centers, parks, natural resource agencies.. Thanks.

#RecLaw #RecreationLaw #OutdoorLaw #ORLawTextbook #OutdoorRecreationLaw #OutdoorIndustry

Jonny Copp Award is now Bigger! Apply Now

$1000 Grant Apply NOW: The Jonny Copp Award 2018

This September, DJI and The Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media are partnering with the Adventure Film Festival to up the ante on their annual Jonny Copp award! Created to support adventurers, artists and environmentalists dedicated to living a life guided by passion, love and the desire to create positive change, 2018’s award includes a DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo and a $1000 adventure filmmakers grant. The package will go to a young filmmaker who embodies this beautifully audacious spirit. Do you feel, deep in your soul, a relentless desire to create true positive change by sharing your love & knowledge? If so, we invite you to apply for the Jonny Copp award. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Please apply at by October 3rd, 2018 to be considered.

Whether you apply or not, we hope that you’ll join us at the Adventure Film Festival for three days of adventure, creation, and exploration with award-winning filmmakers, visionary conservationists, and the world’s foremost names in adventure sports. Climb, film, write, draw, cook, bike, and experience new virtual realities. At the heart of the festival is a selection of 2018’s most critical and transformative independent films, featuring special guests and live performances. From ultramarathons to Inuit activism, folk rock to rock climbing, no two films have the same stripes—each is crafted to shift the way we view our world and ourselves. Get a sneak peek of the official film selection here. The festival launches October 5–7 in Boulder, Colorado before beginning its world tour.

Purchase passes here: For more information, visit #AFF2018

#MountaineeringLaw #RecLaw #RecreationLaw #OutdoorLaw #OutdoorRecreationLaw #OutdoorIndustry #ORLawTextbook



Tickets for CSAW go up in Price Sunday, Attend this Avalanche Workshop Sign Up and Learn

Now is the time to purchase your $25 ticket for CSAW. Ticket price increases to $40 on Sunday.

The Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop is a one-day professional development seminar for people working and recreating in and around avalanche terrain. It provides a venue to listen to presentations and discuss new ideas, techniques and technologies in avalanche research and field work.

The 2018 Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop will feature a diverse set of speakers covering topics from the effects of climate change on our snowpack to the history of the Colorado Department of Transportation avalanche mitigation program.


Whether you are a ski patroller, avalanche forecaster, road maintenance personnel, ski guide, avalanche educator, student, applied researcher, or backcountry user, we hope you can join us!

Want to give back?
Consider donating to Friends of CAIC! Your gift supports CAIC’s backcountry forecasting program and avalanche education throughout Colorado.
Donate Now
@FriendsofCAIC @COAvalancheInfo @ColoradoSkiUSA @CAICfrontrange @CAICaspen @CAICsthsanjuan @CAICsthsanjuan @CAICsangrecrist @CAICgunnison @CAICgrandmesa @CAICnthsanjuan @CAICsawatch @CAICsummit



CABDA Midwest Show is becoming a big Event. Are you going?

CABDA: Now more than ever!



I was asked recently what the recipe was for CABDA’s success, and I’ll admit that I didn’t have an immediate answer. For the past five years we just recruited the best possible exhibitors, reached the most number of retailers, and put on the best event that we were able.

But the landscape of our industry is rapidly changing. There is less certainly than ever before on the import side of the business, and almost constant disruption to our traditional supply chains. Now more than ever, we must be at the top of our game.

Now more than ever it is important to tailor the products you sell to your customers. There is not a single mold for a bike shop, nor a single business model that we must adhere to. At CABDA, we make it a point to find manufacturers and distributors of every stripe: Large and small, foreign and domestic, local and national.

Now more than ever it is important for shop owners to expand their offerings to eek out profits wherever they can: Custom Wheel Building, Professional Fitting, E-Bikes, etc. At CABDA, you can attend seminars on how to tap into these potential revenue streams and network with the folks that already do it.

Now more than ever before, our professional mechanics must possess superior technical acumen as well as a breadth and depth of knowledge that is ever expanding. The technology is becoming more advanced, so too must our service departments.

Now more than ever, our sales associates that interact with the consumers to sell our bikes and accessories must be customer service wizards. In an age of instantaneous online review and ratings, we cannot risk our sales people being untrained.

CABDA is proud to partner with top manufacturers, as well as with the folks at PBMA, to bring the best, most-innovative, tech programming and sales training to all of our attendees. The information obtained at CABDA will pay huge dividends all year long!

Whether you are a shop owner, a professional mechanic, mobile operator, bike rental outfitter, bike fitter, trainer, or coach….You are all welcome at CABDA!

Now more than ever!


Jim Kersten
Show Director, CABDA Expos

The Del Mar Racetrack is located immediately off of Interstate 5, close to rail access in Solana Beach, and less than 20 miles from San Diego International Airport.

Discounted rooms are available at the Hilton Del Mar, located adjacent to the CABDA Expo and serviced by our free shuttle.


The Renaissance Schaumburg is located a short drive away from Chicago, and just a few miles from O’Hare International, immediately off Interstate 90.

Discounted rooms are available while they last and plenty of dining and entertainment options are nearby.


A few of our wonderful exhibitors…



Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks


National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks


On September 22, join in the nation’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors on National Public Lands Day! All national parks will have free admission and many will host volunteer service projects open to all.

“Every year, Americans come together on National Public Lands Day to demonstrate their love of national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Activities hosted by parks across the nation will promote environmental stewardship and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and good health.”

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in volunteer service events designed to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke will celebrate the day by working alongside groups of military veterans and youth to paint several historic structures at Grand Canyon National Park. The volunteer project to restore the cabins is an example of the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. Secretary Zinke will also meet with national park partners and congressional representatives to discuss legislative efforts to address the maintenance backlog.

Grand Canyon is just one of 100 national parks and 2,600 federal public land sites hosting National Public Lands Day events. In other national parks, volunteers will rehabilitate campgrounds, improve trails, restore native habitats, repair bluebird boxes, clean beaches, and refurbish historic buildings, among other projects. Check for more information and a list of sites.

Volunteer efforts on days such as National Public Lands Day demonstrate the willingness of people to give back to the land for the benefit of parks. Volunteers assisting on work projects on National Public Lands Day will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a date of their choosing.

National Public Land Day celebrations also include recreational and educational activities, such as hikes, bike rides, paddle trips, bird watching excursions, and water quality testing. To encourage everyone to join the fun, it is an entrance fee-free day for national parks and most other federal public lands and state parks.

The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

All National Public Lands Day events are free, and open to people of all ages and abilities. To learn more, register an event, or find an event near you, visit Follow National Public Lands Day on Twitter and Facebook for updates and share your own activities that day with #NPLD.