Jim Bramham is preaching to the Campfire on Episode 179


Advocacy and education are what ORMHOF inductee Jim Bramham, brings to the table. Leading the fight for years in preserving public lands, Jim does the hard part, a walking encyclopedia of OHV knowledge and land use, we are pleased to introduce him to more than California. Congratulations to Jim Bramham, a 2018 inductee into ORMHOF; Jim is why we say; legends live at ORMHOF.org.  Be sure to tune in on your favorite podcast app.


6:51 – my neighbor bought a Jeep and I spent hours in his garage asking questions

11:29 – “You’re not going to college; you’re coming to work here.”

15:34 – to this day, I’ve never seen anything that would do snow like that Travelall.

20:19 – you can’t ruin what you want to play with

26:32 – it really hurt to see somebody so dedicated to a place…have to accept that it was just going to go away

38:36 – the fact that a law enforcement presence exists, helps not just with OHV management, but with the management of all potential problems in the forest

43:15 – it’s the campfire circle that’s going to push this information to the public

49:40 – that’s going to be the push, to eliminate the randomness

55:44 – the Senate is the War Zone over land use, it always will be

Special thanks to ORMHOF.org for support and sponsorship of this podcast.


[00:01:14.010] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, I am pleased to say that I have Jim Bramham.

[00:01:21.330] – Big Rich Klein

He’s a 2018 Ormhof inductee. Jim is known as a walking encyclopedia and historian supreme of institutional OHV knowledge. Jim has been an advocate for the OHV and public land use for over three decades. He has worn many hats with Cal Four-Wheel Drive, including President, board member, and natural resource consultant. He was also named as a commissioner as part of the California Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Commission. Man, that’s a lot of stuff to do in the public service. Jim, thank you so much for coming on board with us today.

[00:01:58.950] – Jim Bramham

I’m really glad to be with you.

[00:02:01.450] – Big Rich Klein

Let’s jump right in. Where were you born and raised?

[00:02:06.800] – Jim Bramham

I was born in Sacramento, California, 1952, and lived there throughout my youth.

[00:02:13.940] – Big Rich Klein

What student were you? Were you a good student or indifferent or did you love school?

[00:02:24.610] – Jim Bramham

I wasn’t the best student student, but I was always interested in something, not necessarily what they were teaching in school, but learning was always extremely important to me. I spent a lot of time exploring and hanging out at different places where I could visualize experiences and so on. So at school I did reasonably well, but I wasn’t the absolute straight A student, but student of how things get done, I guess, as much as anything.

[00:02:58.500] – Big Rich Klein

Okay. Did you participate in outside activities like scouts or anything like that?

[00:03:06.230] – Jim Bramham

I was extremely active in scouting. I became an Eagle Scout at 13, which is pretty unheard of, but led the contingency to the National Jamboree in 1969 in Idaho as their senior patrol leader. That was a really exciting experience. It was the period of time when we were landing on the moon. The Scouts got to watch the moon landing from Farragut State Park, Idaho, on what was the first giant screen projection I’d ever seen. So it was a really unique experience, and out of that came some leadership understanding that has lasted a lifetime.

[00:03:47.420] – Big Rich Klein

That’s one of the things that I took away from Scouts as well. I got my eagle as well at a young age, just at that 13 to 14 age, and same thing. The leadership, scouts can really bring that out in people. I thought that at that time it was really important in my life.

[00:04:10.550] – Jim Bramham

I was also blessed with attending film on Scout Ranch and the National Junior Leader Instructor Training that they do there, and the combination of that and leadership within my crew, leadership within the district, leadership to a national event and so on, all of those things contributed to an understanding of how to lead.

[00:04:31.150] – Big Rich Klein

Yes, absolutely. You took that quite far. Anything else? Did you invest in any other groups or organizations like that when you were growing up?

[00:04:45.320] – Jim Bramham

I did some YMCA things, did some sports events there. Never actually participated… Well, I did start football until I got my leg broken in high school, and that ended that ambition. And so as far as actual participation in high school sports, a lot of intermural stuff and playing at the park, but not actually on teams because I had so much to do with scouting at that point.

[00:05:24.020] – Big Rich Klein

What did you do besides scouting for recreation? I know that people will say, Well, it sounds like you were an overachiever in scouting. Maybe that wasn’t recreation, but there’s a lot involved in scouting that I would call recreation. As a family, did you go camping as well?

[00:05:41.440] – Jim Bramham

I was blessed with a family that just were educated, and education oriented, and we traveled extensively. So I saw a lot of California by the time I got out of high school. Let’s see, most of the nation, we traveled across country, and every day we were stopping at some place of historical significance or manufacturing significance, plus just the road trip, the time in the car, the discussions with my parents. And so did a lot of that until I got into high school. And my father wanted to really look more heavily into local California history and ended up buying a scout vehicle that he wanted to explore mostly gold country in. I spent most of my basic high school years running around with him, doing all kinds of places in the gold country, Nevada County, Sierra County, and so on.

[00:06:44.560] – Big Rich Klein

That was your foray, your introduction to Off Road then?

[00:06:51.020] – Jim Bramham

My very first introduction, well, besides going camping with my family at places like Emerald Bay and Ballistate Park and so on, and watching the little state, some parks, Jeeps driving around and just standing there drooling over them. It was my next door neighbor that was, when I was in the third grade, bought a Surplus Jeep to go hunting with. Again, I just saw… That was my observant side. I just was there in his garage the entire time watching him get this vehicle prepared and asking questions about what this was and what that was and how did that work. And even at that young age, picking up the entire mechanical-ness and how the vehicle operated. So then my first my first Jeep ride was in that Jeep.  READ MORE


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