Land Use Advocate, John Stewart, on Episode 123


John Stewart devoted his career to the Navy, and his extra time to Land Use. A lifetime advocate for using public lands, John continues to use his time to keep the government and others from closing off our recreational access to public lands. Listen up to find out where the fight is now, and what you can do to help.

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9:05 – I joined the Navy and visited the world

13:08 – I got out of the Navy and then two months later went back to work for the Navy

17:30 – Hey, wait a minute, you close these areas off and we got a lot of problems

23:55 – getting local businesses to really stress what the economic impact would be helps

28:17 – lawsuits are a last resort

34:31 – it’s an easy sell in downtown NYC

40:16 – the difficult part is to get them to understand what we are losing

51:55 – why do you want them to have the permit?  Why not?

1:07:02 – the Hot Topics right now are in Utah

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.


[00:01:47.050] – John Stewart

On today’s episode of conversations with big rich, we have John Stewart. John works the four wheel drive industry from pretty much the land use side. We will get into all of that with his history in four wheel drive and off road and find out more about John than he probably really wants everybody to know. But that’s what we do here. So, John, thank you so much for spending some time and talking about yourself with us.

[00:02:16.290] – John Stewart

Well, Rich, thank you for the invite and I appreciate working and getting the message out. And I’ve listened to a couple of your podcasts and it’s good information.

[00:02:27.510] – Big Rich Klein

Well, excellent. Okay, so let’s start off with the easiest and basic question. Where were you born and raised?

[00:02:36.490] – John Stewart

I was born in Boise, Idaho, and spent up through high school and starting college in Idaho. Joined the Navy and basically left Idaho almost over 50 years ago and really haven’t lived there since.

[00:02:53.890] – Big Rich Klein

I spent a couple of years in Idaho.

[00:02:57.370] – John Stewart

Yeah. Well, I said I was born in Boise. I still have a brother over in Bruno and a few other cousins in the Boise area that I graduated in high school out of Pocatello. I lived all over the state. We moved around quite a bit as a kid and I got to see a lot of the state. It’s a great area. In fact, I got out into the deserts and the mountains and that there before a four wheel drive was popular.

[00:03:31.210] – Big Rich Klein

All right, so let’s talk about those early years. Boise was a lot smaller if you left there about 50 years ago.

[00:03:41.890] – John Stewart

Yes, it was the area around Boise back there, what was it? Last fall? And I could not believe the amount of growth in the region. It’s a far cry from what it was when I was a kid growing up in that area. And we’d go up to Stanley Basin. We would have run of the areas of places that then Smiley Creek and some other place up the headwaters of Salmon River. And you go up there now, and it’s their close off, either wilderness areas or protected areas. No fishing, no getting near the streams. It’s sad to see the changes that have occurred.

[00:04:27.910] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. And that part of the state is, I believe, the only part that votes blue Ada county in the whole state. I lived in Blackfoot for a couple of years before Shelley and I decided to take we rock full time on the road and do Dirt Riot and all that kind of stuff, and it was a nice place. The winters were way too cold for me. When I was a kid. Cold winters didn’t matter, but as I get older, cold winters matter.

[00:05:04.990] – John Stewart

Oh, I hear you. And I feel every bit of the cold temperatures as they come rolling around. And where I live now, you can’t get down into teens, and I said, that’s cold enough for me.

[00:05:18.790] – Big Rich Klein

Right. And the teens is still a lot better than what Idaho can get.

[00:05:24.070] – John Stewart

Yeah. I remember days, some winters that it will be going 30 below, and it get up to zero, and we’d be out running around in short sleeves saying, hey, it’s a bright, sunny day. The sun’s out. It’s a great day.

[00:05:41.260] – Big Rich Klein

Yeah. So growing up back then, that whole area was pretty rural unless you were, like, downtown. Right. Was school close enough for you to walk or ride a bike, or did you have to bus or what was the whole thing? Or were you guys riding horses?

[00:06:02.170] – John Stewart

No, we weren’t into horses. We mostly lived pretty much in the suburbs, but up until high school, I was always within walking distance of school, and once I hit high school, then we were living just almost just under 2 miles from the high school. And their distance radius for the bus service, I believe, was about a mile and a half. So in high school, it started being the bus rides to and from school.  READ MORE

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