Edward W. Dunkley was one of the pioneers of 4-wheeling in the Pacific Southwest. For 43 years he was an outspoken advocate for responsible land and trail use and served on a number of environmental committees and organizational boards.
Ed became fascinated with Jeeps while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps in WWII. After his tour of duty ended, he accepted a civilian job at McClellan Air Force Base, in Sacramento, where he had done his military training during the war. Ed retired from this job after 35 years and devoted his full time efforts to four wheeling. With his love of the mountains and deserts and a spirit known only to a true outdoorsman, Ed soon developed an insatiable interest in the history of the pioneer trails of Nevada and California, eventually becoming a recognized authority on the settlement of the American West. As Ed’s interest in 4-wheeling grew, so did his passion for educating people on the importance of preserving the environment while enjoying all it had to offer. Throughout the course of his career, he was the founder of several 4-wheel drive clubs, including the Sacramento Jeepers and the High Rock Trekkers. The Trekkers would go on to run the Lassen-Applegate Historic Trail Ride and win numerous conservation awards from the CA4WDC. Ed was one of the original members of the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc. In addition to founding the Conservation and Education Foundation for the CA4WDC, Ed also started the Lassen-Applegate Historic Trail Ride. As he led people in all types of 4-wheel drive vehicles across the terrain, Ed would narrate the story of how the area came to be the historic trail that it is today. In 1967 Ed started the Sierra Trek event for the CA4WDC. Over the years Sierra Trek has become one of the biggest 4-wheel drive events in the state, raising money for the association’s conservation and education projects as well as funding the fight to keep public lands open.
Because of his tireless efforts and outstanding service and dedication to the sport, Ed was awarded the first Past President’s Award from CA4WDC. Among the many other prestigious awards Ed received during his lifetime was the Superior Achievement Award from the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. Ed was truly dedicated to conservation, education and responsible motorized recreation and had a major impact on 4-wheeling as we know it today.