December 20, 2009

The Impacts of Off-Road Vehicles are Worse than We Thought

Some links related to abuse of public lands by off-road vehicle riders:

• Paul Vertrees from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers explains just what the problem is:

Off-road vehicles (ORVs) had carved six-inch-deep tracks through a damp alpine meadow in the Pike National Forest southwest of Denver. Soil ripped from the ground by spinning tires washed into a nearby stream, dirtying it with sediment. A Forest Service "No Motor Vehicles" sign lay smashed on the ground next to the ugly tire ruts, scarring what would otherwise have been unspoiled backcountry.

• In related news, Colorado seeks to put ORV user-fee money towards law enforcement

• And an off-road outlaw sees the light:

When I confronted the riders, they had no clue that their raucous invasion had destroyed my outdoor experience. They didn't even think about the impacts their riding had on those who enjoy quiet recreation -- hiking, camping, hunting and horseback riding in our national forests. I knew I had to change my ways. I love ATV riding, but the truth is that my ATV and the millions like it have made severe and cumulative impacts on our public lands and wildlife. The impacts of off-road vehicles are probably even more profound and far-reaching than we think they are

• Take a non-binding poll on appropriate punishment for illegal off-road riding.

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