Author Topic: It's about trail bikes but our problem too  (Read 1673 times)

Offline Peter Vahry

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It's about trail bikes but our problem too
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:03:52 am »
David Petersen
Outdoorsman and author

Stop Illegal OHV Riders by Getting Their Number

In the past I have written about the manyfold problems caused by the explosion of off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in Colorado and other western states rich in public lands. OHV abuse and over-use on public lands contribute significantly to lasting negative impacts on cold-water angling opportunities via watershed and downstream damage resulting from direct wheeled assaults on wetlands, stream-bank erosion and riparian area destruction, and water pollution and siltation of fish and invertebrate breeding habitat. Collectively, such motorized damage to public lands diminishes opportunities for quality cold-water angling, a major summer income generator for countless small towns and individuals.

Likewise, OHV abuse and over-use damages wildlife habitat and pushes game from its preferred seasonal use areas, either onto private lands or deeper into roadless and wilderness areas where motorized access is prohibited. Numerous carefully controlled research studies verify that elk and other big game flee sooner, faster, and farther from the sound of approaching OHVs than from bicyclists, hikers, or horses. This same noise aspect of OHVs likewise disturbs the backcountry peace and quiet a majority of non-motorized public lands users seek. And in some places and situations, especially when fast-moving off-road motorcycles, aka dirt bikes, are involved, non-motorized recreationists such as hunters, anglers, hikers and backpackers can find their physical safety endangered.

For non-motorized outdoor enthusiasts, these problems are increasingly frustrating as tensions grow between non-riders and rude and reckless OHV users. Tragically, the Forest Service and BLM lack the resources to adequately manage rapidly growing motorized recreation, assuring a growing number of over-use problems in the future.

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