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Discussion Topic: Should ATVs Run Wild?

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August 29, 2007

Discussion Topic: Should ATVs Run Wild?

By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love

From the Denver Post:

The U.S. Forest Service has begun imposing travel restrictions on ATVs and other off-road vehicles nationally, ending their long-standing permission to go almost anywhere.

The move marks the end of the principle that forest lands are "open unless designated closed" to motor vehicles and instead establishes that they are "closed unless designated open."

"People would say, 'Well, look, there's a two-track there, and it's been there for a long time,"' said Paul Cruz, recreation staff officer for the Arapahoe National Forest. "That won't work anymore. Now, the burden is on the user to have a ... map and to follow it."

What do you think? Is this the right policy?

Comments (29)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Alex wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It's sad to see such ignorance, hate, and mis-information from those who oppose ATVs and other forms of OHV use. Properly used these vehicles are non-destructive and a great form of recreation. I teach OHV classes on building susainable trails as well as teaching Tread Lightly classes. I'm also a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation dirt bike school instructor, ATV Safety Institute Instructor, a DNR ATV Instructor and am a member of the national Trail Patrol program. The industry through these programs have been very pro-active in addressing all of these concerns.All forms of human activity have their bad eggs. I have seen horse groups and mountain bike users destroy trails. I have witnessed bicyclists and hikers just throw away their candy wrappers and drink bottles. The Jeep club and OHM club I belong to do yearly trail sweeps where we pick up this garbage put down by the Green(?) crowd. I also know of many hikers that would never do this. You have bad seeds in any activity, don't demonize a whole group because of a few.I have no problem stopping off-trail (cross country) riding. But if we do that you need to provide adequate riding opportunities to the OHV recreationalists; adequate mileage of trails so they do not over-use the trails. Close all trails? Get real, we have as much right using them as any other citizen. Us riders/OHV users are not going away. You can work with us to create an adequate amount of sustainable trails or you can fight us in courts.ALL of us OHV users are environmentalists; without the forests we have no place to ride, so we want to see any problems related to recreational uses of the forest have an acceptable resolution.With the aging of America we are seeing more and more elderly and disabled using OHVs to access the forest. Wheather for recreational riding, bringing out game, having access to fishing spots, or taking the family with you in your Jeep they want to enjoy the outdoors like anyone else. Not everyone is up to hiking 40 miles with a heavy backpack.By the way, how do the hikers/bicyclists/horse folks get to the trail heads? In a car/SUV and maybe even pulling a trailer. So you are using gas and oil products the same as an OHV user. Your "footprint" is also something that needs to be planned for in regard to sustainable trails and resource planning.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 41 weeks ago

let me run wild bitches

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from Randa wrote 6 years 28 weeks ago

I spend a great deal of time in the Ocala National Forest in Florida where I walk, take photos and observe wildlife. I make no noise, haul out my trash and leave only footprints. Many of the places I love to walk have been destroyed by hordes of ATV and jeep riders who have gone mad. For some reason, they seem to think they have the right to destroy public land. Some have told me they believe they should be able to do what they want because they pay taxes! Nobody has total freedom, even on their own property. If they did, we'd probably see some neighborhood nuclear power plants!ATV riders seem to have left their critical thinking somewhere behind them on the trail. They run over rare plants, destroy nests of ground birds, harrass bears, crush gopher tortoise burrows and ruin trails that have been designated for foot traffic only. They remove or destroy signs that say "Resource Protection: Foot Travel Only," and then ride through wetlands or nesting areas at will. They do not seem to consider anything but their own pleasure.They leave tons and tons of trash deep in the forest.It's pretty clear to me that these folks slept through the day their teacher talked about the environment and the rights of others.Right now, wildlife in the Ocala is very stressed from the recent drought. Yet, idots on motorized machines keep bears, otters, and other starving critters on the move, and carve hundreds of miles of illegal trails where these animals are trying to survive. Sadly, the USFS has allowed them to ride where ever they want. That the USFS now has rules and fees does not mean a thing to off-roaders; they know that enforcement is almost non-existent.The USFS has bent over backwards to accommodate off-roaders from here to Alaska and now we are all paying the price. The off-road industry has convinced the feds that the USFS has an obligation to provide a market for ATVs and dirt bikes. As usual, it's about greed and profit. To hell with the environment!

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from Sherrill Philip Neese wrote 6 years 32 weeks ago

This is excellent! Two Thumbs Up!

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from Jonny wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

You shouldnt need to take in your ATV to drag out game, you can drag the game to the trail then get it with your ATV, if the trails still to far you need to hunt closer to the trails

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from Bruce wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I agree with Dylan and NEK VT. I also appreciate William's fondness for horses BUT I figure he hunts out west in the wide open spaces where a horse trail has minimal effect on the land. Where I live this isn't the case. Horse crap isn't really the problem, heck, it's good fertilizer, but a dozen of them trodding along the same ground day after day tear up things almost (although, granted, not quite as much) as an ATV, especially on small parcels of land like we have here in the east and midwest. For the record I own a horse and an ATV and love them both. Ok, I love the horse a little more but heck, she's part of the family.

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from Dylan wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I think you are right NEK VT. I am also an ATV owner. I use it for ranch work, and for hunting. They are a tool, not a toy (just like a pickup). I don't hunt while driving it, but I do use it to get to my hunting areas. Then I get off and walk. When they are driven properly ATVs are more gas friendly, and don't tear up as much country side as a pickup. After all nobody here can tell me they walk carrying all their gear for thirty miles to get to their favorite hunting spot. Then proceed to shoot the animal, throw it over their shoulder, and hike it thirty miles home. If you can do that I give you props. Never should an ATV be used to hunt off of. I think people should be able to drive them on designated paths, and get off them and walk to explore more. If you shoot an animal way off the trail. Too bad, you have to drag it back. Violaters should be fined, etc.

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from NEK VT wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I have had ATV's for years and hunted all my life, I think that ATV's should be allowed on designated trails... but I also think people abuseing the land (perposely making deep mud wholes by spinning all the time) should be fined this should be policed... and people that run deer and other animals should have the AVT confinscated ..no warnings and have a hefty fine of felony placed on them.

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from Trae B. wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Back where i live i found a simple solution for my relatives that live around me that own atvs they would ride around my neck of the woods and mess up my land so so i set off an old field we dint use any more and set up a course.not a hazardes course by the way and said ya'll want to ride go in that field but if i catch you in my land.yaller gonna be sore when ya'll come out and one of my smart-alec nephews who is about 10 and i dont think hes old or responcible enough to be riding a 4-wheeler anyway tested me by going on my land and long story short he dosent have a 4-wheller any more i think you should have to go through an application to be able to drive an atv so more responsible folks can ride them happily.

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from William wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I'll stick with the horse for long range hunts. With the horse you can get to the elk and bring it out too. The good ol' horse isn't noisy or destructive. The biggest impact that I see is the occassional pile of crap. At least with the pile of crap you can find your way back to the start point.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I don't think anyone anywhere ever should take an ATV off trail to retrieve game. If you can't pack it out or drag it out or cart it out, you shouldn't have shot the animal.

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from Dave wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Coming from an ATV owner perspective I think the limitations are fine. We should stick to the trails. But I also think it should be allowed to go off trail to retrieve downed game. This would be a great help to elderly or handicapped hunters. Or to reach a remote campsite. It takes a lot more rides over an area (non wetland at least)to do real damage in my experience.I like to use may ATV to get into the backwoods and camp/hunt. I don't ride around whooping and speeding. It's just a mode of transportation that makes getting some places easier with my gear.

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from Rob wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

ATVs should be banned from all public land. ATV owners are by and large selfish, immature, and totally irresponsible. I know this from watching my own friends and neighbors.As to the question of whether or not this applies to hunters trying to haul downed game from the "deep woods", I sure hope so. Why wouldn't it? What a childish mentality: "You can't take away my ATV privileges because I need to haul out my game" Oh, okay. I guess we'll just let you tear up the countryside since you're to fat and lazy to use a game cart. How about a little common sense: Don't hunt any further from the truck then you can personally drag or wheel the animal. It's called...responsibility! New concept for many people.

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from Cody wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I applaud the USFS for taking the right approach when dealing with this issue. With so many people on each side of the fence, it will take a middle-of-the-road approach to solve this problem. Banning OHVs all together is not a reasonable solution, and those closed minded radicals that suggest so are not helping the situation. Educational programs such as Tread Lightly are making a difference by targeting younger crowds and providing materials to ATV buyers. I agree that there will always be those who cast a bad image on the sport, however every group has them, motorized and non-motorized. The poster above uses terms such as "redneck" and "ignorant hillbillies". Nice...but sorry that is not the case most of the time. As a former USFS Law Enforcement Officer I can say with experience that alot of our offenders were from urban areas, they had money and alot of toys to bring to the forest. They also seemed to be less concerned with local issues and had no respect for boundries and barriers. My point...these offenders come from all walks of life, and I think you are wrong to stereotype. When the USFS completes it's process, the real problem will be enforcement. Any federal land management employee will tell you that with the diminishing budgets, the first programs to go are education and enforcement. What you have left are alot of overpaid office-dwellers. Laws mean nothing if you cannot enforce them!

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from Bruce wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

It is a real shame that some members of the ATV community are totally lacking in personal responsibility and ruin things for everyone else. I have an ATV and love it. I do all my riding on my own property which I am fortunate enough to have. I have equipped my quad with a stealth muffler to lessen the noise pollution and take care not to tear things up. Unfortunately for me my property is a weekend place in a Kentucky county were it seems everyone has an ATV and no one understands the concept of private property. Their idea of a fun time on a quad is making as much noise as possible (some of them don't know what a muffler is) and trying to write their names in cursive in my fields. If this is how people treat private lands I can't imagine what they do on public lands. Normally I don't like to support restrictions like this but frankly I don't see any other way.

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from Jason wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I agree with the policy in pricipal, however i feel that some of the land should be opened up for unrestricted use.Also I would like to know if this would then preclude using a ATV to retrive animals that were dropped in the deep woods?

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from Andrew wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I find it interesting that all the people so far commenting in support of this policy can read and write reasonably well, whereas the only person against it can't write or spell at all. I am willing to bet that along with this basic knowledge of grammar and spelling, there is also an awareness brought on by education as well as probable experience, of the actual natural environment we are supposedly sharing in our public lands. This knowledge is most definitely lacking in the writing of the one person against the policy so far.I personally am totally in favor of this policy, in fact I think they ought to ban these machines altogether. The local hillbilly redneck population here feel it is their obligation not only to ride out on their ATVs and dirt-bikes to destroy their own properties, but to also go forth and wreak havoc on the local forest lands and trails as well. They turn creek bottoms into mud wallows and trails into mud-slides. Logging roads are made impassible to any one save those on dirt bikes or ATVs, or on foot. The deer, elk and other game leave with this constant onslaught of noise and habitat degradation, so these ignorant hillbillies then go off in search them, wrecking even more countryside, all the while wondering where the game and fish have gone! They ruin the peace and quiet of everyone else as well while they are at it, ruining the possible pleasures any one else might partake of in these areas. A lot of them do not wear helmets either, but despite my prayers, this has not seemed to diminish through natural selection this population of self-centered ignorantly destructive pigs.Along with this, they also feel it is their right to waste gasoline and create massive amounts of pollution on what to every one else is a totally frivolous and destructive activity. I think the only solution is to take away their toys! Ban ATVs, dirt bikes and jet skis too while we are at it.

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from Mike wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Great news. Our national forests are being ripped apart by rampant illegal ATV use, and I'm glad to see some sort of plan to get this under control. A map with "ATV only" routes and proper enforcement of those rules would be an excellent start.I know this is probably tough for Field and Stream to discuss since alot of their advertising is from the foreign ATV manufacturers. However, the actual hunting and fishing habitat is far more important to the magazine than ads from motorized recreation.Without high quality hunting and fishing habitat, Field and Stream has nothing - nothing to sell to, nothing to write about. This supercedes the ads form the ORV manufacturers.I'm glad to see this discussion on the blog.

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from mike wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

More parks should possibly be built such as the one here in Florida. Croom (the name of the park) is a large tract of land designated for 4-wheelers and dirt bikes.

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from Dylan wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I agree. Forest service land is set aside as a place for the public to enjoy the ever shrinking natural habitat that remains. It is a place where wildlife can live free from the hindrance of urban society.Allowing ATVs to roam freely in the parks is not only a nuisance for hikers and hunters, but also for the wildlife that reside there. A leisure cruise on 2 tracks is one thing, but forest service land is not a race track and needs to be respected. I feel good about paying taxes for forest service land when I know it is remaining wild and untarnished.

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from Dave M wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

This seems to be a good compromise solution and places the responsibility of knowing where ATVs are allowed where it belongs: on the rider. Now let's take it a step further and compleatly ban jet skis from all public waterways. At least ATVs have some practical uses, wet bikes and jet skis have none!

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from Mike Diehl wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I think this is a great policy. We taxpayers purchased the land (our ancestors did, anyhow) and we pay more taxes to maintain the land. The ATV crowd have been, to my observation, consistently irresponsible, causing damage that all the rest of us (on foot, NOT causing damage) have to pay for. They drive in washes. Constantly. Which is illegal where I live. Most of 'em don't even pretend to stay on the crummy two-tracks that existed before they came around. Instead they're busy creating NEW 2-tracks by driving over every piece of relatively open ground they can find. And while they're doing it, they're usually yahooing along at high speeds trying to set new records for "tallest dust plume."

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from Matt Mallery wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I hate ATVs. Get off you fat, lazy ass and walk!

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from Andy wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

yes they're right.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Yeah, Im with you guys. I help pay for a lot of federal lands through my tax dollars, but that doesn't mean I should be able to do whatever I want in them. By this logic, I should be able to head over to Yellowstone and dig-up plants for my yard at home, cut down trees for firewood and poison out the bass in the ponds to encourage walleyes.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

At risk of being flamed mercilessly I say "Hurray!!!"Too many careless riders tearing up the landscape. Stay on the allowed routes!SA

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from Phillip wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

This will fly in the faces of lots of folks, but I'm glad to see the USFS stepping up to do this.I realize that a relatively small percentage of off-roaders is responsible for the negative image that many non-ATV riders have of the sport, but that's a problem that proponents will have to overcome or live with. It's no different than the image problems hunters face when a couple of yahoos "defines" the whole community with stupid or unethical actions.Point is, ATVs are noisy and destructive, and should be confined to specific areas (roads and designated trails) just like any other motorized vehicle. I've seen more hillsides marred and destroyed by ATVs and dirt bikes than I care to remember. Hell, wild hogs aren't even that destructive and most states are trying to eradicate them.

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from mike wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

i do not beleave that this is right.......we the tax payers pay for those lands so we shold be able to drive 4 wheelers and orv on them....i hope michigan dosent do this. i think im going to wright my congressman right now

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from kmullins wrote 8 weeks 1 day ago

I live in Central Florida and in the Ocala National Forest we have designated areas to ride, it helps preserve the forest. If we don't follow the rules and ride in those designated areas we could get our rights to ride in the forests taken away from us. If you live in the Central Florida area and are looking to buy an ATV or sidexside check out this website. www.seminolepowersports.com

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from Alex wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It's sad to see such ignorance, hate, and mis-information from those who oppose ATVs and other forms of OHV use. Properly used these vehicles are non-destructive and a great form of recreation. I teach OHV classes on building susainable trails as well as teaching Tread Lightly classes. I'm also a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation dirt bike school instructor, ATV Safety Institute Instructor, a DNR ATV Instructor and am a member of the national Trail Patrol program. The industry through these programs have been very pro-active in addressing all of these concerns.All forms of human activity have their bad eggs. I have seen horse groups and mountain bike users destroy trails. I have witnessed bicyclists and hikers just throw away their candy wrappers and drink bottles. The Jeep club and OHM club I belong to do yearly trail sweeps where we pick up this garbage put down by the Green(?) crowd. I also know of many hikers that would never do this. You have bad seeds in any activity, don't demonize a whole group because of a few.I have no problem stopping off-trail (cross country) riding. But if we do that you need to provide adequate riding opportunities to the OHV recreationalists; adequate mileage of trails so they do not over-use the trails. Close all trails? Get real, we have as much right using them as any other citizen. Us riders/OHV users are not going away. You can work with us to create an adequate amount of sustainable trails or you can fight us in courts.ALL of us OHV users are environmentalists; without the forests we have no place to ride, so we want to see any problems related to recreational uses of the forest have an acceptable resolution.With the aging of America we are seeing more and more elderly and disabled using OHVs to access the forest. Wheather for recreational riding, bringing out game, having access to fishing spots, or taking the family with you in your Jeep they want to enjoy the outdoors like anyone else. Not everyone is up to hiking 40 miles with a heavy backpack.By the way, how do the hikers/bicyclists/horse folks get to the trail heads? In a car/SUV and maybe even pulling a trailer. So you are using gas and oil products the same as an OHV user. Your "footprint" is also something that needs to be planned for in regard to sustainable trails and resource planning.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 41 weeks ago

let me run wild bitches

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from Randa wrote 6 years 28 weeks ago

I spend a great deal of time in the Ocala National Forest in Florida where I walk, take photos and observe wildlife. I make no noise, haul out my trash and leave only footprints. Many of the places I love to walk have been destroyed by hordes of ATV and jeep riders who have gone mad. For some reason, they seem to think they have the right to destroy public land. Some have told me they believe they should be able to do what they want because they pay taxes! Nobody has total freedom, even on their own property. If they did, we'd probably see some neighborhood nuclear power plants!ATV riders seem to have left their critical thinking somewhere behind them on the trail. They run over rare plants, destroy nests of ground birds, harrass bears, crush gopher tortoise burrows and ruin trails that have been designated for foot traffic only. They remove or destroy signs that say "Resource Protection: Foot Travel Only," and then ride through wetlands or nesting areas at will. They do not seem to consider anything but their own pleasure.They leave tons and tons of trash deep in the forest.It's pretty clear to me that these folks slept through the day their teacher talked about the environment and the rights of others.Right now, wildlife in the Ocala is very stressed from the recent drought. Yet, idots on motorized machines keep bears, otters, and other starving critters on the move, and carve hundreds of miles of illegal trails where these animals are trying to survive. Sadly, the USFS has allowed them to ride where ever they want. That the USFS now has rules and fees does not mean a thing to off-roaders; they know that enforcement is almost non-existent.The USFS has bent over backwards to accommodate off-roaders from here to Alaska and now we are all paying the price. The off-road industry has convinced the feds that the USFS has an obligation to provide a market for ATVs and dirt bikes. As usual, it's about greed and profit. To hell with the environment!

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from Sherrill Philip Neese wrote 6 years 32 weeks ago

This is excellent! Two Thumbs Up!

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from Jonny wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

You shouldnt need to take in your ATV to drag out game, you can drag the game to the trail then get it with your ATV, if the trails still to far you need to hunt closer to the trails

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from Bruce wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I agree with Dylan and NEK VT. I also appreciate William's fondness for horses BUT I figure he hunts out west in the wide open spaces where a horse trail has minimal effect on the land. Where I live this isn't the case. Horse crap isn't really the problem, heck, it's good fertilizer, but a dozen of them trodding along the same ground day after day tear up things almost (although, granted, not quite as much) as an ATV, especially on small parcels of land like we have here in the east and midwest. For the record I own a horse and an ATV and love them both. Ok, I love the horse a little more but heck, she's part of the family.

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from Dylan wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I think you are right NEK VT. I am also an ATV owner. I use it for ranch work, and for hunting. They are a tool, not a toy (just like a pickup). I don't hunt while driving it, but I do use it to get to my hunting areas. Then I get off and walk. When they are driven properly ATVs are more gas friendly, and don't tear up as much country side as a pickup. After all nobody here can tell me they walk carrying all their gear for thirty miles to get to their favorite hunting spot. Then proceed to shoot the animal, throw it over their shoulder, and hike it thirty miles home. If you can do that I give you props. Never should an ATV be used to hunt off of. I think people should be able to drive them on designated paths, and get off them and walk to explore more. If you shoot an animal way off the trail. Too bad, you have to drag it back. Violaters should be fined, etc.

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from NEK VT wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I have had ATV's for years and hunted all my life, I think that ATV's should be allowed on designated trails... but I also think people abuseing the land (perposely making deep mud wholes by spinning all the time) should be fined this should be policed... and people that run deer and other animals should have the AVT confinscated ..no warnings and have a hefty fine of felony placed on them.

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from Trae B. wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Back where i live i found a simple solution for my relatives that live around me that own atvs they would ride around my neck of the woods and mess up my land so so i set off an old field we dint use any more and set up a course.not a hazardes course by the way and said ya'll want to ride go in that field but if i catch you in my land.yaller gonna be sore when ya'll come out and one of my smart-alec nephews who is about 10 and i dont think hes old or responcible enough to be riding a 4-wheeler anyway tested me by going on my land and long story short he dosent have a 4-wheller any more i think you should have to go through an application to be able to drive an atv so more responsible folks can ride them happily.

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from William wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I'll stick with the horse for long range hunts. With the horse you can get to the elk and bring it out too. The good ol' horse isn't noisy or destructive. The biggest impact that I see is the occassional pile of crap. At least with the pile of crap you can find your way back to the start point.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I don't think anyone anywhere ever should take an ATV off trail to retrieve game. If you can't pack it out or drag it out or cart it out, you shouldn't have shot the animal.

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from Dave wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Coming from an ATV owner perspective I think the limitations are fine. We should stick to the trails. But I also think it should be allowed to go off trail to retrieve downed game. This would be a great help to elderly or handicapped hunters. Or to reach a remote campsite. It takes a lot more rides over an area (non wetland at least)to do real damage in my experience.I like to use may ATV to get into the backwoods and camp/hunt. I don't ride around whooping and speeding. It's just a mode of transportation that makes getting some places easier with my gear.

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from Rob wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

ATVs should be banned from all public land. ATV owners are by and large selfish, immature, and totally irresponsible. I know this from watching my own friends and neighbors.As to the question of whether or not this applies to hunters trying to haul downed game from the "deep woods", I sure hope so. Why wouldn't it? What a childish mentality: "You can't take away my ATV privileges because I need to haul out my game" Oh, okay. I guess we'll just let you tear up the countryside since you're to fat and lazy to use a game cart. How about a little common sense: Don't hunt any further from the truck then you can personally drag or wheel the animal. It's called...responsibility! New concept for many people.

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from Cody wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I applaud the USFS for taking the right approach when dealing with this issue. With so many people on each side of the fence, it will take a middle-of-the-road approach to solve this problem. Banning OHVs all together is not a reasonable solution, and those closed minded radicals that suggest so are not helping the situation. Educational programs such as Tread Lightly are making a difference by targeting younger crowds and providing materials to ATV buyers. I agree that there will always be those who cast a bad image on the sport, however every group has them, motorized and non-motorized. The poster above uses terms such as "redneck" and "ignorant hillbillies". Nice...but sorry that is not the case most of the time. As a former USFS Law Enforcement Officer I can say with experience that alot of our offenders were from urban areas, they had money and alot of toys to bring to the forest. They also seemed to be less concerned with local issues and had no respect for boundries and barriers. My point...these offenders come from all walks of life, and I think you are wrong to stereotype. When the USFS completes it's process, the real problem will be enforcement. Any federal land management employee will tell you that with the diminishing budgets, the first programs to go are education and enforcement. What you have left are alot of overpaid office-dwellers. Laws mean nothing if you cannot enforce them!

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from Bruce wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

It is a real shame that some members of the ATV community are totally lacking in personal responsibility and ruin things for everyone else. I have an ATV and love it. I do all my riding on my own property which I am fortunate enough to have. I have equipped my quad with a stealth muffler to lessen the noise pollution and take care not to tear things up. Unfortunately for me my property is a weekend place in a Kentucky county were it seems everyone has an ATV and no one understands the concept of private property. Their idea of a fun time on a quad is making as much noise as possible (some of them don't know what a muffler is) and trying to write their names in cursive in my fields. If this is how people treat private lands I can't imagine what they do on public lands. Normally I don't like to support restrictions like this but frankly I don't see any other way.

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from Jason wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I agree with the policy in pricipal, however i feel that some of the land should be opened up for unrestricted use.Also I would like to know if this would then preclude using a ATV to retrive animals that were dropped in the deep woods?

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from Andrew wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I find it interesting that all the people so far commenting in support of this policy can read and write reasonably well, whereas the only person against it can't write or spell at all. I am willing to bet that along with this basic knowledge of grammar and spelling, there is also an awareness brought on by education as well as probable experience, of the actual natural environment we are supposedly sharing in our public lands. This knowledge is most definitely lacking in the writing of the one person against the policy so far.I personally am totally in favor of this policy, in fact I think they ought to ban these machines altogether. The local hillbilly redneck population here feel it is their obligation not only to ride out on their ATVs and dirt-bikes to destroy their own properties, but to also go forth and wreak havoc on the local forest lands and trails as well. They turn creek bottoms into mud wallows and trails into mud-slides. Logging roads are made impassible to any one save those on dirt bikes or ATVs, or on foot. The deer, elk and other game leave with this constant onslaught of noise and habitat degradation, so these ignorant hillbillies then go off in search them, wrecking even more countryside, all the while wondering where the game and fish have gone! They ruin the peace and quiet of everyone else as well while they are at it, ruining the possible pleasures any one else might partake of in these areas. A lot of them do not wear helmets either, but despite my prayers, this has not seemed to diminish through natural selection this population of self-centered ignorantly destructive pigs.Along with this, they also feel it is their right to waste gasoline and create massive amounts of pollution on what to every one else is a totally frivolous and destructive activity. I think the only solution is to take away their toys! Ban ATVs, dirt bikes and jet skis too while we are at it.

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from Mike wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Great news. Our national forests are being ripped apart by rampant illegal ATV use, and I'm glad to see some sort of plan to get this under control. A map with "ATV only" routes and proper enforcement of those rules would be an excellent start.I know this is probably tough for Field and Stream to discuss since alot of their advertising is from the foreign ATV manufacturers. However, the actual hunting and fishing habitat is far more important to the magazine than ads from motorized recreation.Without high quality hunting and fishing habitat, Field and Stream has nothing - nothing to sell to, nothing to write about. This supercedes the ads form the ORV manufacturers.I'm glad to see this discussion on the blog.

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from mike wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

More parks should possibly be built such as the one here in Florida. Croom (the name of the park) is a large tract of land designated for 4-wheelers and dirt bikes.

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from Dylan wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I agree. Forest service land is set aside as a place for the public to enjoy the ever shrinking natural habitat that remains. It is a place where wildlife can live free from the hindrance of urban society.Allowing ATVs to roam freely in the parks is not only a nuisance for hikers and hunters, but also for the wildlife that reside there. A leisure cruise on 2 tracks is one thing, but forest service land is not a race track and needs to be respected. I feel good about paying taxes for forest service land when I know it is remaining wild and untarnished.

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from Dave M wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

This seems to be a good compromise solution and places the responsibility of knowing where ATVs are allowed where it belongs: on the rider. Now let's take it a step further and compleatly ban jet skis from all public waterways. At least ATVs have some practical uses, wet bikes and jet skis have none!

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from Mike Diehl wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I think this is a great policy. We taxpayers purchased the land (our ancestors did, anyhow) and we pay more taxes to maintain the land. The ATV crowd have been, to my observation, consistently irresponsible, causing damage that all the rest of us (on foot, NOT causing damage) have to pay for. They drive in washes. Constantly. Which is illegal where I live. Most of 'em don't even pretend to stay on the crummy two-tracks that existed before they came around. Instead they're busy creating NEW 2-tracks by driving over every piece of relatively open ground they can find. And while they're doing it, they're usually yahooing along at high speeds trying to set new records for "tallest dust plume."

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from Matt Mallery wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

I hate ATVs. Get off you fat, lazy ass and walk!

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from Andy wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

yes they're right.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

Yeah, Im with you guys. I help pay for a lot of federal lands through my tax dollars, but that doesn't mean I should be able to do whatever I want in them. By this logic, I should be able to head over to Yellowstone and dig-up plants for my yard at home, cut down trees for firewood and poison out the bass in the ponds to encourage walleyes.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

At risk of being flamed mercilessly I say "Hurray!!!"Too many careless riders tearing up the landscape. Stay on the allowed routes!SA

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from Phillip wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

This will fly in the faces of lots of folks, but I'm glad to see the USFS stepping up to do this.I realize that a relatively small percentage of off-roaders is responsible for the negative image that many non-ATV riders have of the sport, but that's a problem that proponents will have to overcome or live with. It's no different than the image problems hunters face when a couple of yahoos "defines" the whole community with stupid or unethical actions.Point is, ATVs are noisy and destructive, and should be confined to specific areas (roads and designated trails) just like any other motorized vehicle. I've seen more hillsides marred and destroyed by ATVs and dirt bikes than I care to remember. Hell, wild hogs aren't even that destructive and most states are trying to eradicate them.

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from mike wrote 6 years 33 weeks ago

i do not beleave that this is right.......we the tax payers pay for those lands so we shold be able to drive 4 wheelers and orv on them....i hope michigan dosent do this. i think im going to wright my congressman right now

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from kmullins wrote 8 weeks 1 day ago

I live in Central Florida and in the Ocala National Forest we have designated areas to ride, it helps preserve the forest. If we don't follow the rules and ride in those designated areas we could get our rights to ride in the forests taken away from us. If you live in the Central Florida area and are looking to buy an ATV or sidexside check out this website. www.seminolepowersports.com

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