Discussion Topic: Should ATVs Be Allowed On Public Land?

ATV use on public land is a hot topic in the news lately, sparking plenty of debate. Here are just a few recent examples:

From New Jersey's East Brunswick Sentinel:

Riders of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) frequent the county-owned park's 1,700 acres, trampling plant life and speeding erosion, according to residents near the park. When one trail gets flooded because of erosion, the riders simply create another one through the woods.

_[Area residents] have had their fill of all-terrain vehicles illegally tearing up and down public beaches along the island's most remote region, inflicting havoc on the environment, endangering the public and flouting the law.

"It's not like they're hiding it," said Jo Jordan, parks committee chair for the Wai'anae Coast Neighborhood Board. "They're blatant. They set up tents, have picnics, and bring their ATVs and big four-wheel drives and spend the whole day. They're brazen about it."_

And this from the Opinion page of Minnesota's PineandLakes.com, in which a hunter complains that only 4 percent of the state's 1.265 million acres of public land is closed to ATVs:

I'm one of the majority. I hunt and hike without an ATV. I can tell you what the academics and many other kinds of traditional users know: ATV use and a good-quality non-motorized experience are not compatible. ATV traffic displaces the folks who like a high-quality traditional experience. We're in the majority, but so far we have gotten 4 percent, and that is what we call the short end of the stick.

It’s clear enough where the residents and the hunter above stand on this issue. What’s your take? Tell us your opinion below.