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National Forests to Restrict Off-road Vehicles

Paraphoe

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I don't know if this is news for any of you guys, but it is for me...More ground lost. :(


National Forests to Restrict Off-road Vehicles

By Traci Watson, USA TODAY

Americans who ride all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and four-wheel-drive trucks will face new limits on where they can travel in some of the nation's biggest and wildest natural areas.

Off-road vehicles no longer will be able to travel freely through national forests, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday. Instead, motorists will be limited to trails selected by forest officials. The restrictions do not apply to snowmobiles, which don't do as much damage as other off-road vehicles.
 
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351wExplorer

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my big problem with the whole snowmobiles dont do as much damage is this...

why cant i run my anywhere in the winter with my quad and my ice racing tires... i mean i wouldnt do any more damage then a snowmobile

same with a truck as far as that goes. it wont tear it up any more then a snowmobile, in the winter, when the ground is frozen
 
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dreamr

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Though I probably should not say it on here, I am glad!!!!!

The irresponsible few are really creating havoc in my neck o'the woods.....
And it disgusts me.

What will really happen is that you have to be street legal to operate on Forest Service roads......simple enough.......

Most individual FS districts maintain a variety of recreational systems including 4x4 and motorbike/quad areas which will remain in place.

The ruling is more specifically focused on environmental issues that have arisen due to poor land management and the good ol' boy practice of mudding. Not to mention the fact that many on Bikes tend to try and forge their own path......

In short we all pay for the few who will behave poorly. :rolleyes:
 
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unclemeat

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This has been standard operating procedure in the George Washington National Forest for a few years now.
 
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Mbrooks420

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I am with Dreamr on this one. I go to the Allegheny National Forest a few times a year camping, and the amount of damage that the rednecks do is disgusting, and pointless. Like by a campsite we freqent is a hill about 40 feet high on a 45 degree angle, with 20-30 huge ruts running most of the way up. There are trees at the top and no possible way to get up. They just like getting drunk and spinning rooster tails and getting their crappy 10 inch body lifted POS muddy.
As someone who owns a sled, a bike, and some atv's, nothing causes less damage than a snowmobile, as long as there is a few inches of snow. Atv's and bikes rut and dig even in the snow. I used to think the same way, and rode my atv on sled trails not realizing why the snowmobilers would get upset. Then I started riding sleds on the "public" trails and it became obvious really quick. On all the hills, and rough spots the a-hole atv's would get stuck and rut the place up so a running start wasn't possible.
 
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Ritsui

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I side with the Forest Service as well. The whole point of National Parks is preservation of the land for the public good, so when a small number of morons continually trash the environment and ruin it for both the wildlife and the visiting public, the land has to be put first no matter how we feel about it from a OHV access point of view.

We see this constantly in the San Bernardino National Forest and it's not just "rednecks" doing the damage. In spite of numerous reminders to 'keep on the trail' and 'tread lightly', we see everything from new trails cut to bypass locked Forest Service gates, to wanton destruction of public property (picnic facilites destroyed) to outright environmental sabotage (dumping, poisoning, etc.). It's frequent enough and bad enough that I'm ready for a "whatever it takes" approach which could include shutting down the very trails I love to drive. We do it to protect the land after wild fires, why not do it to protect the land from idiots?

Of course, I'm only talking about trails which fall within protected areas of the National Forset. With sympathy for wheelers on the East Coast, there are still plenty of BLM areas available here on the West Coast for OHV recreation.
 
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TheFox88

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Ritsui said:
I side with the Forest Service as well. The whole point of National Parks is preservation of the land for the public good, so when a small number of morons continually trash the environment and ruin it for both the wildlife and the visiting public, the land has to be put first no matter how we feel about it from a OHV access point of view.
Same here. I live in a place that is surrounded on all sides by national forest. I would hate to see it shut down entirly, but sometimes it seems that that is what needs to be done. Its a shame that it has come to this.
 
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Moab Explorer

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I also agree that the Forest Service has made the right decision. This ruling actually changes nothing in Utah & Colorado, the forests here have had this exact policy in effect for many years now. Now if the FS can just get more LEO's out there to catch the jackasses who tear up our public lands I'll be happier.
 
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Positive Vibes

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I kinda agree. But the amount of damage done by off road vehicles it minimal compared to what the logging companys do!!!!
 
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CodePoet

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Ok fine...then shut it down to hikers, bikers, and horses as well. They polute, leave trash, disregard posted trails etc. and can cause more damage than a 35" tire.

Close them all to protect them! right?
 
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Mbrooks420

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Your average hiker or amper doesn't do as much damage as a set of 35's.
 
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CodePoet

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Mbrooks420 said:
Your average hiker or amper doesn't do as much damage as a set of 35's.

Haveing problems finding where i got that from right now...for now...i withdrawl what i said :(

At any rate it's not one set of tires, or one hiker that causes the problem, it's the cumulative effect. If your gonna ban one it's only a matter of time before you have to ban them all. **EDITED for being way to pesimistic** :(
 
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dreamr

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CodePoet said:
Ok fine...then shut it down to hikers, bikers, and horses as well. They polute, leave trash, disregard posted trails etc. and can cause more damage than a 35" tire.

Close them all to protect them! right?

I put in well over a hundred miles a year on mountain trails often closer to 200 miles on my poor feet and boots.

I wander from highly used forest service trails to forgotten fishermans/miners/possible game trails.

You are right when you say that hikers and campers can make a hell of a mess. It is unfortunate and disgusting. However it's not as bad as you would expect, because for every fool their is one who will clean up their mess like me. Realistically a backpacker can't make that big of mess anyway unless he is the hulk and can actually hike with a hundred pound pack.

A couple years back I bought the Explorer to help me explore some of those roads the VW Golf broke breaks, CV's, and finally the front crossmember on. I have explored numerous areas such as these, and occasionally I have to fill my truck up with some asses trash. At every possible obstacle or mud hole along the way the earth and vegetation is torn to shreds, the hillsides scared permanently and rapidly eroding because of some dip shit thinking he's got him a "tough truck".

As I built the Ex I had to try it out in ORV areas for testing. I was completely and utterly appaled.
My first trip to Tahuya.....The land has been completely raped by logging. Now they have a ORV park through it. It was sad to see a woodland environment utterly destoyed by 35" tires and chainsaws..........Overall though the park was relatively clean thanks to the Quadrapaws?.

Reiter Pit is a place I have wandered a couple of times. Here we see once again a woodland environment raped and scarred by 35". The other element to reiter though is what will eventually get it closed. As you drive through there are hundreds of bypasses to stuff willy nilly, and throughout it all is trash, and more trash, and more, and an occasional carcass of a car or rig........

This summer Albino 94 LTD and I spent a fair amount of time on the trails around the salmon le sac area. This is obsolutely gorgeous country!!!!!! All of the trails are mostly old mining accesses and provide easy to moderate wheeling popportunities with absolutely gorgeous country. This area is well managed by the ranger district, and most respect it......however there are many virgin alpine meadows with 100-200 year old heather groves that have been torn to shreds by a jack ass in his 4x4. Hillsides that have been ripped to pieces by people seeing if they can make it to the top only to slide down again. I myself went up with people that I met through the internet. I was disgusted! Is it fun to tear things up just because no one has gone that way before?. Just because their is a bit of mud should a meadow that only sees the sun 1 or two months out of the year be torn up so you can have a muddy trophy to drive back into town? Just because the lake is dry for the first time in years must we go race around in the moist bed or race down the remaining streams. Obviously I left early.......

Back to the point in no way could a hundred pair of boots used recklessly do the amount of damage that 4 35" tires could when used recklessly. Now obviously I enjoy engaging my transfer case, though what I really enjoy is seeing what is around the next bend. The ride in, challenging or easy, is just the ride. I do not seek challenges for my X unless testing I merely seek beauty and solitude.

For all of you that I know through this site, for the most part you see this the way I do, though you also seek the challenbge of the trail. The difference between those seeking the challenge of the trail merely rest on their level of responsibility. To run the Rubicon must be amazing both for the sights and the challenges, if used respectfully it will remain for many years to enjoy. This is true of our own neighborhood wilderness as well, and I know most of you treasure it as well.
However the point is this.
No matter how we treasure it. Others not so responsible are going to desecrate it in the name of "fun" and then we get to lose our responsible access as well........

Why is it always those few who cause the issue. They could just be executed and we could have free access, but that is just to bloody, so access has to be restricted/regulated for everyone.
 
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Mbrooks420

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Well said. I've dealt with the rampant garbage leavings, and the pointless destruction to nice land, and trees since I started camping. I always have to pack at least an extra large bag out with me every time I go, but my biggest complaint lately is the rampant logging they are doing in the PA Allegheny Forest. Every time we go there is another logging road, cutting the distance between virgin wooded land in half. There are also noticable expansion of the gas wells. It's sickening to see more of it destroyed every year. It's so discouraging that I may seek out some new less pilaged parts of the park. :(
 
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CodePoet

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We do the same thing as far as picking up trash along the trail. It is sad that a few jackasses ruin it for us all. Were the areas loged clear cut?
 
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uh60james

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If you want to go out and get muddy find a buddy who is in the army. Plenty of tank trails and driving courses to tear up, thats what there for. The national parks are for everyone. I have no problem staying to the trails the parks pick, but that needs to apply to everyone who uses the parks not just those driving atv's.
 
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Mbrooks420

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They aren't clear cutting in Allegeny, yet, the people probably wouldn't stand for that, but they are slowly eating away the forest like termites.
 
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Moab Explorer

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I can't speak for what the logging practices are in Allegeny, but in my part of the world actual clearcuts aren't allowed, and any area that is logged has to be replanted.

As for logging & oil & gas exploration, that's what made practically every road/trail I know of. Besides, without the wood products most of us wouldn't have homes to live in, books & newspapers to read & in some cases drugs that keep us alive. without oil & gas wells we wouldn't have fuel for our vehicles or heat for our homes, and all old well sites have to be reclaimed after the well is no longer viable. Yes that stuff initially appears very destructive, but ultimately it provides benefits, jobs, and products that we all demand, and in the end it gets restored back to a point that 95% of people could never tell it was there.

So the next time you get disgusted by logging or a gas well, think about how many trees it probably took to build your home and make the paper you use in every day life, think about the electricity that is generated, the heat provided, and in some cases the fuel for vehicles provided by those wells. Would you really prefer to live your life without those benefits and products?
 
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Mbrooks420

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National Forests are to enjoy nature, and to preserve land, not to be used like a breadbasket. The roads they are building in Allegheny aren't going to just go away. And I'm not taking a road, a few miles of wilderness, and then another road, they are simply swiss cheesing the whole place to get any big timber left. Replanted forest won't replace what was there for about 100 years. 50 gas wells per mile aren't going to disappear in my lifetime either. There are quite a few derelect gas wells rusting away. If replanting forest is so successful let Georgia-Pacific replant the hundreds of thousands of acres they own.
 
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ih8chevy

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Tellico ORV area is also in danger of being shut down. U.S Forestry service is monitoring trail useage and "by-pass" trails being that are popping up everywhere. The main cause(but not the only) is ATV's. ATV's and lightly modified trucks are wheeling on trails rated with higher difficulty and by-passing the "hard parts". The Forestry Service and 4wd clubs are trying to work together to stop this from happening. There are trails designated for ATV use only. Trail 10 loop is one of such. It will take all of us who enjoy the use of the ORV area to take action to stop the idiots who want to wheel on a trial too hard for their vehical and by pass the tough spots. If you're in the Tellico area and want to help out with the efforts stop by the Tellico Hatchery and see my cousin Rob Theurer who is a volunteer trial caretaker with Southern 4wheel drive Association and Southeast TLCA. Tell him Jerry sent you.


Let's all work together to keep our Tellico open.
 
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