Outdoor recreation: Two-wheeled off-road safer than ATVs

Review shows ATV crashes much more likely to kill or injure than dirt bikes-

This is probably a big surprise. It is to me. I broke my collarbone on a dirt bike way back in ’84.  I didn’t ride them again.

Surprise: Two Wheels Safer Than Four in Off-Road Riding and Racing, Study Finds. ScienceDaily.

Southern Utah road battle turns into fight over records

Southern Utah county hides behind huge records request fee to keep citizens in the dark over efforts to build roads all over the public lands-

My hope is this county of inbred idiots keeps losing and wasting money until the public is totally outraged

Kane road battle turns into fight over records. By Mark Havnes. The Salt Lake Tribune

Udall, Salazar propose big fines for “mudbogging” on public land

Finally an effort to penalize mudbogging as a major crime-

Udall, Salazar propose big fines for big damage on federal lands. By Howard Pankratz. The Denver Post

Badger-Two Medicine motorized travel ban upheld

Judge denies an injunction request from off-roaders in a key wildlife area just south of Glacier National Park-

There have been a lot of battles fought over the use of the Badger/Two Medicine area on the national forest just south of Glacier National Park. A good portion of this is roadless, but vehicles use some trails and old roads. All of the area is important for wildlife, especially because it is more gentle than Glacier National Park (better habitat, at least in principle).

Recently the Forest Service adopted a new travel plan for the area. Like most travel plan revisions nowadays, the revision has been heated and the off-roaders went to court alleging violations of the law and the U.S. Constitution. The judge has now rejected some, but not all of the off-roaders’ claims and refused to give an injunction on the new travel plan.

Badger-Two Medicine motorized travel ban upheld. By Karl Puckett. Tribune Staff Writer. Great Falls Tribune.

Posted in Forest Service, public lands, wilderness roadless, Wildlife Habitat. Tags: , . Comments Off on Badger-Two Medicine motorized travel ban upheld

Pocatello: George Wuerthner presentations on “Thrillcraft”. Nov. 16-17

George Wuerthner, ecologist, writer, photographer, will be the featured symposium presenter in Pocatello, Idaho-

This will be of interest to SE Idaho outdoor enthusiasts.

Here is the story on the Nov. 16 presentation from the Idaho State Journal. Public lands v. Private Recreation. By Jimmy Hancock. Idaho State Journal. The headline is misleading because Wutherner clearly had no problem with recreation in general, just what he called “thrillcraft.”

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Bridger-Teton National Forest produces its long-awaited travel plan

Big news because this forest is so scenic, recreational and wildlife important-

With the growth in use of off-road vehicles, the travel plan for each national forest has become a bigger and more important decision. After a number of years of work and rounds of public input the Bridger-Teton National Forest in NW Wyoming has finally released their new travel plan.

Forest plan limits ATVs. Environmental groups, motorized use advocates praise formalized trail system, Bridger-Teton staff for response to public comments. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Utah Guv: ORV off-trail damage an ‘abomination,’ crackdown is coming

Utah’s Governor Huntsman wants a crackdown on ATV abuse-

Guv: ORV off-trail damage an ‘abomination,’ crackdown is coming. By Robert Gehrke. The Salt Lake Tribune

Although an off road vehicle spokesman condemned the governor, Huntsman is a dirt bike rider.

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Related. Oct. 7. ATV riders: Don’t be the bad apples who spoil it for all. Editorial by the Great Falls Tribune.

PEER tells Senate hearing off-road vehicle regulation going badly on public lands

There is a “showdown” hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee June 5 on the regulation of off-road vehicles on public lands.

This is a news release from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. No doubt off-road groups will have a different view.

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For Immediate Release: June 4, 2008
Contact: Carol Goldberg (202) 265-7337

OFF-ROAD VEHICLE ROUTE DESIGNATIONS GOING BADLY OFF TRACK — U.S. Senate Hearing Grasping for Solutions to Rising Toll of ORVs on Public Lands

Washington, DC — The national effort to minimize mounting off-road vehicle damage on federal lands by designating routes for motorized traffic is going badly off course, according to congressional testimony released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are wasting substantial time and money without benefiting streams, wildlife, eroding landscapes and the public who hike, fish and camp on these lands.

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US House Natural Resources Committee has hearing on ORV damage on public lands

First, the Las Vegas Review Journal. OHV misuse criticized in U.S. House .Off-road fans, critics face off: Even riders see damages left by few.

House panel told public lands overrun by ORVs. Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT).

“. . . the 300 arrests and 37 injuries at a gathering of 1,000 ORV users at the Little Sahara Recreation Area in Utah last year to illustrate how bad things are getting.”

Experts: Off-road vehicles threat to public lands. By Noelle Straub. Missoulian D.C. Bureau

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New and related. Colorado wildlife officers can now ticket for illegal riding. Grand Junction Sentinel. This will be a great help to the too thinly spread Forest Service and BLM enforcement officers. 

All-terrain vehicles restricted to only some terrain. Government limits off-road recreation

All-terrain vehicles restricted to only some terrain. Government limits off-road recreation. By Patrick O’Driscoll. USA Today.

The days of legal, recreational cross country travel on public lands of the United States (that is, off road or off trail) are just about over. Of course, there is little money to enforce it right now due to the failure of the Bush Administration to seek adequate funds for the agencies. On the other hand, the inexpensive way to write the rules if you have little money is to say “nothing off-trail” and a route is closed to motor vehicles unless a sign says it is open to them.

Related story in southern Idaho. Geared for conflict. Public land use evolves with high ATV traffic. By Matt Christensen. Times News.

Note: Congress actually appropriates the funds, but last year they could not produce a budget. So the government has been running for a year on a “continuing resolution,”or “CR.” which keeps the old budget figures intact (except for the “supplemental appropriations” Congress has since passed, mostly for the civil war in Iraq).

This year Congress has given the land management agencies a big increase, but Bush is threatening a veto and his stated that a CR might be OK for the second year a row.