The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest has released its Draft Environmental Impact Study for Travel Management Planning. All of us who cherish quiet recreation and the conservation of our public lands need to stand up and be heard. The ORV industry is large and vocal.
There are 36 million registered All-Terrain Vehicles (ATM’s), also called Off-Road Vehicles (ORV’s), and 12 million registered snowmobiles in the U.S. And nearly 93 percent of the 262 million acres of public land in the U.S. West and Alaska managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is open to some form of off-road vehicle activity. More than 400,000 “ghost roads” have been carved into the American wilderness by these vehicles, and only 2 forests, the Hoosier in Indiana and the Monongahela in West Virginia, do not allow off-road vehicle use. The prolific usage of these off-road vehicles as a source of recreation is a major source of air, soil, and water pollution. These motorized vehicles disturb wildlife habitat and natural vegetation, and destroy national monuments, parks, forests, deserts, and even archaeological sites.