Letters to the Editor
Philipsburg Mail
PO Box 160
Philipsburg, MT 59858

"Four Wheel Drive Enthusiasts Cross the Line" highlighted problems that we as a four wheel drive community are regrettably still dealing with. Irresponsible 4WD users in the Maxville area trespassed behind closed gates and drove through meadows.

Reckless and negligent users threaten all that we have worked so hard for. All the compromises we have reached are jeopardized when a group of people does something so blatantly irresponsible and selfish.

Granite County Commissioner Cliff Nelson is absolutely correct. They did know better! Every 4WD organization in the country has been working for decades with local governments to bring the message of Tread Lightly! And environmental stewardship to all motorized users.

Road and trail closures happen for many reasons, and all users, while perhaps not agreeing, must respect the decisions of the Forest Service and the BLM if we ever want to see roads and trails reopened.

Clubs like ours, Montana Back Roads 4x4 Club Inc. try to educate new users by teaching them where to go, how to ‘wheel, and how to make sure that the areas they enjoy stay open. One way to keep trails open is to take care of them, and trail maintenance is a proud legacy of clubs everywhere. We have offered our services to the Phillipsburg Ranger District, to not only help restore the damage but to put up barriers as necessary to prevent it from happening again.

To all irresponsible 4WD users out there: Responsible four wheelers are banding together to stop you. To stop you from giving us any more black eyes, to stop you from giving anyone any reason to dislike and stereotype us, and to stop you from threatening all that we have worked so hard for. We absolutely do not condone your childish, obscenely rash behavior. If you must destroy what others have earned, then try ‘wheeling’ in your driveway. That's what could happen if no one respects the land and the privileges we have. In fact, do everyone a favor, and don't leave your driveway.

Derek Emerson

Montana Back Roads 4x4 Club, Inc.