Montana Back Roads 4x4 Club Member Responses
to the 1/27/08 Missoulian Editorial
Response to Mr. Wuerthner
The analogy of not allowing someone to ride an ATV across a lawn makes no sense.The lawn is private land so the owner has every right to not allow it.Federal land is not privately owned land. I wouldn’t let someone camp on my lawn, but I can’t tell them they can’t camp on federal land. People camping on public land sometimes let campfires get out of control starting forest fires, which do more damage than all the Off Highway Vehicles, should we tell campers they are not allowed on public land? I think not.
He also said OHVs had a disproportionate impact on the landscape, wildlife, and other people. That OHV have an impact is true, that the impact is disproportional isn’t true. People and Horses both have an impact on public lands and a study conducted on the Gallatin National Forest stated they have a larger impact than OHVs in some respects.
There are hundreds of miles of trails for non-motorized travel on the local national forests, but as far as I know not one mile of OHV trails for full size 4x4s that is any challenge.
The statement was made that he thought it ironic someone could be arrested for spray painting a Forest Service sign, but we assume it is legal to tear up miles of land. Well, it is illegal to operate any OHV off of a road or trail. If you see it happening turn them into the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Public land is our land, and as such I have every right as an OHV operator to use those lands for my recreation, the same as everyone does.
Member of the:
UFWDA Blue Ribbon Coalition Tread Lightly
ATVs no less intrusive than horses
Hikers contribute to wilderness damage