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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a national policy to restrict their use, ATV and other off road vehicle use nationwide on Forest Service Land. The proposed rule is open for comment for 60 days (from July 7, 2004) before a final decision will be made.

Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth said that there are four major threats to the national forest system, 1) fire and fuels 2) unwanted invasive species, 3) loss of open space, 4) and the impacts of unmanaged recreation, particularly off-highway vehicles.

In a 2001 Dale Bosworth, then head of the Northern Region, put strict limits on motor-vehicle use in the forests, ordering vehicles to stick to designated roads and trails. He also ordered forest supervisors in the region, covering Montana, North Dakota and parts of South Dakota, to review all of their existing trails and roads and determine which ones - on about 10 million acres in all - should be closed.

Now as head of the agency, he will close thousands of miles of routes and many more millions of acres. Even roads and trails hundreds of years old could be closed under the plan. The agency said it intends to prohibit cross-country travel, and make it easier for law enforcement officers to issue citations.

Frank Landis, a forest protection officer in Colorado found ruts in a stream and new routes up a steep, sandy bluff to get at illegal trails that Landis' staff had recently blocked. "That is just a complete lack of respect for public lands," said a frustrated Landis. "I mean, what do we have to do, fence the whole road?"

"We're seeing impacts now that we just can't live with," said Jack Troyer, the intermountain regional forester based in Utah. "

If the national rule is finalized, individual forest service staff will "work" with the public to inventory all existing roads and trails to determine which are needed and which are ENVIRONMENTALLY damaging. The STAFF would then decide whether to continue to allow vehicular use, limit access to hikers, bicycles or horses, or close the trail completely.


Here is the complete text of proposed Forest Service regulations on off-road vehicles with contact information near the beginning.

Write the Forest Service today.

Write your congressional representatives too., your senator, and the president if you are so inclined Write your state and local elected officials. Notify your local newspapers.

Then copy this post (or write your own), and post it on as many forums for as many types of activities as you can think of. I have to sign up for forums, so it is very slow going. I need help getting the word out.

And for nay Sayers-the Forest Service says there are 35 million using ATV's. We can beat this, if we get the word out to ATV users.

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