Off-road motor vehicles destroy nature

An article in today’s New York Times highlights the growing problem of off-road motor vehicles on our nation’s public lands. The problem I have with this article is that it attempts to be balanced, portraying the possibility that ATV and other off-road motor-vehicle use as recreation can be responsible.

Let me be clear about this: off-road motor-vehicle use for recreation is not responsible. The list of reasons is long:

  1. It creates air pollution, especially where the air should be its cleanest.
  2. It creates noise pollution, especially where unnatural sounds should least exist.
  3. It creates erosion by digging trenches in the soil.
  4. It brings yahoos and their alcohol into the deep forest.
  5. It creates green house gasses unnecessarily.
  6. It is a waste of fuel, and furthers dependency on Middle-Eastern oil.
  7. It creates an ever-widening web of roads/trails into areas where roads shouldn’t exist.

Anyone in the forest knows instinctively that motor-vehicles do not belong there, except for those that are required for working in the forest. An ATV is to the forest, what a chainsaw is to a tree.

Anyone who can’t enjoy the forest without a motor between his legs, should stay home. Period.


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