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Monday, June 1, 2009

Reckless in the Desert

Posted By on Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 3:34 PM

85e4/1243892167-owyhees_011.jpgI usually don’t like to put my complaints in print. But this weekend, while roaming the Owyhees I saw far too many blatant examples of something that really irritates me: hillsides torn up by ATVs and motorcycles.

ATVs and motorcycles have a place, and it’s on the established roads and trails—of which there are no shortage. Why a few crude individuals feel the need to scar the side of a hill so they can see who can go the farthest up is a mystery to me.

To some, the open lands of the high desert seem like a wasteland, where they can do whatever they want. But the desert is far more fragile than some believe. The area depends on a delicate balance, and some yahoos marking a hillside leads to erosion, which destroys the vegetation upon which native
species are dependent.

Besides, it’s just crude and pathetic behavior.b311/1243892261-owyhees_009.jpg

I’m not an anti-motorized recreation person, but everything has its place, and the poor conduct of just a few people has disastrous impacts on the image of all riders. Most ATV and motorcycle owners are responsible recreationists who just want to have a little fun and are ethical while they do it.

Places like the Owyhees are public lands, where a multitude of recreationists can enjoy the area in an array of ways. But that might not be the case in the future if a few crass individuals insist on treating it like a dump, without concern for their actions.

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