OHV trail closure | TheUnion.com

OHV trail closure

By complaining about the loss of a few trails used for their enjoyment, an Other Voices from May 10 ignored the stewardship responsibility of the Forest Service to effectively manage the public’s forested lands.

The multiple use mission of the Forest Service requires evaluation of relative impacts from various uses. These include grazing, recreation, energy production, logging and mining. Wildlife, air and water quality, soil condition and vegetation are impacted by these uses. These are the values that the Forest Service, in trust to the public at large (not just to motor “enthusiasts”), is charged with maintaining.

Damage from off-road motorized use, including noise and air pollution, spill of toxic substances and erosion are relatively high. If the potential damage from a single hiker is defined as one impact unit, the impact of a single motor “enthusiast” might be somewhere around nine out of 10.

There are 6,725 miles of roads and trails in the Tahoe National Forest and 50 miles of user-created motorized travel routes are proposed for addition to the system. OHV users are given a lot of freedom to drive their motors on Tahoe National Forest lands, despite the disproportionate damage left behind.

Stephen Benner for the Forest Issues Group


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