March 24, 2018

ATV Use Under Review

atv-forestI suppose it had to happen sooner or later. The Ashton / Island Park ranger district is seeking public input on ATV and off-road-vehicle use in the Island Park area. I’m really torn on this one. I really like being free to go where I want on my four wheeler. I ride these trails virtually every day in the summer and I enjoy watching the wildlife and and wildflowers as I go.

On the other hand, indiscriminate use has hammered the local environment. I have seen many who ride with no respect for the land, and the land bears the scars of such use. Signs indicating closed areas are often ignored and new “user created” trails create what amounts to a blight on the landscape.


The thing that concerns me in all this is that the tree huggers will restrict ATV use to the point that we’re unable to enjoy the land around here. It’s clear they have a heavy hand in the discussions when you read the guidelines. The first guideline for a possible restructuring of the land use is this: No decision that modifies the travel plan (that now exists) will add miles to the forest’s motorized trail routes. That makes it clear that this isn’t a comment period to see if things are going to get better — only a comment period to see how much worse they’re going to get.

If you feel as strongly about this as your environment-first friends, I’d suggest you make a comment to our friends with the Canadian mounty hats. You can rest assured the other side will be doing everything they can to close everything to ATV’s. If you come here to ride, you’d better get everyone you know who comes here to comment.

Comments can be emailed to: Or, if you don’t like the email route for some reason, you can fax your comments to 208-652-7863. Don’t wait. Changes are coming and if you didn’t comment, you forfeit your right to complain.


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