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Are you Green?
by Scott Hatch
I ask you a question, what is wrong with being ‘Green’? What is wrong with caring for the Environment? Can we be ‘Green’ if we drive a modified vehicle? What if I was to drive my Modified Jeep on an established trail to get deep into the wilderness so I could hug a tree? Just because I support responsible OHV use on established trails, why can’t I be green? I recycle, not as often as I should, but does this make me a bad person? When I’m driving through the wilderness on an established trail don’t I carry out more trash than I carried in? How many times I have looked in contempt at the people destroying our sport by driving around obstacles because they are too tough? When I see a trail closed off because of an irresponsible act wouldn’t I have done the same if it was my land? Would I want to see a species of animals wiped off the face of the earth forever? Don’t I want to see my grandchildren enjoy the wilderness the same as I did when I was a child? Although the first time I ever saw a deer it was down the barrel of a rifle, I’ll never forget the experience. A nice 10 point Buck with its head raised majestically. He was standing proudly on the edge of the field master over all! He watched me in contempt as I slowly, silently, tried to stock closer even though he was up wind from me. When I was finally in range for a shot the buck effortlessly flashed his white flag to me and was gone. I never got off the shot, but did I even want too? Just that moment was enough for me to want to preserve the wilderness for my children so they could also feel the same exhilaration I felt that day. What is wrong with advocating RESPONSIBLE OHRV use? I do not agree with the Environmental Groups and what they are trying to do. I was checking out a web site and I found almost word for word what we are trying to do with the Northeast Association of 4WD Clubs. These are some guidelines I copied from the ‘Enemy’s’ site: Guidelines: OHRV use is allowed only on system roads and trails designated and posted as open for OHRVs. Cross-country (off-trail) OHRV use is prohibited. Isn’t this what organized OHRV clubs have been saying for years? Stay on the path and if you need a bypass you shouldn’t be on the trail in the first place. Designation of OHRV routes can only occur where the USFS can demonstrate that use of the route by OHRVs will not cause adverse environmental impacts. Although this is open to interpretation and the extremists would say anywhere would cause ‘adverse environmental impacts’. I would not want to drive over an Alpine sensitive area or through a marshy area that could cause serious silting, not to mention I would most likely sink out of site if I tried! How many times have you seen tracks into a marshy area? Many ‘irresponsible’ wheelers would like to give it a try and see if they could make it regardless of the harm it may cause. Designation of OHRV routes, upgrading of existing routes to accommodate new or additional OHRV use, and the construction or upgrading of facilities for ORV use must be fully analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act I am not even going to try and say that I know what the ‘National Environmental Policy Act’ is. However there are provisions for: OHRV use is prohibited unless adequate monitoring and enforcement of the use and its impacts is fully implemented Abuse it and loose it! People must stay on the trails and the Association has talked about enforcement of any stewardship that they may receive. I say that we can be ‘green’ and be 4 wheelers too! We need to do it in a responsible way, treading lightly where ever we go! If you see trash on the side of the trail why wait for someone else to pick it up? Can’t make it up an obstacle? Throw out the winch instead of taking a bypass; aren’t we wheeling to make it OVER obstacles and not around them? I am for the environment and what is wrong with that? It angers me when I see the heaps of garbage at the trailhead. I want to see the environment saved for future generations, but not by closing it off for everyone. I can make a prediction that if we don’t start to take on a ‘green’ attitude our sport will be dead inside of 10 years, if not 5 years in the North East!
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