Public Lands are a privilege. This privilege comes with a
responsibility. If you are out enjoying these public lands you need to be a good steward of these lands.
Public lands are slowly being taken away. You might ask yourself why or blame the government and land officials. However, we need to take a deeper look. More and more recreational users are using these lands. There are many who do not use them responsibly.
Officials are starting to close trails and limit use. Here are my Top 5 Tips for you to help protect our off-road trails.
Number One - Educate Yourself
Starting January 1 of this year Utah now requires operators of off-road vehicles like quads, side by sides, high modified 4x4’s and more to take an off highway vehicle education course. LINK for online class
It’s free and only takes about 30 minutes. I took the class and now have my permit. The online class videos are filled with a lot of great information that is very important to help keep our trails from being destroyed. When the trails get destroyed they eventually will close them down.
Number Two - Travel Responsibly Use the tread lightly principals. www.treadlightly.org Travel responsibly by staying on the designated trail as this will keep from widening the trails. You can do this by following the trails signs, get a map app or check with the local agency for maps such as the Forestry Department for paper maps. Don’t go around obstacles go over them. Going around the trail obstacle widens the trails and this magnifies the negative impact on the land. Some of the places we wheel have very sensitive ecosystems.
Number 3 – Pack It In Pack It Out - You hear this a lot because it’s very important. Don’t leave your trash on the trail. Take it back out with you and dispose of it properly. Clean up after yourself AND others.
Number 4 - Research Check out the area you are going to wheel ahead of time so you can avoid the sensitive areas. Even when it comes to your footsteps. Up on the mountains above the tree lines even your footstep can destroy the land for decades. In the deserts of Utah they have very delicate desert lands.
Number 5 – Pictures and Videos Only show videos and pictures of responsible behavior on social media. Showing reckless behavior only promotes it.
If we all just do our part we can keep our trails open for future generations to enjoy.