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Protect Shoshone Forest from ORV use

2014-04-06T00:00:00Z 2014-04-07T09:36:05Z Protect Shoshone Forest from ORV use The Billings Gazette
April 06, 2014 12:00 am

I am writing regarding the proposal to open a portion of the Shoshone National Forest to the motorized "wreckreationalists.”

Motorized recreationalists have more mobility, more power, travel farther and faster in a day and can have an impact on more miles of country than any other user group. Their presence dilutes others' solitude. They can inadvertently or deliberately trespass into wilderness areas and their use is splintering the landscape into a disorganized and destructive web of trails, roads and fragmenting wildlife habitat. Their impacts degrade soils, cause the spread of invasive plant seeds, stream channel instability and disrupt wildlife's life cycles. The U.S. Forest Service has recognized that the use of all-terrain vehicles have tripled in recent years and there has been an alarming jump in the ecological damage done by the drivers veering off designated road and trails.

Nationwide these vehicles are major source of hydrocarbon emissions, especially during the summer ozone season, and we need to dramatically tighten the emission standards, especially now with the announcement of a true climate change from human impacts.

Insufficient enforcement of existing regulations has resulted in thousands of miles of unauthorized routes. Some in this group have no regard for our environment and the law enforcement agents that try to manage them. They have been known to rip up tickets right in front of the agents, knowing they couldn't afford to bring them to justice.

We are being taken for a costly ride. We don't need to promote, accelerate or encourage their uses.

Jan Ziman

Cheyenne, Wyo.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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