Congress Holds Hearing on ORV Epidemic

Tenmile ATV
Copyright Liz Thomas/SUWA.
On March 13th, the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives brought in witnesses to testify to the inability of land management agencies like the BLM to manage the astronomical growth in off-road vehicle (ORV) use on public lands over the last few decades.

BLM Deputy Director Henri Bisson said in his written testimony that "the combined effect of population increase in the West, unauthorized user-created roads, explosive growth in the use of (off-highway vehicles), advances in motorized technology, and intense industry marketing have generated increased social conflict and resources impact on public lands."

This kind of oversight from Congress of ORV management problems further emphasizes the failures of Utah BLM in their currently proposed ORV travel management plans for the Colorado Plateau.  If the agency does not have the resources to keep motorized users on designated ORV routes, then it should designate a route system that will be easier to manage and enforce.  A better route system would keep some areas free of designated routes, such as those areas identified by the BLM to have wilderness character or those lands proposed in America's Red Rock Wilderness Act.

Only good things can come from Congress finally being told what we've all known for far too long.  For more information about the impacts of ORVs on Utah wilderness, click here.

 

 

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