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2 Articals in the Tribune Pro ATV (Read 836 times)
Ghost Rider
Sponsoring Member

I Love Utah!

Posts: 525
Riverton Utah
Gender: male
2 Articals in the Tribune Pro ATV
04/11/09 at 17:39:11
Well two articals in the Salt Lake Tribune. I am in beside my self. I found this in the Tribune today.

Wilderness, ATV trails can co-exist
The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake Tribune


We all have epiphanies in our careers, experiences that change the way we view the world. When it comes to writing about motorized recreation on public lands, I had two such mind-opening encounters.

I met a recreation planner named Garrell Nicholes when I began writing about the outdoors in the mid-1970s. He took me on motorcycle rides to Maze Overlook in Canyonlands National Park and along the old Transcontinental Railroad bed in northern Utah to promote the legal use of these vehicles on designated trails to enjoy the scenery. Gary taught me there were no "right" or "wrong" types of recreation, only legal and responsible.

The second epiphany came about 20 years later when I spent a few days with Kent Taylor, then supervisor of the Fishlake National Forest. The Paiute ATV Trail, now one of the top trails of its kind in the world, was being built through the middle of Utah using a series of old dirt roads connected with new trails. None of us had any idea then that the popularity of ATVs would increase to the point where there are nearly 100,000 registered in Utah this year.

What I remember most is Kent pulling out a forest map and a plan, showing me the decisions he and his staff had to make in considering wildlife, grazing, logging, mining, wilderness and motorized recreation. He said he preferred to use the term "multiple choice" instead of the more common "multiple use" way of managing public lands. Since all lands could not be used for all needs, choices had to be made.

Because of Nicholes and Taylor, I recognized that with planning, the needs of different public land users could be met, often while avoiding major conflicts.

That brings me to the never-ending conflicts between environmentalists who favor more wilderness designation, and motorized recreation users who want places to ride. Both special interests regard their pursuits as the best possible use of public lands while often failing to consider the other group's point of view.

I remain convinced that public lands managers have an obligation to meet the needs of both the human and motor-powered recreation user through the kind of multiple-choice planning that Kent Taylor explained to me years ago.

We need more designated wilderness in Utah. It is good to set aside vast tracts of land so those who follow us can make some decisions about their uses. Wilderness has intrinsic value for recreation and science.

That said, we also need more places for motorized recreation -- coupled with better law enforcement to keep riders on designated trails.

Public lands are for the public and all users have the right to expect that, within the limits of the land, their needs are met.

If you don't believe this is possible, drive the Mirror Lake Highway this summer. The road leads to three good ATV riding areas -- one of which serves as the Beaver Creek cross country ski area in the winter -- next to Utah's premier wilderness area showing that, with good planning, the needs of all can be met.

Tom Wharton can be reached at wharton@sltrib.com or 801-257-8909.

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Bill McIllwain
Full Member

The Paiute Trail

Posts: 83
Junction, Utah
Gender: male
Re: 2 Articals in the Tribune Pro ATV
Reply #1 - 04/11/09 at 18:01:49
I believe we are making a difference. The future is looking just a bit better every week.

Thanks Smiley Ghost Rider

Bill McIllwain
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