We, the American People, collectively own well over 600 million acres of land, which by some estimates is nearly 40% of the total American land mass. These public lands are managed by:
• The U.S. Forest Service (FS)
• The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
• The U.S. National Park Service (NPS)
• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).[Not a valid template]
It is my belief, as well as that of those governmental management agencies, that no singular type of recreation is exclusively appropriate for all public land, but rather that there are many types of valid recreational activities, and that within the vast public land holdings there are at least SOME areas which are appropriate and legal for motorized recreational OHV use. But RECREATIONAL MANAGEMENT is a must! It‘s good for everyone because it specifies which of those areas are appropriate for what kinds of recreational use, minimizing user conflicts and ensuring that no one has their chosen recreational experience “ruined” by anyone else.
As Jeep 4×4 enthusiasts, we should be doing THREE (3) things to improve our public image, especially with the folks we share our trails with:
#1 — SELF-POLICE – Make sure our image isn’t dominated by the few “bad apples” out there. If you see someone doing something that’s wrong (for example, driving off the trail), TELL THEM! 9-times-out-of-10, they probably don’t even know it’s wrong!
– If YOU want to know what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”, consult your handy-dandy TreadLightly! Guidebook, which you should carry in your Jeep. If you don’t already have a TreadLightly! guidebook, go to their website and order one (or several, and give them out to your wheelin’ buddies and fellow club members); the guidebook is FREE and full of great info.
#2 — MINIMIZE USER CONFLICTS – If you see other non 4×4 users on a trail, be as courteous as humanly possible.
– Give them the right of way.
– If they’re on horseback, shut off your engine so you don’t scare the horses! Basically, make sure that the NON-JEEPERS you meet on the trails have a POSITIVE experience dealing with us.