Recreation officials urge safe and responsible off-highway vehicle use
Utah State Parks and Recreation and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials are urging people to ride their off-highway vehicles safely and responsibly this Easter weekend.
Riders should be properly trained, prepared, ride in a responsible manner and should remember to protect the fragile surroundings.
"Wildlife habitat is a particularly fragile environment," stated Bill James, habitat section chief for the DWR.
"Habitat, especially in lower elevations, is very dry because of the drought. Vegetation flattens easily and the undesired tracks become noticeable and may be used by other riders," continued the habitat official.
Off-trail riding of off-road vehicles in healthy, productive riparian areas also causes serious damage.
"These healthy riparian areas filter out sediments," James explained. "When OHVs are taken off-road and off-trail, sediment is loosened and washed into water by rainfall. Sediments hurt these areas in a number of ways, including smothering fish eggs (which need oxygen to grow), and choking out aquatic insect life that is vital to healthy aquatic systems."
State parks and recreation and the DWR, along with other land management agencies, remind users to protect their privilege by staying on designated trails and roads.
For information on off-highway vehicle laws and riding areas, contact the Utah State Parks and Recreation information center at 800-648-7433.