Imagine you owned a beautiful spread of land in the West or quiet oceanfront property along the North Carolina coast. Would you let reckless visitors on all-terrain vehicles tear up your land? Allow dirt bikes to harass the wildlife, or even worse, crush the plants and small or slow-moving animals like baby birds and sea turtles? Would you permit jeeps to drive up the stream that trickles across your land, polluting the water?
Unfortunately, this is what's happening all too often on America's great national forests, parks, seashores, and other public lands — the land we all own. In many places, abuse by off-road vehicles is trashing our public lands, ruining the habitat that critters rely on, and degrading enjoyment of these lands by quiet users and muscle-powered recreationists.
Motorized off-road vehicles — a broad category that includes dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, jeeps, and snowmobiles — have become the scourge of our public lands. Due to increasingly irresponsible behavior coupled with technological advancements and poor government management, riders continue to use these vehicles to push their way even further and faster into remote areas, leaving few wild places safe from their reach.
The ecological damage caused by off-road vehicles is frequently devastating, and the writing on the wall is unmistakable: if we continue down the path of “anything goes,” soon we'll have nothing left. We know that just as most Americans care about their own backyards, they don't support destroying our public land, water, and shared natural heritage.
That's why the Center continues to fight an aggressive campaign to curb further off-road vehicle excess. We're committed to securing strong protections, rules, and enforcement for key areas and threatened and endangered species across the country.
Off-road vehicles have become a leading threat to the ecological integrity of many of our country's most biologically rich public lands. The Center is working diligently to protect these valuable areas.