by: Scott D. Heiser
Read the title of this article. Now, read it again. This is what our children are going to be saying to us if we keep doing things at the pace we are going. I live in a great area, with plenty of trails in just my backyard to go wheeling on. It saddens me to see what has been done to these trails, and what I see other people doing while “four wheeling”. I have the pleasure of having some fun trails, lined with rocks and trees, and GREAT scenery all within about 10 minutes of me.
The problem is, all the “locals” decide that they should tear the entire area up, crawling up trees to take pictures of their rigs flexing, and running over the dead trees, that are a good fifty feet off the trail. Most, if not ALL of these people also feel that it is necessary to drink WHILE wheeling, and then proceed to throw the empty cans out of their rigs, into the forest. While I know that this is not the case for everyone, I have seen it countless times, in countless locations.
With actions like this, it won’t be long before this hobby of ours will become extinct. It’s pretty sad, that this day in age, it seems that people can’t go out into the wooded trails, or the desert and have a good time without a beer in hand. If we want to continue to see the hobby of four wheeling grow, and want it to be around for our kids to enjoy, we really need to crack down on those that trash our trails, and get drunk and tear things up while “four wheeling”.
I know many of you have seen this countless times. I can’t be the only one. There isn’t much we can do to STOP these activities, but we can sure voice our opinions to A LOT of different organizations, and if you see someone drinking excessively and wheeling, say something to them.
Sure, you may not be the “popular” guy, but I for one would rather be unpopular now, and save the trails for my future children, instead of seeing all the trails closed off to the public, so my kids can’t enjoy what I love to do. My hope is that one day I will be able to help a son of mine build a rig of his own to wheel out here in our national forest, but the way things are going, its not looking like that is going to happen. I see more and more trails get shut down to public use every year. It is usually for a variety of reasons, not all of them related to belligerent four wheelers, but we can sure help the cause by straightening up our act.
Below, you will find a few organizations to support. Your donations will support their fight to keep our trails open, so that our children and grand children can enjoy the trails for years to come.
http://www.sharetrails.org/ - BlueRibbon Coalition
http://www.ufwda.org/ - United Four Wheel Drive Associations
http://www.fopv.org/ - Friends of Panamint Valley
So, in conclusion, please support these organizations. They are some of the MANY that continually fight, not only to stop people from driving drunk on the trails, and trashing our land, but also to keep these trails open for all to enjoy.
Scott D. Heiser