While it may be tempting to go out on an off-highway vehicle (OHV) after a rainstorm when the temperature is cooler and the ground is fresh, doing so can cause long-lasting damage to the habitat. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) advises that OHV operators turn around if they encounter wet and muddy roads.
While the practice of “mudding” — purposefully driving through wet areas, whether it’s a meadow, lakeshore or water tank for wildlife or ranchers’ animals — may be touted as fun on places like social media, it can cause long-lasting damage to the habitat and forest roads.
In addition, when an area is wet, riding can tear up the roads and trails making them impassable for others. Even a lighter-weight OHV with low-pressure tires can cause lasting damage to an area.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, mudding has many negative impacts:
It’s also a safety issue for riders. OHVs handle differently on wet roads than they do on dry ground, so use caution and drive at slower speeds when roads and trails are wet.
If you see someone mudding, call 1-800-VANDALS. It’s helpful if you can get a license plate number and description of both the OHV and the operator as well as a location of the activity so law enforcement personnel can follow up on the information.
For more information on responsible OHV use or to sign up for a safety education course, visit azgfd.gov/OHV.
John Stewart Managing Editor - 4x4Voice - 4x4Wire - MUIRNet.net Natural Resources Consultant - California Four Wheel Drive Association - http://www.cal4wheel.com Board of Directors - BlueRibbon Coalition http://www.sharetrails.org
OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting. Copyright (c) 1999-2020 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission. You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material. All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.