Blue Mountain Motorcycle Damage

Letter to Editor:

Once again irresponsible motorcycle outlaws have ruined efforts on Blue Mountain Recreation Area to rehabilitate past motorcycle hill climbing damage.  The damage includes new vertical ruts that will funnel runoff water causing even more erosion damage in the future.  The rehabilitation of past motorcycle damage at this site cost the public $36,000, including hand erosion control, seeding, and mulching.

The Missoula Ranger District has tried to accommodate off-road motorized recreation by establishing motorcycle and ATV trails only to have thoughtless riders leave the established trails to damage adjacent public lands, such as recently occurred at Deadman Point.

Responsible off road riders wanting to have motorcycle and ATV opportunities in the future need to take action to curtail irresponsible behavior such as occurred on the Blue Mountain Recreation Area at Deadman Point.  Legitimate off-road riders need to advocate and support much stronger law enforcement, including large readable ORV identification, stronger penalties, and even a substantial reward system for reporting illegal behavior.  To police their own, they need to work with judges and magistrates to ask for substantial penalties to hold irresponsible off-road users accountable for their blatant disrespect for public lands.

Off road enthusiasts can not expect support from the public for continued public land opportunities if they tolerate such damage to our treasured public lands.

Greg Munther
Chairman, Montana Chapter
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

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