Outdoors blog

ATVers want detour around Idaho Fish and Game laws

HUNTING -- Some hunters who ride all-terrain vehicles to pursue their quarry have gone to the Idaho Legislature in a bid to expand where they can drive, according to a story just moved by the Associated Press.

Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, is giving the off-roaders some traction with a bill that would strip the Idaho Fish and Game Department's authority to regulate where hunters can ride their ATVs.

The agency limits ATV travel by hunters during hunting seasons to established roads on about a third of Idaho’s 99 hunting units, mostly in the open spaces of southern Idaho.

The agency has made the case through research that restrictions are needed to protect big-game herds from overhunting and too much disturbance.

But some ATV riders told the Senate and House resource committees today in Boise that they see the state agency in cahoots with the federal government to limit access to public lands.

Those people clearly have not paid attention to the evolution of Fish and Game's ATV restrictions.

Idaho sportsmen who don't use ATV's have been the strongest voice against unregulated ATV use during hunting seasons  -- not Uncle Sam.

Read on for another news item, just moved, that impacts Idaho ATVers.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has struck down the plan designed to oversee motorized vehicle use on hundreds of miles of trails in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

The ruling issued Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush deals a blow for those who use all-terrain vehicles to explore the mountains and backcountry in eastern and central Idaho.

The judge determined the plan written by federal forest officials failed to adequately protect natural resources and fully comply with environmental laws.

The plan was challenged in court last year by a coalition of environmental groups. They argued the plan gave too much access to ATVs and other vehicles that can cause damage to established trails, wetlands, vegetation and stream banks. 




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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