Outdoors

Hunter makes case for visible license plates on ORVs


Connie Bauer, in front, Mike Dean, center, and Roy Yablonka, participate in the Buena Vista, Colo., ATV Historical Color Tour while riding through an Aspen canopy in the old mining district of Twin Lakes. This year's rally and festival starts Wednesday.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Connie Bauer, in front, Mike Dean, center, and Roy Yablonka, participate in the Buena Vista, Colo., ATV Historical Color Tour while riding through an Aspen canopy in the old mining district of Twin Lakes. This year's rally and festival starts Wednesday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

 OFF ROAD VEHICLES — After ATVers who ignored signs and violated rules spoiled an opening day hunt with his 11-year-old son, an Idaho sportsman calls for making off-road vehicle riders accountable.

Derrick Reeves of the Idaho Backcountry Hunters & Anglers makes his case in a commentary in New West online magazine.
 
A national ID standard should be established, and it would be most effective if the license or registration sticker was truly visible.
 
Read on for the main points of Reeve's proposal.

Reeves says says Idaho is on the right track by requiring ORVs to display registration stickers, but he says a national law ought to up the requirement for vehicles on public lands.

Even though he confronted the two men who road illegally onto timber company land where he and his son were legally hunting on foot, Reeves said he couldn't report the violation to timber company officials becasue he couldn't read the registration numbers to peg the trespassers.
 
“After describing our experience to other hunters, I learned the story of my son’s first hunt was not unique,” he said. “Across the country, hunters and landowners suffer from ruined hunts and private property trespass without the ability to identify illegal riders. Responsible Trails America (RTA) published a report that found only 12 states require ORVs to display a standard vehicle-sized license plate or large decal.”
 
To address this nationwide problem, Congress should require that ORVs used on public lands display a standard license plate or large decal, similar to a rule recently adopted by the Idaho legislature, but quietly abandoned. Visible identification will make it easier for law enforcement, outdoor users and responsible riders to report reckless and irresponsible riders.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


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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