Outdoors blog

Soggy public lands vulnerable to four-wheeling abuse

Off-road vehicle operators created this mud bog in Delaney Meadows area of the Middle Fork Calispell Creek on the Colville National Forest. ATVers and four-wheelers traditionally do significant damage to the area. (Rich Landers)
Off-road vehicle operators created this mud bog in Delaney Meadows area of the Middle Fork Calispell Creek on the Colville National Forest. ATVers and four-wheelers traditionally do significant damage to the area. (Rich Landers)

PUBLIC LANDS -- Every year, one can find the ruts of tire tracks over soggy forest roads  -- as well as trails and even meadows.

This wet transition from winter to spring is the most vulnerable time of year for roads, trails and off-trail lands and their associated plants.  

Colville National Forest officials do their best to remind visitors to drive only on roads designated open. Wet or muddy areas should be avoided.  

Unfortunately, some people think it's cool to spin their wheels and gouge mud holes in public lands, promoting ruts, erosion, weeds and death to certaiin plant communities.

Never mind that it's illegal. It's also costly and stupid.

Old homestead meadows, which often include rare plant species, tend to be targeted by "mudders," forest officals say.

Wondering where you can legally drive a passenger vehicle or off-highway vehicle? The Colville National Forest has a Motor Vehicle Use Map that  shows the roads and trails available to motorized travel. It's available ant any forest ranger station.

Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps also are available in Spokane at the BLM & Colville National Forest Information Office, 1103 N Fancher, in Spokane (509) 536-1200




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
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.

Follow Rich online:







Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801