Organized off-road vehicle riders are trying to recruit more members in the uphill effort to maintain access to enjoyable trail riding routes for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.
Tracks that stray off authorized trails can lead to more restrictions and loss of access for all riders, they say.
The North Idaho ATV Association Web site pleads for riders to stop going off a designated route into Hells Canyon for fear that the only good access to that portion of the Snake River will be closed to all motorized users.
The Spokane Winter Knights Snowmobile Club has worked hard to maintain snowmobile access to Inland Empire Paper Company lands near Mount Spokane. The company has considered closing the area to snowmobilers because of off-trail riding that breaks off the tops of young trees and curbs timber production. Last week, however, a group of snowmobilers rode past the club’s signs requesting riders to stay on the groomed trails and laced the young-growth hillsides with tracks.
In addition to doing trail work, clubs are trying to educate riders. For example, members of the Back Country ATV Association based in Athol have already made responsible riding presentations this spring to several North Idaho schools, said Richard Lambert, club president.
“The problem is that we need more help,” Lambert said. “We have three or four master trainers, but we need more because there are a lot of people to reach.”