Roadmap to End Wreckreation
America needs a strategy to cope with the burgeoning safety and eco havoc wreaked by an explosion in off-road vehicle use and abuse on our public lands. PEER and Rangers for Responsible Recreation propose that we begin with three simple steps:
- Penalties that Deter: Todays infraction fines for off-road abuse are inadequate. Reckless off-roading should be punished by loss of hunting and fishing licenses as well as confiscation of vehicles when off-roaders are caught destroying property or ignoring the law, just as we confiscate weapons when people are caught poaching. Repeat offenders should face suspension of riding privileges, fishing and hunting licenses and, where appropriate, jail time.
- Tough Enforcement: Enforcement against off-road abuse is taking an ever larger toll on over-stretched rangers. Off-roading is fast becoming the number one law enforcement problem on our public lands. Congress and state legislatures need to immediately augment their affected public lands law enforcement budgets. In addition, they should also empower other public lands agency officials to issue citations.
- End Hidden Costs to Taxpayers: Taxpayers are footing the bill for the damage and havoc caused by reckless off-roaders. As yet, we do not know the full extent of these costs. Congress needs to conduct a thorough investigation and enact common sense solutions to the growing off-road problem.