There has always been a love/hate relationship with off-road vehicles. All-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, side by sides, the list goes on. They’re unsafe, they’re bad for the environment, people don’t use them properly, etc.
Recently, the NDP government here in Alberta announced it would close all trails that off-road vehicles use in the Castle Wilderness area in Southern Alberta. They plan on doing this within the next 5 years.
Environmentalists are ecstatic by this news. They say it’ll help with keeping water clean and safe for drinking in the area, as off-road vehicles damage landscape and destroy areas.
People have even tried to scare people away from using off-road areas by setting up traps. Such as fishing line strung from tree to tree that could severely injure someone.
I’m not here to say that off-road vehicles don’t wreck a little bit of land. Any measurable about of weight will change the layout of anything. So, obviously, a quad, dirt bike, side-by-side or anything like that will definitely have an effect. There’s no doubt about it.
But what about the people that don’t clean up after themselves? Or don’t have a care in the world and are reckless? Those who litter without a care in the world, leave their garbage out in the woods and rip up land unnecessarily, ruin it for the rest of us.
I am an off-road vehicle user. Growing up I would quad with my family, dirt bike with friends and spend countless hours out in the backwoods.
In fact, I grew up going up to a ranch back home in B.C., that had 600 plus acres my cousins and I would wander around every summer on quads, just to see what was out there.
I see many of my little cousins doing the same now, learning how to safely operate the equipment, wearing helmets, and not jacking around on them or being complete idiots.
I think some of it is how we’re taught to use off-road vehicles and treat the environment.
If you’re going out to strictly ruin the fun for someone else, by littering and being disrespectful to the environment, then by all means, you should have your privileges revoked.
I grew up learning never to litter, and destroy something so that others can’t use it. That just seems like common sense to me, but I could be wrong.
By closing-up the Castle Wilderness area you’re closing up many family memories that could be made.
Trips with parents and kids create bonds that last forever. You’re getting your children, friends and family away from sitting in front of the television, and out in the fresh air.
I am one who will never be for closing off wilderness areas. It limits people in what they can do.
You can’t quad in a city, you can’t dirt bike in a city, you can’t do anything. We’re going to push future generations into being couch potatoes. This is just the first step.