BLM Sees Worsening Off-Road Crisis (Marauding bands of off-roaders now threaten the public)

BLM Sees Worsening Off-Road Crisis Risking Visitor Safety. Ranger Ordered to Ignore Emergency in “Near Riot” at Utah’s Little Sahara. News Release form P.E.E.R.

“Over last Easter Weekend at Little Sahara,  37 injuries, including a state Highway Patrol officer, and some 300 arrests and citations were tallied. More than 50 officers from state, federal and local agencies called to the scene tried unsuccessfully to cope with numerous sexual assaults and other attacks attributed to marauding bands of off-roaders.”







  1. Dave C. Avatar
    Dave C.

    Well this is a tough situation. We use to have that problem down here in Southern Calif. So what they did was shut down just about every dirt road they possibly could. It didnt really occur to me how many forest/fire roads were closed until I went and bought a jeep. I returned to the roads that my dad use to take me on when I was a kid and they either put a gate in front of them or huge pile of boulders. I have to drive over an hour or more to find any kind of off road area that hasent been locked. There are two sides to this coin though. Had they not shut down those areas, illeagal shooting, dumping,and the destoying of everything in site would have continued to take place. Its sad to see such morons tearing up this world. I guess they just live for today. I am a little suprised to see it happening in Utah, I figured people up there know what a treasure they have but I guess not. Maybe the people of Utah should get ready for locked gates and huge piles of boulders. Let me tell you it really sucks!

  2. Trout Underground Avatar

    What a mess. Spring Break, ATV Style…

  3. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    Like Dave C., I used to ride off road in So Calif. I retired from riding in 1992. The effecte tool that the BLM is closure. If the ORV users can’t abide by the law, then they have no “right” to ride on public land. The Code of Federal Regulations give the BLM and the Forest Service all the justification for closure, mainly the degradation of resources. Now all that needs to happen is the BLM get a manager, with guts, to enforce the law

  4. Josh Avatar

    A recent report came out with recommendations on how to achieve effective enforcement. Their recommendations were: 1) Make a commitment – Engage in serious enforcement efforts; 2) Lay the groundwork – Create enforceable routes and regulations; 3) See and be seen – Engage in visible action and meaningful collaboration; 4) Make riders responsible – Promote a culture shift among peers; 5) Use the force – Incorporate technologies that work; 6) Fit the punishment to the crime – Make penalties meaningful.

    While, as Rick says, a BLM manager with guts would be necessary, the recommendations of the report do make sense.

  5. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    I live in Arizona, I have a jeep and I am in 2 jeep clubs. We have been having the same problems on our trials, too many people, destroying the trails, not staying on trials and we have a major boarder crossing problems too. The BLM and local service’s started threating to close down our trails also. What we have done out here is worked with local agencies and we are aiding them in catching, reporting, and ticketing people in offroad vehicles of any kind that are not adhering to the “Leave no trace” slogan, and reporting boarder crossings areas where trash etc is left. Some of our jeepers in our club have been hired by BLM to drive and patrol certain off road areas, they even get to drive a cool Jeep to do it in! We have many volunteers doing that. As a club all of our members carry oil soak pads, cleaners, trash bags etc.. to clean up any mess we may leave, also we always take large trash bags with us on all runs and pick up a bag each of trash and take it out with us, once a month we have a “Clean up run” and hit some of the most abused trails and do nothing all day but haul out trash, pull out old abandond vehicles etc. If you really rally and show the BLM you are willing to help and do your part they are more than willing to work with you. It is a shame that a few “Bad off roaders” ruin the land and our chance to escape the city and get back to nature. And when you are out there on the trails if you see people abusing, talk with them, most are unaware of what they are doing, if they are still being a arse about it, take a picture of video of them doing the bad deed so to say, get the license plate # and report it, let them know you are doing it too, that way they know some people will take action and think twice before doing it. And if you see them down the trail aways stuck, because of being stupid, just smile and wave as ya drive by them!!! We normally don’t do that we always help out people on the trail in our club or not, but the real stupid ones, we leave them out there stuck, so they may learn a lesson!!! (unless they have kids or woman with them then even then we will help them)

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    With today’s technology of cell phones, especially those that can send digital photos, as well as larger, but most excellent digital telephoto cameras, it is potentially much easier to document, alert, and apprehend those who break the rules.

    I have done this once. I got a very clear photo of 3 teenagers in a 4 x 4 obviously driving their vehicle behind a “closed” sign.

    I wrote the photo files to a CD and took it to the Pocatello police (it was city park lands).


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan