Off-road vehicle use fuels tension, violence across U.S.

Most violence over private property and those who try to enforce the law-

This is according to USA Today. By Emily Bazar.



  1. Alan Gregory Avatar

    Interesting, and timely, note in the article about Pennsylvania’s ORV-related troubles. I have been near the spot mentioned in Westmoreland County, Pa. The underlying problem in the Keystone State is the density of developed roads, which only makes it easier to tresspass with an ATV (I call them ORVs).

  2. Salle Avatar

    It’s the truth. Many, and I’d say far more than ten per cent, of these ORV folks disobey laws and private property rights of others and then whine when their own private property is violated by someone else. In addition, many don’t have registration tags on their vehicles, many terrorize hikers and others, including wildlife and other ORV operators because they think that the annonymity of their gear makes them invincible under the laws since they are hard to identify. And getting the authorities to actually do anything, including investigate offenses, is harder than coaxing a mule up a ladder.

    Property damage is not a concern for the majority of those I encounter and they seem to adopt a mindset of; “freedom to rip up the landscape is my right but you don’t have the right to object if you don’t like what I’m doing for fun.” And residential proximity to trails trumps legality and ownership rights. “I lived here for x # of years and then these a*&^oles move in and now I can’t go where I used to…” even though it’s public land and the use rules have changed for everyone. They can’t accept change and don’t consider themselves to be included in the “everyone” concept.

    You have to wonder where it can go from here. Just because you can run someone over with your vehicle or hurt them while escaping detection is okay because you might not get caught?

  3. chuck parker Avatar
    chuck parker

    My favorite ATV ad of all time was a John Deere snowmobile ad from back in the 70s that said, “Suddenly there’s this magic moment: it’s you against the mountain.” I mention this because if you turn on a TV and you don’t know what station/program you’re watching, the ads you see will tell you all about the audience. With pro football, it’s beer, trucks, and Viagra. America’s Top Model advertises different products for a different audience. An ad that targets people who jump on a snowmobile to pit themselves against the mountains–against nature–is really disturbing. Talk about a bad attitude!!! Of course snowmobiles, ATVs, and other mechanized toys for boys have names like the “Invader” and “Big Dick” rather than “Mr. Insecure” and “Little Wiener.”

  4. Salle Avatar

    LOL, Chuck, and …

    you’re soooooooooo right on! I don’t have a TV and refuse to have one in my possession, since about 1980. I watch on occasion so I can see what advertising campaigns are spewing to fuel public ignorance. I worked in advertising for a couple years and it made me feel like a criminal so I moved on to something else.

  5. JimT Avatar

    Ban ’em unless you can show a necessity for your job. Or, require they are hybrids or plug in electrics. ORV crowd has shown they are incapable of moderating their behaviors, or using peer pressure to stop the damage on both private and public lands. I grow weary of using rational dialogue and thought processes engaging these folks when there is no give back on the other side.


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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