And the debate continues, snowmobile management on our public lands. I can see it being a tough decision for the USFS and I understand comparing a quad/4WD to a snowmobile although similar machines with similar impacts (physical and social), there are also very different impacts as well that they cause.
Most notably in the summer with OHV’s off trail use; creating illegal trails, vegetation damage, and erosion. Then with winter snowmobile use there are no trails. Unless I’m mistaken a major part of managing OHV’s in the summer is keeping people on designated routes. However summer OHV’s are far more limited in their access to illegally using designated Wilderness, where as snowmobiles don’t need trails and seem to be fairly common in the Desolation and Mt. Rose Wildernesses here in Lake Tahoe.
As mentioned a tough one for the Forest Service, especially since it seems that the first thing to get cut from the government’s budgets is recreation. With or without a management plan that appeals to all users will they be able to enforce regulations? Doesn’t seem like they have the means to enforce Wilderness boundaries now.
An update on the topic from http://www.newwest.net, click on anything below for the full article:
The U.S. Forest Service today denied a request from recreation groups asking that snowmobiles on national forest lands be managed under the same guidelines applied to all other classes of off-road vehicles.