Restricting Off-Road Vehicles Key To Preserving Peace

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The residents of south Star Valley applaud the proposed changes regarding open roads in the national forest (that would make all Forest Service land in Arizona) "closed unless posted open" to control irresponsible access by motorized vehicles.

South Star Valley residents have been trying for more than two years to have some regulations regarding the use of forest land by motorized vehicles around our residential community. Irresponsible riders of motorcycles and ATVs have been harassing our community, disturbing our peace and causing a great amount of irritability among our residents.

The Rim Country 4-Wheeler Club obviously is not aware of the problems caused by these irresponsible motorized-vehicle riders. Motorized-vehicle riders are not, as they stated, "a large percentage of folks of retirement age," at least not in this area. What we get over here are irresponsible youngsters and adults who don't care about the forest, road closed signs, disturbing the peace or harassing entire neighborhoods.

They are destroying a riparian area with a fresh water spring where many animals used to come to quench their thirst in the long dry summer. You don't see any animals any more. Even the grass is gone from the beautiful hillside.

An article in the Oct. 6, 2000, issue of the Payson Roundup by Mike Burkett titled "Neighbors rise up to fight ATV noise" explained very clearly the problems caused by off-road vehicles in this area of the forest despite a road closed sign at its entrance.

Mike wrote, "Heavily rutted, makeshift roads have been carved into the soil by dirt bikes and ATV tires, directly beyond a road closed sign. Trash is scattered everywhere."

We strongly feel that it is about time the Forest Service takes action concerning the irresponsible use of trails, roads and cross-country spaces by motorized vehicles in the national forests of northern Arizona. Most other national forest in the country have such policies regarding motorized vehicles to prevent abuse and destruction.

If you are concerned about preserving the beauty of the forest and about the quality of life of residential areas next door to the forest, support the Forest Service proposal. The peace of our communities and our quality of life is at stake.

Victoria Borrell, Member of Star Valley Residents Concerned About the Environment and Quality of Life

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