Overuse of ATVs Threatens Backcountry Hunting

We believe there is a place for off-highway vehicle routes on public lands, but that we need greater controls and better enforcement in the face of growing human population and ever more powerful machines.

| October 5, 2009

  • ATV tire
    ATV abuse and overuse endangers the health of wildlife habitats, rivers and streams — the very the foundation that supports the American pastimes of hunting and fishing.
    ISTOCKPHOTO

  • ATV tire

The phrase “fair chase” has a very specific meaning in the hunting world. The Boone and Crockett Club defines it as “the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging, wild, native, North American, big-game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.” This means fair-chase hunters pursue their quarry on foot; hone their skills so they make quick, clean kills; and they obey the law.

But today, this fair-chase ethic is under assault on many fronts.

Members of the Minnesota Backcountry Hunters and Anglers understand, as most sportsmen and sportswomen do, that healthy wildlife habitat, rivers and streams are the foundation supporting the American pastimes of hunting and fishing.

We believe there is a place for off-highway vehicle routes on public lands, but that greater controls and better enforcement are necessary in the face of growing human population and ever more powerful machines.



The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has taken some initial steps to better manage ATV use on public lands in Minnesota by closing a limited number of motorized routes in the Cloquet Valley State Forest (and in other state forests) to protect wildlife habitat, wetlands and other sensitive areas, while leaving more than 80 percent of the forest’s routes open to motorized use (“ATV closures in Cloquet Valley State Forest confuse, anger some users,” Sept. 20). We applaud the DNR for closing these motorized routes.

“The presence of ATVs on public hunting grounds will probably be one of the largest contributors to loss of hunting opportunity that we’ve yet experienced,” Jim Posewitz, director of Orion: The Hunter’s Institute, explained in the summer 2008 issue of Forest Magazine. “It puts the animals at a disadvantage. It violates the security that wildlife once had in difficult terrain.”






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters