Agencies urging users of motorized vehicles to stay on trails

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 3:06 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal and state agencies are working together to keep motorized vehicles on trails within Utah's public lands.

RIDE ON Designated Routes is a new statewide campaign that has united land management agencies to educate outdoor recreationists who use motorized vehicles on the lands.

The campaign, which launched Saturday, was created by Tread Lightly!, a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.

It unites the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration in the effort.

Tread Lightly! also brings funding and support from the private sector, such as Yamaha’s OHV Access Initiative and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, making it a public/private partnership promoting conservation and sustainable outdoor recreation.

The outreach effort is centered on the slogan RIDE ON Designated Routes, originally created for national application but now being customized with Utah-specific messaging.

Since 1998, the number of off-highway vehicles registered in Utah has nearly tripled, putting additional pressure on Utah's public lands, especially in popular riding areas. RIDE ON reinforces that responsible recreation is the key to preserving and protecting Utah's many great motorized recreation opportunities.

The initiative will also expand to address issues including safety and resource damage.

The public agencies and Tread Lightly! will research and evaluate the impact of the messaging and their outreach efforts on riding behaviors and on the condition of public lands over the next five years.

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