In an attempt to defend ATV riders, (“ATV ride highlights need for respect as well as adventure,” June 22), Division of Parks and Recreation spokesman Eugene Swalberg said, "As with anything there are a few bad apples. But I think the vast majority [of ATV riders] are respectful of the resources and the park."
Damage is damage, and even if it is only inflicted by a small percentage of all riders, that still equates to thousands of people abusing public lands with these destructive machines, particularly the fragile desert crusts of Utah’s incomparable red rock landscapes where scars are often permanent.
Too many able-bodied ATV riders are not out to enjoy nature but to use it as a racetrack. How can they enjoy the sounds of nature when they can’t hear them over the rumble of an engine? How can they enjoy the sights and smells of nature while engulfed in dust clouds and exhaust fumes?
ATVs should be relegated to designated areas where they can’t spoil a natural experience for everyone.