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Know the West

Common ground in the ORV debate

  In response to Dave Skinner’s essay, I must confess to being what he calls a "greenie" (HCN, 5/10/04: Motorized recreation belongs in the backcountry). But I implore you, Dave, don’t give up all that quickly. You might have allies you have not counted on.

First, however, allow me to establish that in western Nevada where I live, motorized recreation enthusiasts are oftentimes a cut below the "don’t be stupid" advocates you describe. They pursue their arcane "sport" with disregard for the fragile desert ecosystem and for anyone else who might value it. Each outing (I do mine on foot) I find new country they have invaded and digested. Tired of last week’s trails, they turn this weekend to new, untrammeled land, and are the very essence of the sheep credo: They go nowhere alone. Rather, they travel in yammering packs of a dozen or more.

Having said this, I find encouragement in your words. Perhaps if responsible bikers such as yourself tell your side of the story as you so ably did in your article, common ground can be found. It would be best to strike a compromise, and this compromise must include eradication of this sorry lot of irresponsible bikers from our public lands. If those who remain will pursue their sport in a conscientious and responsible manner, motorized vehicle enthusiasts should be able to enjoy pursuit of their sport alongside others who enjoy their own recreational activities.

Steve Pellegrini
Yerington, Nevada