Ogden Sierra Club -- Off-Road Vehicles
Use of off-road vehicles (ATV's, dirt bikes, pickups, and SUV's) is
widespread on the public and private lands surrounding Ogden. Much of this
activity is perfectly legal and no more harmful to the environment than driving a car along a highway.
Unfortunately, illegal use of ORV's is also widespread, and tends to be extremely
damaging to vegetation, watersheds, wildlife habitat, and opportunities for quiet and solitude
in our public lands. Illegal ORV use also violates private property rights and is frequently
unsafe for both riders and others whom they encounter. To compound the problem, signing and
law enforcement tend to be minimal, so the boundary between legal and illegal ORV use is
In recent years, the Ogden Sierra Club has played a lead role in documenting ORV-related
problems in our area, lobbying land managers to take action, and educating the public
about this issue. Please browse through the documents linked below to learn more.
Ogden Ranger District Travel Plan Revision. In April, 2006, District Ranger Chip
Sibbernsen issued a decision to open dozens of additional routes in the Ogden Ranger District
to motorized travel. Many routes are to be converted from nonmotorized trails into motorized
roads and trails, while several completely new ATV trails are to be constructed. This
decision is the latest step in a multi-year effort by the Forest Service to promote ORV use
at the expense of quiet recreation.
The Ogden Sierra Club has released a 30-page report titled Public Disinformation:
How the Forest Service Encourages Illegal Off-Road Vehicle Use. The report describes more than
two dozen ways in which the Ogden Ranger District has failed to effectively
implement its designated-routes-only policy toward motorized travel.
- Read the press release summarizing the report
- Download the full report (pdf, 1.8 MB)
- Update: During the two months following the release of our report, the signing
and public information in the Ogden District have improved significantly. Here is a
letter to the editor thanking the District Ranger for these
improvements. However, it remains to be seen whether the Forest Service administration will
adopt policies to ensure that these problems are solved elsewhere.
Off-Road Vehicles in the Northern Wasatch. This introductory article
summarizes some of the problems affecting the Ogden area, the current push to open
more ORV routes, and the response of the environmental community.
Northern Utah Trail System (NUTS). This page summarizes the
ever-changing status of this ORV mega-trail project spanning hundreds of square miles of
northern Utah. The project used to be called the Shoshone Trail.
Southern Utah's Paiute Trail
provided the inspiration for NUTS. This photo-essay highlights some of the issues, similarities,
Snowmobile use can create many of the same problems as summer ORV use. This brief
photo essay documents a few of these problems and the similar attitude of the Forest Service
toward enforcement of closures.
Much (though not all) of the content of this Executive Order is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations:
- 36 CFR 261.13
(prohibits careless, reckless, and damaging use)
- 36 CFR
295.2 (ORV-related planning in National Forests)
- 36 CFR
295.3 (public participation in travel planning decisions)
- 36 CFR
295.4 (public information on ORV regulations)
- 36 CFR
295.5 (requirement for monitoring of ORV impacts and immediate closure when there are "considerable adverse effects")
- 36 CFR
295.6 (annual review of travel plan)
We maintain a photographic database of ORV impacts in the
Ogden area. The database contains over 1500 photos with GPS coordinates and location maps.
Access to the database requires a password. If you are affiliated with the Sierra Club,
an allied organization, or a public land management agency, feel free to request the
password from Dan Schroeder, 801-393-4603,
Please explain briefly who you are and how you wish to use the database.
We work with these other terrific organizations on ORV issues:
Volunteer opportunities: If you would like to help us with ORV monitoring or
public education, please contact Dan Schroeder, 801-393-4603,
Back to Ogden Sierra Club
Last modified on 2 July 2006.