Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 13:27:06 -0600
To: oped@missoulian.com
From: Willie <williesjeep@blackfoot.net>
Subject: letters to the editor


The 5/28/06 Missoulian editorial stated “Accord could be crucial fork in the trail” but overlooked other glaringly crucial points.

The “partnership strategy” approach for timber companies and environmental groups managing forest land is unique and innovative, but flawed. Various sciences provide a solid underlying premise, but neglecting social science and humankind’s need to recreate is a serious moral infraction.

“X” number of USFS roads are available for motorcycle, ATV and 4WD vehicle travel; however, 90% of these can also be traveled by family passenger cars. Few offer loop trails or lead to meadows, lakes or historical sites. Few offer the motorized recreationalist a challenge.

The writer’s assessment of “some” ... “tearing up the hillsides” is accurate but doesn't acknowledge the vast majority of us who stay on the trails and are willing to cooperate with the USFS to develop new, less damaging but vehicle-challenging trails. The USFS seems to turn a deaf ear and would rather close areas than find solutions to existing problems. Being “green” in our society seems the only environmentally correct and acceptable mindset.

We need to speak loudly and clearly into “the other ear.” We must be diligent in self-policing disrespectful actions of the “some.”

Montana Backroads 4X4 Club, and the seven others that comprise the Montana 4x4 Association, have contributed countless hours of physical and verbal effort in working with the USFS and other agencies. Our solutions are likely assigned no priority or publicity because we don't chain ourselves to the Court House doors. Let’s establish a network of safe yet challenging trails, with corridors through protected wilderness areas

Consider that over 35 businesses that cater exclusively to motorized recreation advertise in the local Yellow Pages. In Missoula alone there are at least four businesses that specialize in 4x4 vehicle repair and modification.

Willie Worthy, President
Montana Backroads 4x4 Club Inc.