An Open and Shut-up Case
As more and more Americans flock to national forests for recreation, enviros are pushing the U.S. Forest Service to restrict or ban motorized vehicles on forest land. Off-road-vehicle users and their increasingly vocal lobbying groups are fighting back against such proposals. “This is the new land battle of the 2000s,” says Bob Jennings, a member of the United Four Wheel Drive Association, which lobbies for more motorized access. While traditional national forest uses such as logging, mining, grazing, and oil drilling are on the decline, recreation is soaring, and enviros say all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and Jet Ski-style watercraft are inflicting damage on ecosystems and disturbing the natural peace and quiet.