Off-Road Vehicles and the Natural Environment

Austin Priebe (TC)'s picture

The natural environment in Michigan is one that is used for a multitude of purposes which has caused an increasing amount of conflict not only in Michigan, but other states as well. The rise of off-road vehicles (ORVs) has begun to create a divide between those who enjoy natural resources for its beauty and those who enjoy natural resources to utilize powered machines that many claim cause too much destruction. Because of this clash, strong opinions have been shared and much debate has occurred to limit the amount of ORV use on public land.

As the articles below highlight, Governor Rick Snyder has expanded “the use of off-road vehicles on state forest land.” By doing so, many environmentalists argue ORVs will expedite the deterioration of public land, ultimately causing soil erosion, which can lead to very negative effects on rivers and lakes. On the contrary, ORV enthusiasts are ecstatic over the resent approval by Governor Snyder as they now have thousands of miles more to enjoy on their high powered machines.

Moving forward, this clash of how natural resources should be utilized continues causing a stir of emotions as Michigan has continuously had environmental issues in the past. However, being two sides of the spectrum, I look forward to hearing your answers to the following questions:

  • Is soil erosion caused by ORV use on public land a big enough concern to reverse Government Snyder’s ORV trail expansion? Please give insight into your thoughts.
  • Should public land be specifically designated for particular uses or open to all recreational activities and why?
  • What is a way to make both environmental enthusiasts happy at the same time?