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Why Tread Lightly!...?


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Treading Lightly is one of the best practices that we as public land users can do to make sure that we can not only continue to use our public lands in a variety of recreational manners, but also make sure that the natural resources and experiences remain intact for future generations. Its not about restriction, but rather about responsibility for our public lands and to ourselves, our friends and families, other visitors, and future generations.

So what does it mean to "Tread Lightly"? Well, we've developed our 5 Principles to break it down to basics:

Tread Lightly! Principles

Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and areas. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated crossings. When possible avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.

Respect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers, skiers, boaters, divers and those on or near shore.

Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.

Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds.

Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.

We gain a lot by Treading Lightly as a community. Please help us by promoting the Tread Lightly! ethics whenever you can. :D

For more information: Tread Lightly - Home

Also, you can follow us with social media!

Facebook: Tread Lightly! | Facebook

Twitter: Twitter

Myspace: Tread Lightly (Tread Lightly!) on Myspace

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Thanks for the support!! And please, feel free to ask here if you have any questions or desire for clarification, at all.

Edited by TreadLightly
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x2 on above thread. the less damage you do to Private property the more likely the owner will let you ride thru there land. respect property owners land and stay on marked trails. join and support your local atv clubs. it's very cheap and they are the one's who maintain and get permission for the trails that you ride.

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Tip of the week:

With many areas in western states still receiving snow (the year of the endless winter?) and high snowpack levels throughout, it is important to take a few things into consideration before heading out.

1) Check with local land managers to see if seasonal opening dates on gated trails have been extended.

2) Minimize use of extremely wet trails to avoid the creation of ruts.

3) Go through patches of snow, not around. Chains were not invented so that we could drive around snow-bashing opportunities :D

4) Be prepared in case the weather changes on you. Think extra clothing, water, food, and gear to spend the night if things get real bad.

Most of all... have fun and be safe out there!

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I agree and disagree. I dont want to start a riot, but I think the the whole tread litely thing is starting to be a bunch of B.S. I am being told I cant ride my quad because I may cause ruts and speed up the erosion process, but yet in PA where I live now the damn government is tearing the sh** out of everyfreakingthing to put up windmills. I guess none of that does anything to aid freaking erosion. I am so sick of the whole damn thing. Pretty soon I will have no where to ride and I now think all this tread litely stuff is just a damn excuse to cover up the government literally raping the mountains and trying to blame some one else for the damage. Thats just my 2 cents. That said I do ride responsibly and always have.

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I agree and disagree. I dont want to start a riot, but I think the the whole tread litely thing is starting to be a bunch of B.S. I am being told I cant ride my quad because I may cause ruts and speed up the erosion process, but yet in PA where I live now the damn government is tearing the sh** out of everyfreakingthing to put up windmills. I guess none of that does anything to aid freaking erosion. I am so sick of the whole damn thing. Pretty soon I will have no where to ride and I now think all this tread litely stuff is just a damn excuse to cover up the government literally raping the mountains and trying to blame some one else for the damage. Thats just my 2 cents. That said I do ride responsibly and always have.

I can understand your frustrations. However, comparing recreational OHV use to installing windmills could be considered apples and oranges. Recreational OHV trail use does require for active management whether its adoptions and trail days, or paid trail crews. Otherwise, just by the sheer nature of human trail use (motorized or not), the trails will undergo change. Whether that change is erosion, rutting, or even over-growth from non-use... There has to be active management. Government projects like windmills, forest thinning, etc tend to have a shorter life for activity on the landscape, and are often required (or should be) to restore the area after the project is completed.

How does that translate to Tread Lightly? Well, being responsible users (which I will thank you for) means that less active management has to be done, reducing the needs on those land managers to invest time, money, and personnel on the ground. Again, I do understand your frustrations, but also realize that its not a "government cover-up", but rather the desire from within the community to promote responsible use as a means to maintaining access in the future while still maintaining the natural landscapes.

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Tip of the week:

Now that summer has officially begun (by our definition, not the calendar's)... lets talk sharing and courteous use.

1) Be aware that with very few exceptions, almost all motorized areas are open to the vast majority of other uses. This could mean hikers, equestrians, and of course other riders/drivers in the area. Slow down in tighter areas and where visibility is reduced.

2) Motorized users yield to everyone, everyone yields to equestrians. Stop and say hello to other users if given the opportunity.

3) Use caution around equestrians. While many trail horses are getting more accustomed to vehicular travel, they can still be easily spooked. Stop well ahead of them, and turn off your engine unless waived by. On quads and dirt bikes, stop on the downhill side of the trail, as a horse's instinct with uphill movement is to anticipate a predator.

4) In general, yield to uphill traffic. This is not a rule, it's a guideline. Use common sense please, and most of all be patient. We've all been in situations where its in the best interest of all parties to yield to downhill traffic.

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I am all for treading lightly and respecting others on the trails, it's common trail safety/consideration for others.

My big issue is that the forest rangers and the parks and recreation association here caters more towards the coalitions trying to shut down local riding trails then actually fight for our rights to keep the trails open. Between having to do an environmental study to see what kind of impact an event will cause to the local wildlife, cause if you fail in one county you failed the whole state and you're not allowed to re-test for another year if not longer depending on who does the test and if the person doing the test likes your organization or not.

As well as training rangers on how to implement the new sound regulations correctly instead of just look at a bike or quad and just say "You have an aftermarket pipe you don't meet the dB requirements. Here's your ticket." Seen it happen and got in an argument with friend that's a wild life officer that claimed she could tell what dB level a quad was at without her meter. :aargh:

We all do our best to play by the rules but just like every other legislation agency in America there's to many private interest groups involved and crooked people in charge.

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Jonny,

Good points. Concerning sound legislation, it definitely is not a case where any law enforcement officer or ranger can tell the dBa just by looking. As someone who is certified in the SAE J-1287 test (industry standard) who has tested hundreds if not thousands of machines, I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn't be able to do that. Especially now that many of the aftermarket companies are making quiet pipes that maintain a more aggressive look, not to mention the plethora of other modifications that can affect sound, it is impossible without actually using a meter to be certain. I have had bikes with 100% stock intake, motor, exhaust fail due to bad maintenance, and highly modified bikes pass. The concept behind the sound legislation is a valid one, however. Most the riders I ride with prefer quieter bikes for many reasons including the fact that other trail users (motorized and not) respect and appreciate it, as well as the higher likelihood of seeing wildlife, etc.

Its an unfortunate situation if your group is being treated unfairly in the permitting process. I know of non-motorized groups who have had permit applications denied, as well as steep costs on insurance for the event. On the other side of the coin, I also know of many OHV clubs who have worked consistently with local land managers and have streamlined the permit process and are rarely, if ever, denied. There are likely quite a few hurdles for the non-motorized community as well, but the OHV community tends to be in the spotlight (for various reasons) more often, and so we tend to be under greater scrutiny.

All that said... We do appreciate your support and encourage you to continue working with those land managers to show the responsible side of OHV recreation as a means towards clearing up misconceptions and maintaining public access on public lands.

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I am all for respecting private property and not ruining good things for everyone by acting like an a-hole, throwing trash all over the place and things of that nature. I cannot, however, resist the urge to churn up large amounts of dirt and throw it all over the place when I ride. If I didn't leave torn up patches of dirt everywhere I rode, riding would not be any fun. That is not to say that I wouldn't respect certain areas where tearing up the landscape would be considere a douche move, but most of the trails around here get a severe chewing, courtesy of the DirtDemon. I also am a firm believer that a loud pipe has its benefits. For example, people and wildlife can better hear me coming and will have plenty of time to get out of the way before I go screaming by. Respecting property, and not littering, I can do. Pussyfooting everywhere, I cannot.

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Hope everyone is enjoying the start to the weekend!

Tip of the week:

Again, as part of both the "Educate Yourself" and "Do Your Part" principles, this week I am encouraging everyone to take a small amount of time out of your evening and complete our Online Awareness Course.

This online activity covers the basics of the Tread Lightly! principles and is a wonderful way to quiz your knowledge of what responsible recreation means to us as a community.

Enjoy: Tread Lightly - Online Awareness Course

Also, everyone who completes the course is entered into a drawing for a free hat, courtesy of Cabelas.

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I am all for respecting private property and not ruining good things for everyone by acting like an a-hole, throwing trash all over the place and things of that nature. I cannot, however, resist the urge to churn up large amounts of dirt and throw it all over the place when I ride. If I didn't leave torn up patches of dirt everywhere I rode, riding would not be any fun. That is not to say that I wouldn't respect certain areas where tearing up the landscape would be considere a douche move, but most of the trails around here get a severe chewing, courtesy of the DirtDemon. I also am a firm believer that a loud pipe has its benefits. For example, people and wildlife can better hear me coming and will have plenty of time to get out of the way before I go screaming by. Respecting property, and not littering, I can do. Pussyfooting everywhere, I cannot.

No one is asking you to "pussyfoot" around everywhere. I enjoy the thrill and speed of riding just as much as anyone, trust me. However, it is also important to note that there are places where speed and throttle are acceptable, and there are places where they are not.

For those who, like yourself, enjoy the "throwing of dirt" I usually recommend heading to the sand dunes. The great thing about sand it being able to toss it around until the sun goes down, with little overall impact.

As for the sound, there are two things to consider.

1) The legal requirements of the area. They vary state to state, and I would assume you are within that.

2) The respect for others. Your phrasing of "people and wildlife get out of the way" is something I would urge you to consider from the other side of the trail. As an ambassador to the sport that millions enjoy, we obviously strongly recommend yielding to non-motorized users (and definitely to equestrians). While it does slow down your lap times, it builds a positive reputation among those whom you encounter, which helps us all.

Loud pipes, while announcing your approach, are also one of the things that are used in travel management decisions to limit or even close areas down. The AMA and BRC have been working for numerous years to promote quieter machines, which perform at just as high, if not higher, level as louder counterparts.

5661447233_c5c8f65730.jpg

Just a Saturday afternoon 2-cents. Enjoy the ride!

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I do enjoy a good dune trip. I think I may have come across a little more careless than I intended to there. I do not go tearing by people and animals on purpose, if I see them before I get to them, I slow down and pass by them carefully. I am respectful and careful around the people who are out there walking their dogs and riding bicycles, horses and such. However, if they are on the other side of a corner, and I do not see them, they will at least hear me coming, and will have more time to get to a safe place in the event that I don't see them in time to slow down. It is not that I don't see the benefit of a quiet exhuast, I am just pointing out that there is at least one benefit to a loud pipe besides the performance. I am especially careful around horses, I know how startling a loud noise can be to them and the last thing I would want is somebody getting hurt because of my lack of consideration. While I do not treat the soil that nicely, I do respect the environment as much as possible by not leaving my trash on the trail and I don't senselessly destroy things, or vandalize things that may be out in the woods with us. I am in no way saying that the "tread lightly" ideal is something that I don't agree with. I guess the words just put a picture in my head of a person riding around very careful and not ever spinning the tires. Not that I think that is a bad thing, its just not me. I imagine the general idea is not to leave too big a footprint behind you. I may leave some tire tracks and displace a bit of soil wherever I go, and there may be a fair bit of noise made in the process, but I imagine that I probably follow the rest of the ideals that you are representing. I will follow the link you posted, take the course and tell you how it makes me feel. If there was a quiet exhuast system that performs as well as my Alba, I would consider switching. Although I must say, the idea of being too quiet honestly worries me. I like the idea that I can be heard by other riders who may be coming the other way around a corner

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As with every type of trail-based user group, the use of our quads/dirt bikes/4x4's/etc has the potential to change the trail and "move some dirt". Its constant awareness of the impact that may have, and changing behavior as appropriate, that lies beneath the "tread lightly" term.

Thanks for the post!

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Good afternoon everyone!!

Tip of the week:

With the 4th of July holiday weekend rapidly approaching, we hope that you and your friends and families are making plans to head outdoors to enjoy some responsible fun and celebration. Since we figure (and hope) that many of you will be camping, we wanted to toss out a few reminders about campsite ethics.

- Look for previously-used campsites, and camp on durable surfaces.

- Campsites should be at least 200ft from water sources, other campsites, and trails. Pay attention to local regulations (MVUMs, etc) concerning how far your vehicle can be off the trail for camping.

- Keep a clean camp. Place food and other products with odors in animal-proof containers or back in vehicles.

- Follow the pack it in, pack it out guidelines. Police your camp before you leave to leave it in better condition than you found it.

- Campfires are not for waste disposal. Please do not leave trash in campfire rings, especially glass.

All that said, lets all cross our fingers for beautiful weather and get back to planning that perfect trip!

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No one is asking you to "pussyfoot" around everywhere. I enjoy the thrill and speed of riding just as much as anyone, trust me. However, it is also important to note that there are places where speed and throttle are acceptable, and there are places where they are not.

For those who, like yourself, enjoy the "throwing of dirt" I usually recommend heading to the sand dunes. The great thing about sand it being able to toss it around until the sun goes down, with little overall impact.

As for the sound, there are two things to consider.

1) The legal requirements of the area. They vary state to state, and I would assume you are within that.

2) The respect for others. Your phrasing of "people and wildlife get out of the way" is something I would urge you to consider from the other side of the trail. As an ambassador to the sport that millions enjoy, we obviously strongly recommend yielding to non-motorized users (and definitely to equestrians). While it does slow down your lap times, it builds a positive reputation among those whom you encounter, which helps us all.

Loud pipes, while announcing your approach, are also one of the things that are used in travel management decisions to limit or even close areas down. The AMA and BRC have been working for numerous years to promote quieter machines, which perform at just as high, if not higher, level as louder counterparts.

5661447233_c5c8f65730.jpg

Just a Saturday afternoon 2-cents. Enjoy the ride!

dba Limits are pointless IMO We don`t build our quads so we can choke the power out by plugging up the exhaust:yes: It boils down to $$$$$ My Vemon exhaust is at 96dbls but thats still loud by Colorado law They should spend their time and $$ workin on safety for the riders:yes: Make a helmet law for insteance JMOI

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dba Limits are pointless IMO We don`t build our quads so we can choke the power out by plugging up the exhaust:yes: It boils down to $$$$$ My Vemon exhaust is at 96dbls but thats still loud by Colorado law They should spend their time and $$ workin on safety for the riders:yes: Make a helmet law for insteance JMOI

I agree I wonder were my V sits I haven't tested it yet o well I am sure I'll find out when I get my first forestry ticket.

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dba Limits are pointless IMO We don`t build our quads so we can choke the power out by plugging up the exhaust:yes: It boils down to $$$$$ My Vemon exhaust is at 96dbls but thats still loud by Colorado law They should spend their time and $$ workin on safety for the riders:yes: Make a helmet law for insteance JMOI
I agree I wonder were my V sits I haven't tested it yet o well I am sure I'll find out when I get my first forestry ticket.

If you're at 96dBa in Colorado, then you are within the limit. Its 99dBa for machines built Jan 1, 1998 and older.

You both are fortunate to have lots of sound-testing resources available around the state. COHVCO received a grant a couple years back to train and provide sound meters for clubs and land managers to be able to do educational sound testing. You also have the roaming staff at Stay The Trail who can provide that as well (I know Sam was at the Sand Dunes over Memorial Day, and I personally have tested hundreds of machines statewide since 2008). Most of the land managers i've spoken with in Colorado are still more concerned about the education side of it, except when its a blatant disregard for the regulation or combined with other violations.

You can see more info about the sound regulations and testing on their website at Stay The Trail Colorado - Home

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dba Limits are pointless IMO We don`t build our quads so we can choke the power out by plugging up the exhaust:yes: It boils down to $$$$$ My Vemon exhaust is at 96dbls but thats still loud by Colorado law They should spend their time and $$ workin on safety for the riders:yes: Make a helmet law for insteance JMOI

Yeah whats the decibal limit on Harley Davidsons, my quad is loud but nowhere near Harley loud. Why do ATV's have to abide by different rules? I cant bother the animals in the woods, but dont worry about me in my house.

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I started in 4 wheel drive trucks when I was 18. I enjoyed the challenge of modifying a stock truck and taking it as far as I could. The idea of getting away from everyday grind and both enjoying and challenging mother nature is what keeps me hooked. Nothing like the challenge of getting to the top of the mountain and definatley nothing like the view once you are there.

Nice idea to take this in a different direction.

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