Letters

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Off-road vehicles kick up controversy Regarding "Crush of off- road vehicles plies West's public lands" (Oct. 5): The Forest Service has paid close attention to off-road vehicle (ORV) recreation for many years. Twenty-five years ago, ORVs could be used virtually anywhere on Forest Service property. Since then, management has evolved from limiting use to certain areas, and has moved to limiting use to designated routes in designated areas. Every one of the forest planning documents I've seen for more than a decade has specifically planned for limiting ORV recreation, sometimes outrageously so. To say the Forest Service isn't planning or that they haven't worked hard to do some great conservation- related work is a bogus allegation.

The Recreational Trails Program is actually in its second generation as a vital portion of the nation's highway program and has a good record.

A portion of fuel taxes paid for vehicle use off-highway is devoted to recreational trails of all types, including equestrian, bicycle, backpacking, canoeing, and skiing in addition to OHV trails. And even though the nonmotorized trails have been receiving the lion's share of the grants, we think it is working well.

This program has been supported for years by such independent and well-respected nonmotorized groups as the American Hiking Society, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and the American Horse Council. Among its other provisions, the law will not allow the conversion of a hiking or equestrian trail to motorized use.

No matter how much former Montana Congressman Pat Williams would have any of us believe it, the policy of how we manage recreation on our public lands will never be set by foreign national corporations. Federal land management regulations hold no surprises. They are set by our federal agencies working with interested members of the public. Proposed rules are published every day in the Federal Register. Eric Lundquist, Pickerington, Ohio Senior legislative affairs specialist

American Motorcyclist Association In the second paragraph your story states that off-road vehicles (ORVs) are "considered essential tools for hunting. …