The choice is yours! Nobody likes regulations; but if irresponsible ATV use continues to cause unacceptable impacts, then regulations will become necessary to ensure protection of public lands. A better alternative would be for ATV users to recognize the impacts their activity can cause and voluntarily take steps to reduce those impacts. ATV users are not unique in this respect - as more and more people use public lands for recreation, the potential impacts of these activities are growing fast.
There are a number of reasons why some modes of travel are restricted on public lands. Reasons for restricting travel include:
- Wildlife Habitat Protection
- To Minimize Conflict Between Users
- Public Safety
- Resource Protection
- Legal Mandates
- Fire Protection
All ATVs operating on public lands must display an Oregon ATV Operating Permit. Please refer to the Oregon Parks and Recreation website for more information. Permits can be purchased over the telephone, through many Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department offices or at one of their 200 vendors. A current vendor list is available online. For more information or to purchase a permit over the telephone, call 1-800-551-6949.
What you can do to reduce ATV Impacts:
- Know the vehicle use regulations for the area you are hunting and respect road and area closures.
- Avoid the use of ATVs in wet areas or during wet conditions. Even though the lighter weight and low-pressure tires reduce impacts, ATVs can still do serious damage to wet areas.
- Since 1995, the number of All Terrain Vehicles in Oregon has increased fivefold. There are now over 129,000 valid ATV Operating Permits in the state.
- Studies have shown that the harvest of bull elk increases with increased hunter access. Eventually this can lead to reduced hunter opportunity.
- Elk use declines in areas with adjacent roads open to motorized vehicles.