Why should I stay on the trail while using motorized vehicles in parks?

The concepts presented in this article apply to desert scrub even more than forested areas. A heartfelt thanks to the Soil Science Society of America for putting this together.

Soils Matter, Get the Scoop!


Riding ATV’s and motorcycles around the forest can be incredibly fun and exhilarating. But in order to make sure those trails stay open, it’s vitally important to limit erosion in the areas you enjoy. Going off trail risks your safety, as well as the safety of the plant life and soil itself.

blue all terrain vehicle ATVs can provide a lot of fun, but they can be destructive when used off trail. Source: Morguefile

And though it might not seem related, did you know that just over half of the nation’s water supply originates in forestland?1 Snowfall melts, and rain sinks through the soil. That precipitation in forests is what eventually supplies our cities and private wells.2 Water for our homes and businesses, including agriculture, relies on healthy forest soils.

Forest stream Forests account for over half the U.S. water supply – but the soils can’t work to absorb and move water if overuse…

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