ATV Industry Supports U.S. Forest Service Proposal to Limit Off-Highway Vehicle

IRVINE, Calif.--Sept. 1, 2004--The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) supports limiting off-highway vehicle (OHV) travel to designated routes on United States Forest Service-managed land, as provided for in the Forest Service's proposed rule regarding OHV management.

According to SVIA President Tim Buche, "The ATV industry shares the Forest Service's desire to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of our nation's forests for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The proper management of OHV recreational areas can help meet this objective and provide appropriate off-road riding opportunities for the over 16 million all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders in the United States."

SVIA is pleased that USFS explicitly reaffirms the legitimate use of OHVs in our national forests when it states that OHV use "is a growing and important recreational activity on National Forest System lands."

SVIA encourages the designation process to be accomplished in as expeditious manner as possible, however, it is most critical that it be legitimate, thorough, fully-funded, and embraces public involvement. The central component of a legitimate and thorough designation process is accurate and comprehensive trail inventorying and mapping. Consequently, it is essential that funding, commensurate with the priority nature of OHV management, be provided and existing USFS policy remains in effect until the route designation process is complete and adequate maps are available.

By providing national policy guidance while giving local land managers the decision-making discretion they need at the individual forest level, the U.S. Forest Service proposal provides a laudable framework within which to effectively manage OHV recreation.

SVIA

Since 1983, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America(R) (SVIA) has promoted the safe and responsible use of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) through rider training programs, public awareness campaigns, and state legislation. The SVIA also serves as a resource for ATV research, statistics, and vehicle standards. The SVIA, based in Irvine, California, is a not-for-profit trade association sponsored by AlphaSports, Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Bush Hog, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. For membership information, call 949-727-3727; for safety information or to enroll in an ATV RiderCourse(SM), call 800-887-2887 or visit www.atvsafety.org.

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