Balanced, thorough process required for ATVs on Okanogan County roads

Balanced, thorough process required for ATVs on Okanogan County roads

ConservationNWAdmin / Mar 20, 2017 /

Along with our partners at the Methow Valley Citizens Council, we recently secured a court order to ensure Okanogan County considers social and environmental factors when designating county roads for off-road vehicle (ORV) and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. The County had previously and unilaterally opened up all county roads with lower speed limits, regardless of risk to public safety or wildlife habitat.

We believe strongly that there is a place for responsible ATV use and other motorized recreation on roads in the great outdoors. But before roads are opened to ATV use, there must be thorough and transparent vetting including a discussion on right sizing a quality ATV footprint, restoring areas with unauthorized trails, and accountability for illegal off-road riding. Together we have to determine what works best for motorized use and does not pose a threat to the local environment, sensitive wildlife habitats or the pursuits of other outdoor recreationists.