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Proponents Argue

That trail development will bring in tourist dollars, but their models fail to account for the damage that will be done to the natural environment.  Such unabated trail development for these vehicles could actually lead to net losses for the community by destroying the natural environment that makes the community unique and draws in tourists in the first place.

- From the work of Grethcen Daily, Ecologist, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and The University of Minnesota on the Environment

Walking, Hiking, Bicycle Riding and Running

Bring in 15 times more tourist spending to N.E. Minnesota than recreational vehicles and they pose far less risk to the environment.

$34 Million

Generated from combination of ATV, OHMS, and ORVS.

$513.8 Million

Generated from walking, hiking, cycling and running.

-“Economic Impact of recreational Trail Use,” prepared for The University of Minnesota Tourism Center, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,The Minnesota Recreational Trail Users Association

Off Road Vehicles . . .

Compact Soil

Making plant survival and re-vegetation virtually impossible.The compacted soil cannot absorb water and inhibits root system growth. Plants die.

Create Soil Erosion

The diminished ground cover leads to increased soil erosion. Erosion is a natural event and can happen within a range of natural variation. But OHV routes ratchet up the soil compaction and erosion far beyond the natural variation.

Introduce Non-Native Invasive Species to Pristine Areas

Only shallow weed root systems can and do take root in these areas.These invasive species threaten the integrity of the ecosystems that provide wild life habitat, clean water and fresh air.

Impact Wildlife

Animals are disturbed and life expectancy is lowered by decreasing viable habitat and displacing animals from important breeding, calving and feeding grounds.

Cause Long Lasting Damage in Fragile Landscapes

Due to lack of manpower and enforcement, renegade, unauthorized routes caused by illegal off road use will continue to exist in formerly inaccessible places like wetlands. 

- U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey Report Wild Earth Guardians

For Further Reading, see:

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Myths about off highway vehicle use →

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