As Jeep enthusiasts and off-roaders we love the environment in which we play (erm … work).
For many of us, the views and experiences of being in the natural environment is a big reason why we go.
We also recognize that the sport can have harmful effects on the very environment we love, treasure and rely on in order to even be able to wheel. And for some of us, this creates a bit of an internal conflict.
The thing we love doing can very well destroy the thing we love doing.
Most wheelers are aware of and follow the Stay the Trail guidelines. These include:
If you are just starting out – well, now you know.
But that nagging feeling remains – can we do more to minimize the gas we use, the dust in the air and silt in the water (the very same water we go to fish) or the remnants of the campfire we leave behind.
There is an impact in everything we do. Even when we try to minimize it, the impact remains.
So, how do we balance this?
First, we talk about the issue: Sustainable offroading and jeeping.
Second, we go beyond the Stay the Trail mantra and embrace a bit of tree-hugging. Just a bit. Maybe not all the hippie parts.
We continue to pick up trash and we go that extra step on every trip to make the place we play BETTER. If we can not make it better, we will work with the local land managers to put in place a way to fix the situation.
Sometimes that might necessitate closure of some jeep trails.
We know it’s impossible for some to consider looking at temporary closures as both temporary and important, but this change in attitude is probably what we need to make sure our kids and our grandkids can do this.