ohv-dust-sedona

Unregulated Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use by irresponsible OHV drivers in the Red Rock District of the Coconino National Forest is having a disastrous impact on both the environment and the quality of life for residents.

red-rock-district-sign
Keep Sedona Beautiful urges our members to contact the US Forest Service (USFS) and our elected representatives to demand that swift and decisive action be taken to stop the ruination of the land by irresponsible OHV drivers.

You can contact each of the following:

usfs-badge
CLICK TO SIGN UP

You can demand that the Forest Service:

  • Protect the Red Rock District from the reckless and deliberate destruction being done by irresponsible OHV drivers.
  • Protect residents from the health hazards posed by the dust that speeding OHVs and vehicles raise. Impose and enforce speed limits that reduce the generation of dust.
  • Stop allowing vegetation along Forest Road 152C and Forest Road 525 to be killed off by being smothered with dust. (see photo below)
  • Limit the destruction of the peace and tranquility of residents of the Broken Arrow neighborhood by implementing a permit system and restricting use, just like what’s currently in place in the Soldier’s Pass area. (link to Broken Arrow video further down this page)
  • Stop the unintended favoring OHV use over all other uses. When OHVs proliferate, hikers, bikers, equestrians, and hunters abandon those areas.

The motto of the Forest Service is, “Caring for the Land and Serving People.”

dead tree killed by OHV dust

Caring
for the
Land
and
Serving
People
?

In a publication titled “This is Who We Are”, the Forest Service states its mission: “To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” They also state: “Our agency was created on the principle of managing the Nation’s natural resources “for the greatest good, for the greatest number, for the longest time.” Finally, they state they believe in “Protection when necessary. Preservation when appropriate. Restoration, when needed, and wise management for multiple use.

10 years ago, few could anticipate the exponential growth of recreation in the Red Rock District. During that time, the Fossil Creek area became so overrun the Forest Service implemented a reservation system that successfully limited use. Parking at our most visited hiking trails has become such a problem that the Forest Service and the City are requiring hikers to park remotely and take shuttles. Dispersed camping has become so prolific that the Forest Service is limiting it to designated areas northwest of Sedona.

Clearly, the Forest Service can place limitations on use when it determines that overuse is causing damage or disrupting neighborhoods. In fact, on their webpage on Passes and Permits, the Forest Service states that they ‘may require recreation permits when extra measures are needed to protect natural or cultural resources, to restrict the number of people participating in the activity at any one time, to provide extra safety or for other specialized services. 

ohv-crash-sedona

These permits may be issued to individuals as “Special Recreation Permits”.’ Examples cited include off-highway vehicle riding.

OHV use has exploded, bringing with it a host of very real and very serious problems. Yet no action has been taken. Irresponsible drivers continue to chew up the land. Vegetation along the unpaved roads and OHV trails continue to die from being coated by dust. Residents have their health threatened by relentless clouds of dust and the peace of their neighborhoods destroyed. Rollover accidents are increasing and it’s just a matter of time before a speeding OHV crashes into an innocent and law-abiding driver. Neighborhoods like Broken Arrow are suffering significant disruption.

When a situation becomes so out of balance that “The Land of Many Uses” becomes “The Land of OHV Abuses”, something must be done.

If you question the severity of the problem, we urge you to watch the following very short video clips.

You can view more clips of the damage being done in the 152C/525 area northwest of Sedona on This YouTube Chanel.

You can experience a particularly awful day in the Broken Arrow neighborhood by watching this 2 minute clip.

It’s important to know that the Cities of Sedona and Cottonwood are currently powerless to limit OHV rentals. Unlike many states, Arizona considers OHVs street legal, preventing municipalities from keeping them off the streets.

It’s also important to know that there are currently no speed limits on Forest Service roads in the Red Rock District and that neither cities nor counties have jurisdiction on those Forest Service roads. When vehicles travel 15 miles per hour, nearly no dust is raised. If the Forest Service placed and enforced speed limits of 20 mph on Forest Service Roads 152C and 525, with 15 mph speed limits near residential areas, much of the damage would be prevented.

youtube-ohvThis is only a partial solution because irresponsible OHV drivers would continue to destroy the land on the designated OHV trails. To stop that destruction, a limited use permit system or a ban on off-road use is required.

Again – Keep Sedona Beautiful urges you to contact the Forest Service and your elected representatives to demand that swift and decisive action be taken to stop the ruination of the land by irresponsible OHV drivers.

Keep Sedona Beautiful has created a 1-minute video depicting what’s happening here.

damage-forest-red-rock-ohv