Category Archives: Other

ATV Anarchists — enjoying the freedom to destroy

Driving: Making Tracks, Making Enemies By JASON TANZ, NYTimes

Another front has opened in the land-use war. For more than four decades, greenies and gearheads have been battling in parks, courts and state houses across the country over off-roading on public lands. But factions among off-roaders, a group that includes A.T.V. riders, four-by-four enthusiasts, snowmobilers and motorcyclists, are also squaring off.

On one side are self-styled responsible off-roaders, usually members of local clubs that promote following existing land-use rules and minimizing environmental impact. On the other are the renegades, who see such an approach as environmental appeasement. …

Many off-roaders say that the obnoxious behavior had overshadowed efforts by off-road clubs to organize cleanups of popular trails and teach their members techniques moving fallen trees off the trails instead of driving around them, for instance to minimize ecological impact. In 1990, Tread Lightly, a program formed by the Forest Service to promote responsible off-roading, became a private nonprofit organization, managed and financed by companies like Ford Motor and Toyota. Today, Tread Lightly leads awareness workshops and restores trails. “Our mission is to empower people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly,” said Lori Davis, the president.

“I think the majority of people who use motorized vehicles believe in the concept and the ethic of Tread Lightly,” Ms. Davis said.

Clearly, she hasn’t been talking to the sport’s more libertarian fans. “I think Tread Lightly is just a veiled form of extreme environmentalism,” said Brad Lark, publisher of, a Web site devoted to off-roading. …

A writer on the Web site off-road .com, writing as “Davey the Endangered Desert Tortoise,” expressed a similar view with less subtlety in a February 2002 column: “I don’t Tread Lightly. I trample. From tree-huggers to their totalitarian signage that follows. I trample all in the path of freedom’s future.”

The writer continued, “I don’t tread lightly on treason, and that’s exactly what the Greenies are hereby accused of when they take a stab at our America’s freedom my family’s freedom to enjoy the outdoors.”

American Archaeology Magazine

Welcome to American Archaeology

American Archaeology is the only consumer magazine devoted to the excitement and mystery of archaeology in the United States, with additional coverage of Canada and Latin America. In four issues each year, American Archaeology’s colorful features and departments present the research breakthroughs, persistent puzzles, and unique personalities making news in this fascinating field.

This is a nicely done quarterly that covers archaeological issues throughout North America. Current issue features a very interesting article on “geoglyphs” (aka, “intalgio”, large scale drawings in the desert) with great photos. Unfortunately, the article and photos are not online. mjh

the Fisherman geoglyphA Close Look at Geoglyphs

By Tamara Stewart

Reaching across the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of Arizona and California, these immense figures are testimonies to the beliefs of an ancient people that persist today. Images of giants, mythic figures, animals, and geometric designs are etched into the desert floor or fashioned by rock alignments. So far, more than 600 of these figures, known as geoglyphs, have been recorded in this area. Some of them are estimated to be thousands of years old.

Snow job

Today’s Weather Fact in says:

While Downtown Albuquerque averages seven inches of snow per year, Sandia Crest, less than 15 miles away [mjh: but a mile higher], averages about 120 inches.

Frankly, I can’t believe either of those numbers. I’ve almost never seen more than 2 inches at a time in Albuquerque and can’t remember 3 snowfalls in town in one winter in the past 20 years. As for the Crest, there can be great skiing up there, but last year the ski area never opened. If there was close to the purported 10 foot average, it was spread out pretty thin over 4 months. mjh

The Buffalo Commons

Make Way for Buffalo

[T]he boldest idea in America today: rescuing the rural Great Plains by returning much of it to a vast ”Buffalo Commons.”

The result would be the world’s largest nature park, drawing tourists from all over the world to see parts of 10 states alive again with buffalo, elk, grizzlies and wolves. Restoring a large chunk of the plains — which cover nearly one-fifth of the lower 48 states — to their original state may also be the best way to revive local economies and keep hamlets like Rawson, ND, from becoming ghost towns.

San Juan mountains and national forests

The San Juan Mountains are in Southwestern Colorado (part of the magnificent Four Corners Area: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah). I hesitate to say this is the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen.

Below is a link to a page of links put together by the San Juan Mountains Association. Also, a link to a map of this stunning area.mjh

Links: Want to know more about Southwest Colorado and public lands?

big map of San Juan National Forest area