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My husband and I recently had the good fortune of purchasing a small cabin near Mt. Hood and have been actively exploring the trail system all summer. As hikers who, like many urban dwellers, crave the solitude and majesty of the wilderness, we have discovered how easily the sound of motorized vehicles can completely ruin that experience. From the traffic on nearby highways to vehicles on the trails, the sound carries and echoes through the valleys for miles, drowning out the natural sounds of birds and flowing water.
I'm guessing that off-roaders don't even realize how far their engine noise travels and how many hikers are affected by the sound pollution (and this doesn't even mention the destruction of the environment and affect on animal/bird life in the area). To expect that more forest should be open to off-road vehicle use is like smokers expecting that they should be able to smoke wherever, even if their second-hand smoke is bothering everyone around them. Laws have been passed to protect us from second-hand smoke pollution - let us keep similar stringent regulations to prevent the sound and environmental pollution of off-road vehicles from ruining both our forest lands and the experience of wilderness that the vast majority of forest users are looking for.
posted 2 years, 8 months ago
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