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ATV riders would support Doe Mtn., too, if given the chance

Dear Editor:

If the picture in the top right hand corner of the page looks familiar then you probably have the same issue that I do.  The land we all called the fire tower has been reopened. Oh, I’m sorry, it has only been opened for those that drive an OHV. This is the land that we have all spent countless hours driving on just for a good time in a safe environment before being kicked out. Why were we kicked out? Our trucks and/or jeeps are too big and apparently cause too much damage to the land.
The Trail Riders Association has opened it back up for the OHV people while banning those who have contributed as much if not more both financially as well as sweat equity. After the closing of Callallantee we were pressed to find other places to legally enjoy the outdoors in the fashion in which we have in the past. The closing of our local ATV park and the banishment from fire tower has left us tearing through old Farmer John’s corn field just to sling a little mud. This very large group of persons has been alienated from every possible legal, local and most of all safe place to ride.
They claim to be attempting to acquire their piece of a 4.3 billion dollar a year industry. Well, the OHV people have only been contributing to this for a very short period of time in the grand scheme. Trucks and Jeepers alike have been on the hunt for the deeper mud hole or the steeper hill to climb, or just simple trail riding. Contrary to popular belief, we do enjoy the outdoors, too, but yes, if I see a killer mud hole on the way, I’m gonna go have some fun.
We have not only kept local dollars local but we have also brought a lot of new money in. This is how families would spend a day or even a weekend together. OHV accidents are more dangerous than one inside of a vehicle. These trucks are not built for speed but to be strong, safe and fun. 
For years local 4×4 clubs such as Hardcore 4×4 and Four Play 4×4 have held rallies that only benefit the local economy. What this boils down to is a simple question. If the fire tower consists of 8,600 acres, why can we not all enjoy this source of entertainment? Off-roaders have contributed to the cause for years with the development of new trails, mud holes, beautiful views, and this is all being overlooked. This organization raised only $1,600 and change from 265 riders. Just imagine the funds raised if you would have allowed the true trail riders to attend. Your turnout would have grown immensely and in turn your donations to the cause. Imagine if your grant from Yamaha was accompanied by a grant from Ford, Jeep, or Chevy. For being after such a huge piece of the pie, you people couldn’t have chosen a worse way to get it.

Thank you for your time,
Brian Sweet and every other person in pursuit of happiness