Being aware of the environmental concerns within our surroundings has been a growing topic for several years. This awareness has changed our relationship with the outdoors. It affects those of us who enjoy side by side vehicles. We have to do our part to use safe and responsible riding practices while using the land around us. In most cases, general common courtesy and overall consideration of the land and landowners are crucial. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Learn about the area – Make sure that you have permission to ride there. Get maps of the area, and stay on trails if they are provided.
- Keep your ride quiet – UTVs and RTVs are designed to be relatively quiet while still delivering maximum performance. Excessive noise stresses wildlife, and annoys property owners and other recreation users.
- Obey trail markers and signs – There are many reasons why an area may be closed to UTVs including the existence of refuge to wildlife or plant life and safety hazards for riders. The reasons may not always be obvious.
- Gates and fences –Always leave them the way you found them. This is especially important on private lands where livestock may be kept.
- Livestock or wildlife on the trail – Proceed with caution; always approach animals slowly. If you startle them, they may run directly into your path. Give them time to react and give them as much space as possible.
Face to face encounters – If you should come across landowners on your side by side travels, remove your helmet to speak to them. The helmet may cause you to appear intimidating. Be friendly and honest in any contact that may be made.