Colorado - Eagle County - Off Road Vehicles (ORV)

State: Colorado

Mark Udall's Central Mountains Outdoor Heritage Act will grant wilderness protection to 32 areas in Eagle, Pitkin, and Summit counties. The Act is a carefully-crafted, citizen-generated plan to grant the highest protection to some of our state's most precious and threatened public and wildlife lands. Wilderness designation in these areas would protect them from the environmental degradation caused by unregulated off-road vehicle use. Over the last few years, EcoFlight has worked extensively with the Hidden Gems Campaign; the wilderness proposal from this campaign heavily influenced Udall's current proposal.

ORV use increases sedimentation, destroys healthy stream banks and vegetation, increases water temperatures and lowers the water table, threatening fish and other stream life, plants and valuable wildlife habitat.

In addition, federal agency research concludes that ORV use exacerbates the effects of climate change on the Colorado Plateau by eroding soils and contributing to the large dust storms that blanket Colorado’s mountains with dust resulting in earlier and faster snow melt, degrading water supplies, and spreading invasive weeds that increase the risk of wildfires.