By God, it was my right. No one could tell me I couldn't chop new roads through national forest land with my off-road vehicle and my chainsaw.
I paid my taxes. This land belonged to me. If a few trees had to be cut and some makeshift roads had to be opened, well, too bad. It was worth it if I got to have a little more fun. My buddies in New Mexico and millions more around the country probably felt the same way.
Then I began to notice something about the Carson National Forest near Taos, N.M. The elk were leaving, migrating somewhere else, and the quality of the hunts I'd enjoyed began to decline. And I noticed something else: The elk were moving to areas where they didn't have to face harassment from rogue off-road vehicle-users like me.
I remained quiet about this for years, but when a group of thoughtless riders ruined my own hunting experience, I had no choice but to think hard about what I'd been doing. It was time for me to change my habits and to speak out openly on behalf of reasonable and responsible off-road use...