Letters: Off-road vehicles and multi-use trails

Contributed To The Press • Nov 10, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Johnny Molloy’s column on Oct. 29 attacking ORV (off-road vehicle) use of the Buffalo Mountain Trail was inaccurate and misplaced.

Complaining that the Forest Service is financially strapped for maintaining the trail could be true, but users pay a daily fee to use the trail, and from my understanding, 95 percent of those funds are supposed to be used for maintenance of the trail. Hikers pay nothing toward their use of the forest.

Cherokee National Forest is just that — a national forest, not a national park. Logging, mining and a host of other uses are allowed in a forest, but never in a park. Multi-use is the purpose in a forest.

Back in the 1970s, President Nixon deemed by decree that ORV use on federal land is a legitimate use. In his column, Molloy tries to make it sound like the Buffalo Mountain Trail renders that portion of the park unusable by others,

The trail is a multi-use trail open to all others and that is not the case on other trails, many (most) that are limited to hiking only. I recently relocated to the area and have yet to try riding my trail motorcycle on the trail, but I have been in touch with a local rider who volunteers his time with others who maintain the trail for the Forest Service. I have offered my time to help as well and will be out there next time a work day is scheduled.

The National Park Service spends a lot more money searching for lost hikers, (who Molloy thinks have greater rights to the area) than money spent maintaining the trail. Molloy should stick to finding waterfalls and overlooks to suggest we visit, not using his column to lobby his personal agenda at the expense of legitimate forest users.



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