With more new riders taking up Adventure or Dual-Sport motorcycling it is important to remember that “multiple-use” of public lands means more than deciding what vehicle you will use to explore roads and trails on federal land in the West.
For this article, we will focus on “gate” ethics. Both the Forest Service and BLM issue permits or leases that allow for cattle and other livestock to be grazed in allotments on public lands. Often barbed-wire or “drift fences” are installed to keep cattle in the desired grazing area.
When these drift fences cross a designated road or trail, a barbed wire gate is usually installed which has to be opened and closed when a rider wants to pass through the gate. There are usually “Please close the gate” signs located nearby. If you are riding in a group it is important for the last rider to stop and make sure the gate is closed.
QWR's Adventure Bike (Tiger 955i)
Having Just Passed Through the Gate and Closing it
The Forest Service Law Enforcement website instructs riders to leave gates as you found them, whether opened or closed. There are also a number of other “Backcountry Rules of Conduct” the agency recommends so that we all can better protect our right to ride.
Forest Service LE Backcountry Rules of Conduct Website
By following a few simple rules and using common sense, QWR believes OHV recreationists can help preserve and protect our continued access to designated roads, trails, and areas. You can do OHV a big favor by sharing these and other riding tips with your rider network.