Off-roader tracks up meadow |

Off-roader tracks up meadow

Submitted photoJustin Barnhill of Carson City was issued a violation notice May 28 for the alleged offense on the Tahoe National Forest.

A Jeep driver who allegedly tried to plow his vehicle through a wet meadow north of Prosser Reservoir late last month now has an appointment in federal court in Sacramento.

Justin Barnhill of Carson City was issued a violation notice May 28 for the alleged offense on the Tahoe National Forest.

Off-highway vehicle use is limited to U.S. Forest Service roads and designated off-highway vehicle routes. Use is prohibited within developed recreation areas, like Jackson Meadows Recreation Area, and on paved roads or highways.

Off-road vehicles are required to have either a California green sticker or valid state off highway vehicle registration, or a non-resident user permit. The vehicles also must have a Forest Service approved spark arrestor year round.

Helmets are mandatory and no passengers are allowed for all-terrain vehicles.

There are 658 miles of OHV trails managed by Tahoe National Forest.

Currently, the Forest Service is in the middle of a lengthy process of consolidating, improving and rerouting trails to avoid environmental damage and provide safety for the steady increase in users.

Because of dwindling funds from the forest service in recent years, volunteer groups are essential for keeping trails in good working order. Green sticker funds also supply a big chunk of funding for improving trails.

– Don’t try to drive around a bad section of road. If you do and your wheels sink more than 2 inches into the ground, you may be cited for resource damage.

– Don’t crush brush. If you have to pull off the road, find a bare, level spot to park.

– Never stop over dry vegetation. The dry vegetation may catch fire from your exhaust.

– Stay on designated routes.

– Don’t disturb wildlife.

– Don’t litter.

– Respect closures and private property.

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