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New Tread Lightly! Program Debutes at 2013 Hangtown Motocross Classic

Remote Control VehiclesA new program debuted at the 45th Annual Hangtown Motocross Classic held at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area on May 17, 2013. Thanks to a generous donation of 8 Axial remote controlled (R/C) vehicles by Jeep®, visitors had a chance to experience a hands-on Tread Lightly! program at the Park’s Outreach Tent. Participants operated the vehicles on a challenging course, complete with rocks, logs, green areas, scale replica wildlife, and a simulated stream. In doing so, they were asked to follow the Tread Lightly! Principles:
 
Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and areas. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. When possible, avoid wet, muddy trails.
 
Photo of a Remote Control vehicleRespect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill.
 
Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.

Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or paleontological sites.

Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.
 
Photo of Visitors at the Remote Control TrackThe only way to successfully complete the course was to apply the Tread Lightly! Principles—giving the participants opportunities to problem solve real-life off-highway scenarios. If the long line to have a turn at the R/C course was any indication, visitors thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the new program was a resounding success.

Educating off-highway enthusiasts about the Tread Lightly! Principles, and providing opportunities for their practical application, will aid in resource management practices that will help ensure the long-term sustainability of off-highway recreation.