New All-Terrain Vehicles Aid Placer County Sheriff, Trail Preservation

July 2014 Powersport News, Travel Gus Thomson, Auburn (Calif.) Journal Staff Writer

Off-highway motor vehicle trails at the Auburn State Recreation Area’s Mammoth Bar park near Auburn have a new Placer County law-enforcement presence in the form of a newly acquired, state-funded Kawasaki Teryx all-terrain vehicle.

With funding from the state Off-Highway Vehicle “green sticker” coffers, two of the four-wheeled trail vehicles have been purchased and are to be employed at Mammoth Bar and other state OHV parks in Placer County to preserve trails and keep them safe.

Education is the key, said Tina Williams, State Parks off-highway vehicle division superintendent. The No. 1 problem is people driving off the mapped trails, she said.

“Sometimes riders don’t even know when they are damaging trails,” Williams said. “The soil and litter eventually goes into the water system and flows down to do damage in the delta.”

Sgt. Ty Conners, commander of the Colfax station for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, said that the education component is an important part of moving forward with the new unit. A total of $100,000 in funding over the past two years has paid for the vehicles and driver training, as well as overtime to man the vehicles.

“It’s a totally new program for the Sheriff’s Office,” Conners said. “We’ve never had this before and eventually we’d like to go to both sides of the season, because snowmobiles can do damage too.”

One of the two all-terrain vehicles is being stationed in the Tahoe area.

Sgt. Dave Hunt of the Tahoe division said State Parks had taken the lead on providing funding and the new program will provide a boost in helping educate riders and preserve trails for future use.

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