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Forest Service Might Open Trails to ATVs

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Mark Twain National Forest (photo from the USDA's Charlotte Wiggins)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The U.S. Forest Service is looking to open as much as 215 miles of trails in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest to study the effects of all-terrain vehicles.

The plan was developed in conjunction with trail rider groups and would authorize off-road vehicles in three areas on existing roads and trails. Many of those trails were created through illegal use.

After three years, the Forest Service would decide whether to keep the trails open.

Officials say the study is needed to show if opening new legal trails would minimize damage and illegal riding. But the head of
the Missouri Coalition for the Environment calls it an outrage and pointless, saying it would not prove anything new.

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