4x4 Driving Tips
Oro Grande Campground
North Central Idaho.
Campgrounds near
Oro Grande.
The Subject:
Tread Lightly! title
         Leaving a Good Impression title
   Blazer at Forest Service gate. 

Road restriction sign.
Minimize impact on the
environment by staying
on established trails and
following the Forest
Service's directions
for trail usage.
TIP #1:
TREAD LIGHTLY! is a nonprofit organization made up of environmentalists, off-road recreationists, automobile manufacturers, members of the US Forest Service and BLM, and others. The organization works to increase public awareness of the impact that off-road recreation has on the land and the environment. It distributes information which teaches ecologically friendly ways of enjoying outdoor recreation.

   TIP #2:
The "TREAD" in TREAD LIGHTLY! is an acronym for the organization's pledge, which it has just updated:
Travel and recreate with minimum impact.
Respect the rights of others.
Educate yourself, plan and prepare before you go.
Allow for future use of the outdoors, leave it better than you found it.
Discover the rewards of responsible recreation.
The organization also has a new tag line:
"Leaving a Good Impression"

TIP #3:
TREAD LIGHTLY! is pursuing its educational aims both nationally and internationally. The message aims to leave a good impression on people's thoughts and their behavior.
TREAD LIGHTLY! dedicates itself to promoting the fun and enjoyment of the outdoors, emphasizing also the responsibility that goes with outdoor recreation.

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4-Wheel Freedom.
Be sure to include your name, city, and state, so we can acknowledge the contribution.

   Blazer in the snow.
principles in the
wintertime, too.
   TIP #4:
TREAD LIGHTLY!, along with its sister program, Leave No Trace, is part of a broader program called "Land Ethics." The concept of "Land Ethics" is being developed by both the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, mainly under the leadership of Stew Jacobson, the National Program Leader for the BLM.
The goals of the Land Ethics Programs are: 
1. Preserve resources while maintaining the public's recreational opportunities.
2. Use education as a primary management tool to accomplish these goals.
3. Teach the public to be better land stewards.
4. Help users make better ecological choices.
5. Teach principles of preparation and respecting the rights of others.
6. Build rapport between users and the involved governmental agencies.
7. Develop partnerships with the private sector for funding and adminstration of these programs.
8. Encourage manufacturers of 4x4s and recreational equipment to use their advertising to educate the public in these principles.
9. Develop detailed messages to explain and teach these principles.
   TIP #5:
Land and trail closures are becoming more common. By applying ecologically-friendly principles to your outdoor recreation, you provide leverage that encourages the Forest Service, the BLM, and the NPS to keep trails open for off-road recreationists. It helps a great deal to join your local 4x4 club and establish communication and rapport with your local land managers. Show them that your club's interested in using its resources to help them maintain trails, repair winter damage, and participate in search and rescue operations in remote areas.
Above all, use environmental common sense:
1. Ask permission to travel and camp on private land.
2. Stay on established roads and trails.
3. If you open a gate to pass through a fence line, close it afterward.
4. Avoid "spooking" livestock and wildlife. Keep your noise level reasonable.
5. Stay out of meadows, stream beds, and other environmentally sensitive areas.
6. Avoid spinning your wheels. If you're having trouble making headway across a difficult section, it's better to use your winch rather than tear up the trail with useless wheelspin.
7. Don't dump oil or other harmful waste on the trail. Follow the principle of: "Pack it in - pack it out."
8. Yield to less powerful users. Mountain bikers yield to hikers. Snowmobilers yield to hikers and cross-country skiers. Jeeps yield to snowmobiles. All motorized users yield to horseback riders. In other words, respect the rights of others.
Call TREAD LIGHTLY! at 1-800-966-9900 and ask for their booklet "The Tread Lightly! Guide to Responsible Four Wheeling."

Blazer crossing stream.
Use established fording sites
to cross rivers and streams.
Avoid damaging the banks
and the bed.
   Buffalo in Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park.
Buffalo by the road.
Avoid "spooking"
   TIP #6:
If you enjoy the outdoors, join TREAD LIGHTLY! and participate in its very worthwhile educational program. It's only $20 a year. Call 1-800-966-9900 to join. Visit the TREAD LIGHTLY! WebSite by using the hyperlink on the HotLinks page. See also the 4x4 Driving Tips page about the BlueRibbon Coalition, another environmentally oriented organization for supporters of outdoor recreation.
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  4-Wheel Freedom: The Art of Off-Road Driving. By Dr. Brad DeLong.
The definitive book on 4x4s, off-road recreation, and all-weather driving.
ORDER NOW at 1-800-4X4ROAD (494-7623). Copyright Symbolcopyright Dr. Brad DeLong 2005