Klasky on illegal offroading

Strong, necessary piece by Philip M. Klasky of Community ORV Watch in the Hi-Desert Star.

Complete text: Off-roaders are out of control, in violation (Dec 9, 2011)


This last Thanksgiving holiday was a nightmare for Morongo Basin residents dealing with widespread illegal off-road vehicle activity….

From Morongo Valley to Wonder Valley, riders trespassed on private property and public lands and generated excessive dust and noise in our residential communities. Riders used County Service Area roads as a playground despite the fact that according to the county ORV ordinance, these roads are off-limits to ORVs. In both of the accidents that occurred during the holiday weekend, the ORVs were on illegal routes…

The Morongo Basin is next to the largest ORV open area in the entire country, yet riders refuse to trailer their toys there and instead wreak havoc on our communities…

Residents who complain about ORV abuse are often subject to harassment and intimidation by riders including posting the locations of our homes on their websites (my home was vandalized after I wrote an opinion piece like this one); making complaints to Code Enforcement against their neighbors for any possible infraction; buzzing homes late at night to intimidate; and causing intentional damage to private property…

Question: Who pays when thousands of riders converge on the desert on public lands for a weekend of uncontrolled behavior; when victims of reckless accidents are transported to hospitals; when roads, berms and flood control infrastructures are ruined by ORV abuse? Answer: Taxpayers like you and me…

We need a coordinated, multi-agency law enforcement response to deal with a situation out of control…


About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.
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