Off-road vehicles, as the name implies, are the most fun when used on open land. Environmental concerns have been growing steadily over the years. In order to preserve the land for future use, and to keep good relations with land owners, riders need to be considerate of the environment.

Keeping land areas open for use requires good relationships between public land managers, private land owners, and those using the land. Being considerate and showing common courtesy is usually all that is needed. Here are some simple practices that can help keep off-road riding fun, not only for you, but also for others who will be there after you.

Learn about the area you plan to ride in. Contact the public land manager or private land owner to see what restrictions there are and to gain permission to ride there. Get maps of the area and stay on the trails if there are any.

Keep your ATV as quiet as possible. ATVs are designed to be relatively quiet while still delivering the necessary power. Noisy ATVs are an annoyance to animals and others using the same land area.

Obey all trail markers and closure signs. The reasons for closing an area may not be readily apparent, but important to obey. There may be dangers to wildlife, fire danger, or safety factors you don't know about.

Leave gates and fences the way you found them. This is especially important in areas of livestock. Always leave the area as clean or cleaner than you found it; carry a plastic bag and bungee cords on your ATV for this purpose.

Be courteous of others you may meet on the trail, giving the right of way to hikers and horseback riders. For horses, pull off the trail and stop your engine. Approach any wildlife or livestock slowly, giving them time to get off the trail safely. When talking with land owners, remove your helmet so they can see your face; remember you may be there as their guest in private land use cases.

As part of your concern for the environment, you also need to keep your ATV shocks in top working order. Having a good set of ATV shocks installed will help you have a smoother more comfortable ride. The proper ATV shocks will also help you maintain better control over your vehicle when traveling over rough terrain.