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Protecting the Arizona Outback

“Using the backcountry for solitude, recreation, and adventure is an Arizona tradition going back

hundreds of years. Everyone using the state and public lands should do their part to ensure that these

lands remain available for future generations to enjoy. Many areas attract a variety of backcountry

users; regardless of what mode of travel you may choose, remember that we all have a responsibility to

the environment, to others, and to ourselves. Please do your part and leave the land the same as or in

better condition than you found it”. Arizona State Parks

We take great pride in the Arizona Outback, and we are very conscientious of keeping our public lands in good condition. Many organizations and clubs like the McMullen Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Salome Lions Club, the Arizona Desert Riders and others, have annual events to clean up the desert. What they find is mostly from outside sources – it seems that some people cannot resist driving out to the desert to dump their unwanted items.

In addition, what they have found is that, most of our many winter visitors as well, are very respectful of our public lands. With all of the ATV activity that happens during our winter months, it is refreshing to see that the trails and roads that are used, are the public trails and roads maintained by BLM.

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We have received criticism for advertising our public lands for ATV use. Many people picture hundreds of ATV's just running willy nilly across the desert and destroying the natural habitat – that is very rarely the case – if ever. The Chamber and other organizations work with BLM to make sure problems do not arise. Permits are required for some special events, so to keep a good line of communication with BLM is important. BLM also maps the desert trails and roads – all for public use. So yes, we do invite the public to share our open space and to enjoy the Arizona Outback!

Backcountry Rules of Conduct

• Leave gates the way you find them, either open or closed.

• Vehicles must travel on existing roads and trails.

• Camp at least mile from any livestock or wildlife water catchments, tanks, etc.

• Obey posted signs, respect closed areas.

• If you pack it in — pack it out.

Leave No Trace ..

Any visitor to the Arizona Outback should be aware of the international slogans of “Pack It In – Pack It Out” and “Leave No Trace”. It is important to not upset the natural habitat, and to not let our desert dwellers get used to eating human food. So even if the little critters seem to enjoy your scrapes, please remember that it is not natural for them.

How long do discarded items last in the desert?

Paper: 2-4 Weeks

Banana Peel: 3-5 Weeks

Wool Cap: 1 Year

Cigarette Butt: 2-5 Years

Hard Plastic Container: 20-30 Years

Tin Can: 80-100 Years

Aluminum Can: 200-400 Years

Plastic 6-pack Holder: 450 Years

Glass Bottles: Many, Many Years!

Resources:

Tread Lightly’s Horseback Riding Responsible Recreation Tips

The Tread Lightly Guide to Responsible ATV Riding

Arizona State Parks - Ethics & Tips for Minimum Impact

 

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This site was last updated on 10/28/2010
 
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