Aug 25 Show: The Desert Damage by OHVs Continues while Forest Service Slow Walks the Solution

Brian Sussman talks with Becki Ross, cattle rancher and activist, who is raising the alarm on the damage done by Off-Highway-Vehicles (OHVs) to the desert terrain in Northern Arizona. These pictures shows how trees can suffocate from the red dust kicked up by OHVs, and environmental damage. Ross and other concerned citizens have been asking the Forest Service for mitigation for years.

The Fed & County Forest Service have ultimate jurisdiction over the use and protection of this land. As logging and ranching industries have dwindled in Northern Arizona, they are being replaced by outdoor recreational and tourism priorities.

The best solution for the environment is to introduce and enforce a Forest Service permit system that limits the number of recreational vehicles on trails. Unfortunately, the Forest Service has not prioritized this need or provided funding to date. Several groups are working towards this solution but with little progress.

Sedona City Council, where tourism is a stated priority, continues to approach the problem as a public safety and noise issue and hopes to reduce the number of OHVs on public roads as an indirect way to lessen environmental damage. You can learn more about this environmental issue by watching this excellent video by DeAnna Bindley to Save Bear Mountain or this video taken on March 14, 2023.

Becki & her husband Dustin Ross are 5th generation ranchers, who own and operate Windmill Mountain Ranch Beef, a family-owned and operated cattle business deeply rooted in Arizona’s farming community since the 1940s. Windmill Mountain Ranch runs Brahma-Hereford cows with Red Angus bulls on a USFS and state land grazing allotment between Sedona and Flagstaff. The Ross family has seen the damage done by OHV recreational activities. They are community leaders doing everything in their power to lessen the impact and urging the Forest Service to step up and put the full weight of its authority to save the desert. For more information, contact Becki Ross via email at


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