Mud bogging or "mudding" is a fun past time for some folks but it's a nightmare for rangers. "Mudding" is causing great harm to public grasslands, tearing up forest roads and fields.
Fall River District ranger Mike McNeill says "when we have mud bogging and where that kind of damage like you might see behind me, that is not sustainable for us in the long run." McNeil says mud bogging is recreational, " a sport for the off-road enthusiast"
But this off-road enthusiast, Ross Brown of the Off-Road Riders Association says mudding shouldn't be done anywhere near public land. He says "mud bogging is one of those things that a lot of people enjoy doing and there's a right time and place for it and public land just isn't the right place."
Off-road riders like Brown can feel free to ride on national grasslands as long as it is dry. McNeill says "when these soils are dry out regular use oh it is not so impacting but when they get wet, we get really deep, deep ruts." Ruts that can cause an extensive amount of damage, which means more work and money spent on restoring the grasslands. "When we get these large ruts we actually have to have equipment come in a fix those because once they are dried out, it's hard given the soils we have out here" McNeill says.
Mudders don't have to destroy public land to participate in mud bogs. Brown says "there's a really good track out at Hermosa or if you know a private land owner that'll let you"
Ranger McNeil does not want to discourage off–roading but do it when it's dry. He says "the thing we want people to do is just not come out here when it's wet."
The fine for illegal mud bogging can be up to 5,000 dollars and / or six months in jail, in addition to restitution costs.