Ground Truth: Briefly

“Mud Boggers” Damage Fragile Meadow

What’s some people’s idea of a good time? Taking that four-wheel drive and tearing through a wild meadow!

The latest incident of illegal “mud bogging” on national forests has done extensive damage to a wet meadow in Idaho. Boise National Forest officials believe the incident occurred sometime in late April.

Tripod Meadows, post-mud bogging. Photo courtesy Boise National Forest.

“Wet meadows like these are critical components to the forest ecosystem and damage like this impacts everything from fish to big game species,” said Emmett District Ranger Richard Newton. “We encourage appropriate motorized recreation on the forest, but users must stay on designated routes for the protection of resources.”

A witness reported seeing two “jeep-like” vehicles in the area, but the culprits have not been identified. The vehicles left behind deep ruts in once-pristine Tripod Meadows.

Mud bogging is an ongoing problem on national forests and other public lands across the country. The activity kills native plants, clogs waterways with sediment, and compacts soil. Repair work often costs thousands of dollars.

Under federal law, violators could face fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail, and also and be billed for restoration costs.