Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation is ever expanding and changing. While this form of recreation is acceptable in many public places, these vehicles also have a great potential to cause ecological harm. This fact has land owners in the Sheeprock Mountain range in the West Desert of Utah worried as they perceive greater numbers of visitors to their lands. This study in the area had two goals. First, we sought to understand these visitors, the reasons they come, the activities they participate in and their needs. The second goal pertains more particularly to OHV users. Knowing the motivations OHV users aides land managers in making critical decisions. We sought to not only know their motivations, but to see if their motivations have discernible relationships with their spatial patterns. With that in mind we surveyed OHV users about their motivations and used GPS tracking to record their spatial usage. While we are still analyzing the data, we have learned much about the visitors to the area. The Sheeprock Mountains draw large family centered groups with the large majority of them camping (Slightly over 88% reported camping and mean group size was above 7). We also found that although OHV recreation is very common, fishing was reported more frequently than OHV riding. Knowing how important camping is to the area, managers should have a good idea on how to begin making plans to better manage for the visitors in the area.

Read the technical report to learn about visitation in the Sheeprock Mountains.