Record permits sold for Black Hills motorized vehicle usage

Record permits sold for Black Hills motorized vehicle usage

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says it sold a record number of trail permits this year for motorized vehicle usage in the Black HIlls area of South Dakota.

Corbin Herman, the service’s motorized trail coordinator, said the agency sold more than 30,000 trail permits for motorcycles, utility terrain vehicles and all-terrain vehicles. That’s an increase of more than 10,000 permits sold from last year and significantly more than the agency has sold in the past, Herman said.

Herman said the increase is due to the growing popularity of the trails and the coronavirus pandemic, which drove more people to seek outdoor recreation, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.

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“I would say a big percentage of that is due to COVID,” Herman said. “If you look at the trends over the last few years, it’s kind of been trending up anyway. So it’s probably a combination of both.”

The most popular trails, he said, were for the Nemo and Rochford areas in the Northern Black Hills.

The motorized trail permit season in South Dakota runs from May 15 to Dec. 15, weather permitting. The Black Hills National Forest includes more than 3,600 miles of roads with more than 600 miles of trails for ATV, UTV and other off-road vehicles.

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