Four-wheeler ban helping

(June 21, 2004) — (Wedington-AP) -- The Ozark National Forest says its year-old ban on off-road four-wheelers and dirt bikes is having a tremendous effect on restoring wildlife in the area. The ban has been especially beneficial in the Wedington Unit of the southwest corner of the forest, near Siloam Springs. The regrowth of plant life and return of deer and turkey has led the Forest Service to consider more bans in the Ouachita National Forest and across the country. But some ATV owners and retailers say the ban goes too far and should concentrate on building and maintaining more trails. Les Willis, who rents cabins near Sugar Creek in the Ouachitas, says that trails would provide an outlet without damaging wildlife, but total bans simply encourage rogue riders to tear up the parks.