Off-roaders trashing state trust lands

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- The desert east of Apache Junction -- state trust land -- has become a playground for off-roaders. All of those all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles, however, are leaving their mark on the fragile Sonoran Desert.

As 3TV's Steve Bodinet explains, there are posted signs, many of them riddled with bullet holes, instructing people to stay on existing roads and trails. Those signs, however, go mostly ignored.

Now Arizona Game and Fish Department officers are stepping up their presence in an effort to protect the land.

If you are caught in a motorized vehicle off established roads and trails on state trust land, you could be slapped with a fine of up to $500.

Also, all off-highway vehicles must carry a special $25 OHV decal. That decal, which must be renewed annually, is available through the Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division or

A portion of the money generated by the decals, which have been required since July 2009, is used to repair the damage to the land.