The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation

The growing popularity of motorized recreational vehicles such as jet skis, dirt bikes, four-wheelers, snowmobiles, dune buggies, swamp buggies, rock crawlers, etc.— collectively termed thrillcraft—is a major threat to the American landscape. Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation documents the ecological, economic, political, and cultural effects of this mounting crisis with a focus on public lands. Broad-ranging essays by scientists, economists, activists, and social critics outline the many ways that thrillcraft are degrading America’s natural heritage. More than one hundred graphic photographs displayed how this motorized assault destroys ecosystems from the Florida Everglades to the Alaskan tundra. Thrillcraft also examines the cultural roots that have fostered such a cavalier attitude toward nature. Many Americans, from childhood, are taught to treat public lands as outdoor gymnasiums, where they increasingly search for challenges using machines rather than their own muscles and minds. These petroleum-produced thrills are acquired at the expense of the land, its beauty, and silence. Thrillcraft sounded a clarion call to protect wildlands, traditional recreation, and peace and quiet from this growing nuisance. Charting a vision for the future, the book recounts the stories of successful campaigns that succeeded in eliminating or reducing motorized recreation on public lands.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology produced Thrillcraft in consultation with leading public lands activists, and made related grants to NGOs including the Center for Biological Diversity and the Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads, which used the book in their campaigns against destructive motorized recreation.

Contributors: Edited by George Wuerthner; with essays by Rick Bass, Tom Butler, Philip Cafaro, Dominick DellaSala, David Havlick, James Howard Kunstler, Richard Mahler, Thomas Michael Power, Paul Sutter, Bethanie Walder, Howie Wolke, and others.

Distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007. For more information visit