KESQ NEWS CHANNEL 13

Exhibit shows the damage off-roading causes

A photography exhibit on the damage off-roaders can do to the desert landscape is causing some controversy. Environmentalists say photographs can't lie, but off-roaders say the images are exaggerated.

They are the marks man leaves on the barren desert landscape. The tracks, from off road vehicles on the Algodones dunes. The dunes are a popular off-roading area known as Glamis. They are the focus of photographer Andrew Harvey's exhibit, now at The Living Desert.

Visitor Sandy Pearce says the photographs are disturbing to her. One shows an endangered fringed-toed lizard, apparently killed by an off-road vehicle. Another shows an off-roader driving right past a sign that marks a closed off area, full of sensitive wildlife. And the photographer says this shot, a spider web of tracks, is meant to display the amount of traffic the dunes endure. Traffic the artist says is sacrificing the desert's ecosystem

Steve Harris has seen the dunes up close. He off-roads and owns an off-road rental store. He admits off-roading can damage the dunes, but he thinks these photographs exaggerate.“Showing one dead lizard is sensationalistic,” he says.

Off-roaders are calling the exhibit political and sensational. Propaganda they say aims to close off more dunes to the off-roaders. But environmentalists say the exhibit gives a true picture of the devastation caused by off-roading. The artist say people should look at his photographs and decide for themselves.

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