Thread: Why?
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,587
Originally Posted by Old Rivers View Post
Not trollong. I don't own an atv but have friends that use them to access back country hunting areas on logging roads and other private leased lands. When used responsibly they leave no trace but I am aware of damage irresponsible slobs can do on them. I wish a compromise could be reached with far left enviromental groups. Atv's can be used responsibly, not for "Riding", but for access and game removal during hunting season and not bother anyone on hiking trails.
There's a few other things you have to consider. The logging roads that your friends are using them on have been significantly improved and are far better at handling impacts from wheeled motorized vehicle use than hiking trails are. Also, those roads receive regular maintenance.

Before ATV use could be permitted on a trail on forest preserve lands, that trail would have to undergo significant improvements itself, and receive regular maintenance, all of which would cause the trail to lose quite a bit of its wilderness character and become more like a road.

The intensity of maintenance would also be economically prohibitive- the state has a hard enough time funding maintenance for it's hiking trails. ATV trails would only be an increased burden on an infrastructure that is already stretched thin.

There are old logging roads on state land that could potentially be converted to ATV use... but many of these have been allowed to deteriorate significantly since the state acquired the land, so it would still be prohibitive to adapt them.

And yeah, some of it is politics. For the most part, the snowmobile community has done a much better job at working with the state rather than against it. Otter Lake in the Western Adirondacks is a great example of why ATVs aren't likely to ever be permitted on State Land in the Adirondacks, due to the actions of a few in the ATV community. For years, ATVs have repeatedly flaunted state land use regulations there. They head back there in large crowds of 10-15 vehicles, tear up the ground, and generally just trash the place, leaving a wake of discarded beer cans and fast good wrappers behind. Before there could be any chance of ATV use on state land at all, the ATV community would have to step up, organize, and begin to self-regulate itself far better than it has in the past.
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