Janet Mills creates task force to address problem ATV riders
All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the bunch.
While most all-terrain vehicle riders are safe and respectful while operating their ATVs, some others aren’t. On Wednesday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced that she has formed an ATV Initiatives Task Force to address the riders who operate on the wrong side of the law, trespassing, damaging private land and making landowners reassess their access policies.
The task force will report back to the governor with recommendations on or before Jan. 1.
“Maine’s many responsible ATV users should not have to pay the price for the actions of a few irresponsible actors. But that may be the case unless we act,” Mills said. “Maine has a proud history of outdoor recreational activity, and I want to ensure it stays that way. This Task Force will help preserve our traditions and their substantial economic contributions while also protecting public and private lands.”
“The ATV task force is designed to ensure that the concerns of private landowners are addressed, in order to continue Maine’s tradition of landowners and land users working together to enjoy Maine’s outdoor recreational opportunities,” Camuso said.
ATV Maine, the Maine Woodland Owners and the Maine Forest Products Council each praised the formation of the task force.
Patrick Strauch, the executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council, echoed Doak’s remarks, and pointed out that the ATV situation in Maine has changed over the years.
The task force will:
— Discuss creating an ATV trail system with consideration to ATV size, weight, environmental impact and other relevant factors;
— Create a plan to enforce compliance of trail construction an maintenance by the state, including discussion of third-party inspections;
— Create a communication and outreach plan for the Maine ATV trail system to include a focus on landowner considerations designed to educate the public on responsible ATV operation;
— Discuss the adequacy of funding for the oversight, construction and maintenance of the ATV trail network.
This article originally appeared on www.bangordailynews.com.