Local News

Panel rejects ATVs on state land

By Mike Polhamus, VTDigger.org

Lawmakers Thursday, Jan. 14, rejected proposed rules allowing ATVs on state-owned land.

The rules would have permitted four-wheelers on a 0.4-mile stretch of former logging road that would be called the Les Newell Connector Trail, near Stockbridge.

Opponents of the rule said the Agency of Natural Resources lacked authority to adopt it.

One of them, Robb Kidd of Vermont’s Sierra Club chapter, said he feared the rules would set a precedent that would encourage an environmentally-destructive activity.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife chief Louis Porter said he proposed the rules as a way to get ATV users to police themselves against illegal trail use, and to enlist their aid in maintaining trails.

Off-roaders currently drive the Les Newell Connector Trail illegally, said Vermont All-Terrain Sportsman’s Association Executive Director Danny Hale.

Hale said his group hoped that by securing legal access its members would be able to better maintain the trail.

The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules said they rejected the rules in part because they expected legislation this year would clarify the rule-making process.

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