(Host) All-terrain vehicles in Vermont won’t be allowed on state land. The Agency of Natural Resources announced Wednesday its plans to repeal a rule permitting ATVs on public land because it says the state doen’t have the resources to enforce against illegal activity.
That decision comes after an extensive public hearing last spring on what’s become known at Vermont’s ‘ATV rule.’ Following that hearing, ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz says the agency received a lot of comments.
(Markowitz) "Thousands of comments. I was pleased to see so many Vermonters weigh in on the issue of whether it makes sense for ATVs to ride on public land. And after weighing the substance of the comments and concerns about the legality of the original rule, we decided to move ahead on the repeal. And it should take no one by surprise because we were clear that’s what we felt was appropriate."
(Host) Supporters of the repeal say that unbridled ATV use has adverse impacts on the environment.
Opponents say ATV riders would be more responsible if the sport were formally recognized by the state.
Markowitz says the state has been working closely with the Vermont All Terrain Vehicle Sportsman Association, or VASA, to address its interest in having small connector trails.
(Markowitz) "Although we’re repealing this prior rule on ATVs, we have been working with VASA to use existing authority to provide license agreements for limited use of state property."
(Host) Markowitz says the Agency of Natural Resources has already approved one plan – a 500-foot crossing in Brighton.