Legislative Rules Committee Rejects ATVs On State Land

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(Host) A legislative rules committee has unanimously rejected a Douglas administration proposal to permit all-terrain vehicles on state land.

The rules committee says the administration doesn’t have the legal authority to open state lands to ATVs.

Representative Richard Marek of Newfane is vice chairman of the committee.

(Marek) "The authority cited by the agency here was simply one clause in a motor vehicle law, the purpose of which is essentially to create a very wide variety of restrictions on the operation of ATVs."

(Host) The Natural Resources Agency drafted the rules. But the committee says motor vehicle laws were never intended for the use that the administration proposed.

Natural Resources Secretary Jonathan Wood told the committee that his agency did have the authority to initiate the rule. And Wood warned that a negative vote by the committee could undermine other rules from state agencies.

(Wood) "Your vote on this today has significant impacts on man, many of the rules that have gone before. And I would submit might have impact on many, many rules throughout state government."

(Host) Wood said he’s disappointed by the vote and will review his options.

The administration could implement the ATV rule on its own, despite the committee’s objection. But that would weaken the state’s case if the rule were ever challenged in court.


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