Vermont Agency Considers Plan to Extend ATV Trails, Implement License Fee


Vermont off-roaders want more land access, but are fighting a plan that would make them register and license their ATVs to get it.

The state’s Agency of Natural resources has posted its proposed rules that would open up small portions of state land to ATV use, but on no more than three parcels of land in the first year. If it’s successful, it could be expanded in subsequent years.

"This is a very limited amount of land that could be involved in this," Jonathan Wood, the secretary of the Vt. Agency of Natural Resources, told broadcast station WCAX in Montpelier. "This is a very specific purpose of connector trails alone."

Opponents of the fees fear that law-abiding riders would be penalized, while scofflaws go free.

"If you start charging everyone $500 to register their car-- you think they're going to stop driving? No, they're going to stop registering their car," said Danny Hale of the Vermont ATV Sportsman's Association.

Wood says most of the trail projects would be just a few hundred feet long and would connect existing trails using as little state land as possible-- although the rules don’t limit trail length.

The legislative rules committee hasn’t voted on the proposed rules at Tuesday's hearing. Another hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 17.

Posted by Holly Wagner