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During the last legislative session it was determined that it was time to conduct a major review of All-terrain vehicles (ATV) use in the state. Since the last review in 2004 there were 2322 miles of designated ATV trails in Maine. Today there are more than 6500 miles - 90% of which are on private land. Additionally, the type and size of these vehicles have increased, putting more pressure on the trails and the land owners who maintain them.

In response, Governor Mills established, through Executive Order, the Task Force on All-Terrain Vehicle Trail Initiatives, to which Maine Woodland Owners Executive Director, Tom Doak, was appointed.  The group, who had their first meeting in early September, is charged with developing a set of recommendations to be considered when the Legislature reconvenes in 2020.

The charge to the Task Force is to:

  1. Discuss creating an ATV trail system with consideration to ATV size, weight, environmental impact and other relevant factors;
  2. Discuss construction and maintenance standards for Maine’s ATV trail system;
  3. Create a plan to enforce compliance of trail construction and maintenance by the State, including discussion of third-party inspections;
  4. Create a communication and outreach plan for the Maine ATV trial system to include a focus on landowner considerations designed to educate the public on responsible ATV operation;
  5. Discuss ATV registration requirements based on size, width, weight and/or value; and
  6. Discuss the adequacy of funding for the oversight, construction and maintenance of the ATV trail network.

Several more meetings of the Task Force is planned for the fall.  There will be an opportunity for public comment and the Task Force is working on specific questions on which it would like feedback.  When that is available, we will pass it along to members.

For more information about the Task Force and its work contact Tom Doak: tom@mainewoodlandowners.org

Read the September 6, 2019 Bangor Daily New STORY about the group's first meeting.

Posted in: Legislation
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