Snowmobile Trails Damaged By Illegal Use
An open letter from the Florida Mountaineers Snowmobile Club. Our Club experienced a very disturbing incident on Sunday, December, 1, 2013. At approximately 2:30 PM, our club president’s cell phone started ringing off the hook from various landowners stating that 15 UTV (side-by-sides) were riding all over the snowmobile trails and on their private property.
The club immediately called the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the State Police. The club dispatched various members to several trail intersections, hoping to intercept the individuals, which we finally did.
After confronting them, it became apparent that a prominent motorsports business owner was the leader of this group! We expressed our disappointment in their actions.
This group of adults trespassed on 15 pieces of private property, drove on state land that is off-limits to wheeled vehicles and ignored “No ATV Wheeled Vehicle” signs. They removed a fence to stop trespassers and even lifted their vehicles over the top of Jersey Barriers.
We had just completed dozer work at substancial cost and effort to the club. Now most of the effected trails have two-foot ruts, with water running through them. These trails were smooth-like roads before the vandalism. All of the Club’s hard work was for nothing. We haven’t gotten a price on the repair work yet, but estimate it in excess of $5,000.
Our landowners are livid, and rightfully so. One landowner, who has a tree farm, reported that they completely mowed trees over. We are negotiating with them in order to keep these trails open for snowmobiles, including the main SAM Corridor Route-2 that connects the state trail system from east to west.
We are furious! The EPO’s did catch one of these vehicles as they were running away from the officers on a public road.
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