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Some ATV operators are behaving badly

To the Journal editor:

After returning home from a woods walk, I again witnessed the mindless destruction and decimation of fields and trails from ATVs.

I watched as they spin in circles, until muddy trenches are made in fields, which are also labeled with “No Motorized Vehicles” signs.

While building the Noquemanon Ski Trail in the late 1990s, we required permission from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Natural Resources for any alteration of woods or wetlands or streams.

We had to meet with the DEQ in Lansing to get the authorization to build a bridge of snow across a narrow water crossing! Now, I see every bike trail, foot trail, game trail being encroached upon by ATVs which, within a season, turn a once wooded single path into a deeply rutted ditch usually filled with muddy water.

Then, when these become too deep, they mow over more trees and brush until a new path is made. These vehicles go anywhere without restriction while decimating wetlands and trails that were once hikeable, skiable and bikeable. Clearly, the operators have no regard for the terrain and resources they destroy in their wake.

Apple trees, wildflowers and small animal habitat is sacrificed without regard. Why are there no regulations for these vehicles as they are marketed more and more for recreation?

See for yourself in any forested land! DNR/DEQ, it’s disgraceful.

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