Friday, August 01, 2008

Federal Rule May Open AT and Backcountry to ATVs and other "power-driven mobility devices"

Message from 3500 Club:
Deadline for Comments Is August 18 regarding
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services:

The Appalachian Trail and other traditional backcountry areas in our national parks and forests may be opened to All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and other “power-driven mobility devices.” We face imminent danger of a fundamental alteration to our backcountry trails including the A.T.

YOU MUST ACT SOON to tell the Department of Justice that this initiative is potentially devastating to the silent, challenging and primitive ideals and standards of the A.T. and other trails and backcountry areas in our national forests and parks.
On June 17, 2008, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We are writing our clubs and partnering agencies to urge that you respond to the NRPM by August 18. Your own, personal responses will be most effective.
Be sure to point out that we would never want the Department of Justice or others to misconstrue our opposition to other-powered devices as opposition to persons with disabilities. The hiking community encourages and is inspired by the achievments of hikers with disabilities who seek quiet and nature on footpaths. Several, including blind AT thru-hiker Bill Irwin and his service-dog Orient, have completed thru-hikes on the Appalachian Trail.

Indeed, these hikers inspire us to appreciate the challenge of a backcountry trail that is not compromised by All Terrain Vehicles or by machinery that will compromise the A.T.’s silent, challenging and primitive values.

All comments must be received by August 18, 2008. Submit electronic comments and other data to Then go down to Web Results and under that you'll see For some reason the URL does not take you directly there. Anyway, search for and then reference CRT Docket No. 105. You will be required to include your full name and address. You can type your comments in the box provided or attach previously written comments.

Now take a look at the damage All Terrain Vehicles and Off Road Vehicles do to trails. These pictures were taken on the Taconic Crest Trail in August of 2004. And then there is the noise.....Click on photos to enlarge.....


At August 17, 2008 at 10:29:00 AM EDT, Blogger Janet Priest said...

Here's what I submitted along with a photo:
I've seen a lot of trails here in the NE USA. Those where ATVs are in use are damaged beyond repair. There simply is no fix for the degradation and subsequent erosion ORVs of any kind cause on nature
trails. The ATV/ORV sport does not include a trail maintenance concept because it is not a "nature" sport and there is simply no evidence of any comprehension of environmental preservation. Even at a local 4H exhibit at the Altamont Fair
where an ATV safety project was on display, there was no mention of trail maintenance. As drivers on highways, we all know well that road maintenance is
inextricably linked to traffic safety. ATV/ORV use requires designated parks, not nature trails. People with disabilities do not need noisy machinery to enjoy nature. They need caring guides and undefiled natural areas. The current proposal reveals an incompetence that is, or should be, an embarrassment.


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