Action Alert: Off Highway and Recreational Vehicles

Help Stop Illegal Off Highway Vehicles on Public and Private Lands!

From Mass Audubon: Illegal riding of off highway vehicles (OHVs - including ATVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles) on conservation lands causes tremendous damage. These sensitive areas are often protected with public dollars for wildlife or their unique natural beauty, and the ruts and erosion caused by OHVs can be severe, harming wetlands, wildlife, and endangered species.

 

Right now, ATVs and other OHVs often operate without clear identifiers like license plates. Fines are meaningless - the average fine for damaging forestlands or riding illegally on public or private lands is $20.00. In January, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill reforming OHV laws including raising fines significantly. The bill is now before the House Committee on Ways & Means and we need your help to get the bill out of committee and to the House floor for a vote!

Contact your state representative and ask them to speak to House Ways & Means Chairman Charles Murphy and House Speaker Robert DeLeo expressing support for Senate Bill 2257, An Act Relative to Off Highway Vehicles!

To find out who your state Representative is, enter your address at http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php and scroll down to "Rep in General Court."

If you know your Representative's name, you can just call the House switchboard and be put through: 617-722-2000. You can also email. Email addresses can be found here http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm.

 

Sample Message:
State your name and where you live and ask to speak to the Representative. If they are not there, you can speak to staff.

 

Tell them that you are calling in support of Senate Bill 2257, which has passed the Senate and is currently before House Ways & Means.

Say that you hope your Representative will speak to the House Ways & Means Chairman and the Speaker soon and let him know that it is an important bill to you. Information about illegal riding in your district can be useful if you have it.

 

Bill description
Gives enforcement officers the tools they need to stop illegal and destructive riding on public and private lands and provides funding for the development of public trails in appropriate places. The bill will:

 

• Simplify the registration process and require registration for most OHVs with revenues directed to increasing enforcement capabilities, rider safety education, and the development, maintenance and restoration of OHV trails.

• Fund enforcement - 25% of the fines collected from OHV violations will be split between the applicable law enforcement entities involved in the issuance of the fines.

• Strengthen communication among riders, land managers, conservation organizations, enforcement agencies and other stakeholders by establishing an OHV Advisory Group similar to those in other states.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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