Vermont Governor Wants More Motorized Vehicles in Parks

Vermont governor Jim Douglas says he wants more ATVs and other motorized vehicles in state parks. In recent weeks, more than a thousand people wrote to Douglas and his employees about his plan. As of July 1, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources had received 148 letters and about 1,600 e-mails about the proposal. The writers opposed the rule by about 3 to 1.

But at a public hearing in June in Montpelier, about 250 people showed up to support Douglas's plan, far outnumbering opponents.

The comment period ends on July 6. Contact info is at

Environmental groups are urging people to also contact their state legislators to oppose the plan. Contact info is at

Mollie Matteson works for the Center For Biological Diversity in its Vermont office. "Public lands are not an appropriate place" for ATVs, she said.

Anthony Iarrapino works for the Vermont chapter of the Conservation Law Foundation. He told the Associated Press that wilderness in Vermont has been damaged by ATVs.

Not everyone agrees.

Daniel Hale works for the Vermont All-Terrain Vehicle Sportsman's Association. "If you ask me how much state land [motorized vehicles] should have access to, I'm going to say 100 percent," he told the AP.

But Hale and the governor appeared to be in the minority.

"Motorized vehicles already have a park. It's called the interstate highway system," longtime Vermont resident Dick Andrews told the Valley Post. "You wouldn't drive one in a cathedral. They shouldn't be allowed in state parks, either."


You can lead Douglas to

You can lead Douglas to water, but can you make him drink?

Jane DeNeefe
(former Brattleboro resident)

Someone should send the

Someone should send the Douglas a copy of "Desert Solitaire".

Michaela Harlow

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