VT Governor’s Plan for Motorized Vehicles in Parks Is Rejected

This summer, Vermont governor Jim Douglas said he wanted more ATVs and other motorized vehicles in state parks. Immediately, hundreds of Vermonters contacted state officials to oppose the plan. As of this month, the state had heard from more than 2,000 people about the plan. Four times as many people opposed the governor’s plan as supported it.

On December 15, a committee of the Vermont legislature voted 7-0 to reject Douglas’s plan. “This is a huge victory,” said Elizabeth Courtney, director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council.

But, she said, Douglas may still appeal the committee’s decision to the full legislature. The full legislature meets for several months starting in January. “People who care about this issue should sign up for e-mail alerts at our web site www.vnrc.org,” Courtney said.

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 Associated Press.

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

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