June 19th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh
I’m horrified that Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources’ (ANR) is proposing to establish All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trails on state land. I wrote a letter to the editor of our local Brattleboro Paper, The Reformer and also wrote to Warren Coleman, head of ANR. I’m asking our friends and customers to do the same.
Here’s the situation, as I see it. In spite of much research that’s been done to characterize the extent of damage that ATVs do to our environment, the political leaders at ANR trudge ahead in encouraging and expanding their use. Even if you want to put science aside, plain common sense reveals that noisy, gas-powered ATVs are polluting our air and water, damaging our land and disturbing our wildlife. No one legitimately disputes that. Clearly ANRs decision is not about conservation.
We all know that expanding ATV use is bad for the environment. The decision is about Vermont's economy. In the short term, one might argue that it's good for the economy and will bring in ATV tourists from neighboring states. However, ANR must consider the negative, long term economic effects that go with such a decision. Vermonters have worked hard over the years, and indeed generations, to establish a clean, green state that values environmental conservation over short-term economic gain.
Vermont's green identity or brand, if you will, has great value in terms of tourism, green products and green businesses.
Please urge ANR to consider the damage they will be doing to Vermont's green brand by increasing the use of ATVs in our state. The long term consequences of such a decision will be devastating to the state's economy and wildlife, as well as to the quality of our air, water and land.
There is still time to email ANR and say NO to Establishment of ATV Trails on State land. Send your email to email@example.com today. The deadline for comments is Monday, June 22.
Thanks for your help in keeping Vermont clean and green!