Nature Lovers Should Look Fondly
on All-Terrain Vehicles
November 22, 2005
Background: A news item reported that a metal gate at the entrance
to a pedestrian nature trail had been destroyed and dragged away.
A suggestion in the article that ATV users were likely responsible
was met with an indignant reply from an ATV club. The club also
suggested that making trails multi-use (i.e. allowing ATVs on them)
would cut down on vandalism. The following is a response.
Re: Making Trails Multi-Use Would Cut Down on Vandalism
Indeed, it is wrong to assume it was an ATV user who smashed a
gate on the Cataraqui Trail and then removed it with cutting torches
and heavy equipment. I'm sure it's just as likely that the gate
was destroyed by walkers or birdwatchers keen to enrich their trail
experience by adding the excitement of sharing it with ATVs.
As a hiker myself, I know that 'multi-use' trails are good for
everyone, but especially the walkers. Walking is good for the cardiovascular
system in its own right, but all the more so when the heart rate
surges as it does when leaping out of the way of an ATV or snowmobile
as it roars up behind the stroller. And even those birdwatchers
who are forced off the trail by ATVs, benefit because they need
never fear being lost in the woods. Thanks to ATVs, the roar of
the engines and the sweet smell of exhaust fumes will always be
there to lead them back to civilization and safety.
I admire the work that the Frontenac ATV Club has done to gain
access to public roads, but I would argue that the spirit of multi-use
should not be limited to the little trails such as the Cataraqui
and the K & P that wind their way through the woods. Just as
walkers can co-exist in harmony with ATVs, so too can tractor-trailers
share their space on Highway 401 with ATVs. It's true that ATVs
are a lot slower, but I'm sure the truck drivers can learn to be
just as considerate and tolerant as the ATV riders have always been
with the walkers. And just think how terrific it would be for all
the local economies along all the superhighways.
And for those nature lovers who think that roaring engines are
a disturbance to wildlife, they couldn't be more wrong. A steady
stream of motorized vehicles keep the deer and grouse alert and
in shape, qualities they'll need during hunting season.
So as the holiday season rolls around, this is one walker and twitcher
who will stop by the side of the trail and wave a friendly greeting
to the next ATV or snowmobile rider that roars on by. And the next,
and the next
News Release page - The
Sources Calendar -
Search Sources Listings
Parliamentary Names & Numbers
to Post Your Press Releases
Search the Sources directory to find
experts and spokespersons