Juneau Plenty of space for ATVs

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 02, 2007

In response to Ron Berg's letter on Jan. 30, "Increased ATV use on trails is not a good idea," the hard truth is that Juneau is far from having a balance in availability to all groups when it comes to recreational activities.

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Berg stated something that is very apparent in Juneau when he said "Every square foot of Juneau trail system is used" by citizens who want to quietly hike, watch birds, etc. When he says that the use of ATVs is incompatible with the above listed, his view is very closed-minded from within your own box, nowhere in the publication in the paper did it say that the request for space had anything to do with the hiking trails that you are already use. The request is for a designated space that would be opened with the help and organization of city, state, private land owners and a responsible nonprofit group called Rough Riders.

His statement that ATVs chew up the environment is unfounded in the view that those instances are not a definition of the norm for organized ATV riding; it is beside the point if the ATVers had their own space. He references wide open spaces as though that is what is available, like in Nevada, Arizona and Interior Alaska. Wide open spaces are for horses and cowboys; the ATV group is simply asking for a space that is designated for them just as space is designated for hikers and such.

The truth is that many states have found a way to have organized, functioning ATV groups that are not only protecting the land that they use, but they also are doing it in a way that funds the conservation and maintenance of their ATV trail systems. Any person who has watched ATV world on the outdoor network knows how impressive and respected these states' ATV organizations are and has envied their forward thinking.

It is beyond anyone's scope to say that there is not enough space for all. Anyone who had attended the meeting at Centennial Hall would have heard that not only is there space; there is plenty of space for everyone.

Nicole A. Tragis


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