ORV Trail Assessment Reports


Please click here for ORV Trails that remain open for public use.

  • ORV Report
  • ORV PowerPoint (condensed report) (PDF file)
    ORV PowerPoint (condensed report) (PowerPoint file)
  • Poplar Lick ORV Trail Report
  • Pocomoke ORV Trail Map
  • Poplar Lick ORV Trail Map
  • Green Ridge SF ORV Trail Map


  • "I am writing in concern regarding a few stories that were covered in the Cumberland Times Newspaper this month. I am an avid ATV/Dirt bike rider and enjoy riding the trails here in Western Md. I am very disappointed that the DNR would consider closing these trails to ATV & Dirt Bike riders as popular as they are. Being a member of the Cresaptown Sportsman's club, this was a big topic during the last meeting. We have written to DNR and made some calls but no response.


    I've heard that they have already made their decision to shut it down at the end of this month. The Cresaptown Sportsman's Club consists of around 500 members of ATV/Dirt bike enthusiasts that are very concerned about this decision. If it's a financial issue, I believe the fifteen dollars that they currently charge could easily be increased to fifty or 100 dollars to ride on these trails. I would gladly pay that to keep the trails open and possible make it profitable to the state of MD. I'm sure you could get volunteers to help with the up keep to the trails. I would appreciate any consideration or help that you could give us to ensure these trails stay open in Green Ridge Forest. Sincerely, BSZ"


    I am responding to the potential closure of the Green Ridge OHV areas. Particularly the concern addressed with illegal off road activities and the punishment of those who are riding the currently designated trails. To me this makes no sense. If the off road riding sport is so popular that current areas can not meet the demand wouldn't it make more sense to set aside more OHV areas? Or does Maryland plan to stop allowing cars on public streets because so many drivers speed? It stands to reason also that as private land is divided into smaller and smaller parcels it is also harder for OHV users to own or find owners with big enough property holdings to allow for ORV activities. After all you can ride a horse in a 50ft ring, but you will find few owners who'd be happy if that was all they were allowed. I can only hope that you reconsider this decision as counterproductive and instead work with the OHV community to assist in the preservation of the areas surrounding these trails as to maintain a true multi use directive that all natural areas should have.
    Thank you,
    C. L.

     

    Dear Sir,
    I wish to express my opposition against the closing of the ATV trails in western Maryland. This is the only activity that my family enjoys in tha state parks. It is important to keep PUBLIC lands open to PUBLIC activites.
    I under stand the need to protect the enviroment, but in all the years of riding Green Ridge trail and Popular lick, I have never came upon a Ranger on the trails. I am NOT saying they are not doing their job, rather they need help. The cost of permits and what you charge to get into the parks should go to those activites that the money comes from. I have been a police officer for over 25 years. We do not shut down the roadways because a few people break the vehicle code laws. We patrol and and fine those offenders. You are punishing all for the actions of a few. Thank you for your time.
    T. P.

     

    Dear Sir,
    I have heard news that various trails may be closed to 4-wheeler and ORVs.  I wanted to speak out for the equestrians among us who also use these trails.  The state of Maryland, that we enjoy so much, was first explored and discovered on the back of a horse.  Now, we are often not welcome in may state parks or walking trials.  We cause much less harm to the environment than ORVs and ATVs, yet we often are "lumped" into the same category.  We ask that you take us into consideration when you are re evaluating the impact of vehicles on state trails and view us not as a destructive vehicle, but as nature enthusiasts who enjoy a walk in the woods on the back of our horse.  Please allow us to continue to enjoy the land that has been set aside for the enjoyment of all.
    Thank you so much for your time and consideration,
    A. G.

     

    I want to voice my opinion regarding the closure of the trails.  These two locations represent the two locations my family and I make a visit to at least twice a year.  I bring my children camping,  fishing, hiking and ATV riding. 
    My trip this year during memorial day is now in jeopardy.  Do I go to pa?  We respect the trails, love those forests and resources, and want it protected but at what cost?  Raise the penalties for those who abuse the trails but do not remove the ability to enjoy the trails for everyone. 
    I grew up going to green ridge and want my children to do the same.  The view on the top of the trail at night is awe inspiring and when the train in the distance goes by it is truly an amazing experience.  Do not take that away. 
    Aside from the loss of our enjoyment, the local businesses will suffer too without the infusion of money from vacationers.  The effects to the local economy would have to be tremendous.  I can't tell you how much money we spend at local stores and restaurants during our trips.  Please reconsider your decision to close those trails.
    Thank you,
    J. C.

     

    Other legal areas are too far away from central MD!!!
    D. .D.

     

    Mr. Peditto,
    I am an Economic Development Representative for Allegany County. This is in regards the economic impact of the Green Ridge ATV trail in Allegany County.
    I compiled economic impact data from surveys done of ATV trails overall in the states of Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, the Tug Hill, New York area, and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in West Virginia. I have attached the Excel worksheet I worked from.
    First of all I worked with a the base of 2,182 permits (users) quoted in the Cumberland Times News article dated March 30, 2011. Granted there are likely more users than this, both because those getting permits keep increasing and because not everyone gets a permit. This, however, is a number that can’t be argued with.
    Based on this number of users, this is the estimate of the economic impact of the Green Ridge ATV trail:
    The direct economic impact to the local economy is 4.8 million dollars.
    The overall economic impact to the local economy, allowing for the multiplier effect (indirect and induced spending) is 5.2 million dollars.
    74 jobs have been created for the local economy, providing 2.4 million dollars in payroll.
    The trail provides $400,000 in state and local tax revenues.
    The average stay for riders is 2.5 days.
    The average spending per day per rider is $95 and for the total trip is $235.
    Here are the sources:
    http://www.trailsheaven.com/shared/content/pdfs/Hatfield%20McCoy%20Study%2010-06%20final%20for%20printing.pdf

    http://www.tourism.umn.edu/prod/groups/cfans/@pub/@cfans/@tourism/documents/article/cfans_article_122725.pdf

    http://www.lewiscountyny.org/content/Departments/View/48:field=documents;/content/Documents/File/392.pdf

    http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/NHeconOHV.pdf

    http://burnett.uwex.edu/files/2010/09/AtvEconomicImpactFull.pdf

    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/ATVreport.pdf

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.
    DKN

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto,
    Just reiterating my request that you please do all you can to allow the OHV trails in western Maryland to remain open for the enjoyment of riders of all ages and abilities.  The Green Ridge trail is approx 16 miles long.  Assuming a 15 ft trail width, that equates to a footprint of less than THIRTY acres, a very tiny percentage of Green Ridge’s total forest of some 46,000 acres.
    I haven’t seen the actual report referenced, but in the Times-News article it says normally 500-800lb ATVs are on the trail.  I see plenty of dirt bikes that weigh significantly less than this, as well as lots of sport and kids’ ATVs that weigh less than this, on the trails.  Also please note these trails are open to car, jeep and truck vehicles weighing in the thousands of pounds.  Sure the trails have some topography and thus some water flows across and down them at some points, but there are no stream crossings on the Green Ridge trails.  And I have seen little if any indication of folks straying off the true trails and making their own trails.
    Honestly, I just don’t see any significant negative environmental impact from continuing to allow OHV riding on these trails.  Even if there was, we’re talking about less than .07% of the forest being damaged.  Yet there is clearly a positive economic impact directly to DNR from fees and to the surrounding towns from sales of food and beverage, parts and fuel, as well as health and wellness benefits to all of the riders who participate in this strenuous activity.
    Thanks again for your consideration.
    Respectfully submitted,
    D. S.

     

    Mr. B. N. called because he wanted to add some additional comments to his letter that he sent you about Orville Trail at Green Ridge SF.
    April 16, 2011 Comments:
    Orville Trail was constructed to provide emergency vehicle access and for timbering….if there is a fire there is no access to the mountain.
    Now, there is limited access on Orville Trail.
    April 19, 2011 Comments:
    On April 15, 2011, Mr. N. witnessed 6 -4wheelers and 2 motocycles on Orville Trail.  Potential polices that the Department plans to implement are not going to matter.  The ORV riders are going to do what they want.  

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto
    My family and I are tax paying MD residents and use the state forrest trails at green ridge and poplar lick which your agency has targeted for closure citing environmental impacts. I have reviewed the proposal and believe this action is particularily short sighted for a number of reasons. First, the trail footprint for these trails is a fraction of the forrests themselves and simply could not have the far reaching impact your agency portends. Even if we are to believe this report true why not mitigate this with greater trail maintenance that could be funded by simply raising the fees charged by the very users of the trails. I would not mind paying a larger fee to use state maintained trails.
    Secondly, closing these trails without replacing them with some other equivalent or better trail system will drive MDers and others to go to PA, VA and WV trails taking those fees, and the tax revenues otained by ORV riders spending money in our state. I know that is where my family will go. West Virginia's Hatfield-McCoy trails are an excellent example whereby develping a nice trail system could benefit the state tax base by bringing trail riders from all over to spend money in the state. This shinning example was not lost on your report. PA is full of these trail systems, they have done a great job of balancing the needs of the public to use state lands, including ORV riders.
    Lastly, why not identify and develop alternate trails for MDers and others first, then close these trails if need be. Your report cites grant money made available from Polaris and Yamaha as well as private development money to build trails coupled with fees to the riders themselves to sustain the trails long term. This solution would develop and provide a truely unique riding experience that would ultimately become a boom to the state and local economy(s). After all aren't these public lands and should they not be made available for all those in the state to use, including ORV riders.
    C. S.

     

    Hey Paulie!
    Sad times to see the rest of ORV trails shut down in this state.  The door has effectively been slammed in the face of anybody who rides off road in this state.  I’m sure you are getting deluged with mess on your end.  Why does OUR state have to be so damned unfriendly with respect to this?  That trail has been around longer than we have and where are kids supposed to ride with their parents?  It’s frustrating to pay higher and higher taxes and have more taken from us.  State taxes certainly fund these parks and we pay the taxes!  Sorry to bitch man but this state is gonna lose even MORE money when the riders go elsewhere.  DAMN riders have always done their yearly reunion rides there and the door got slammed on our ride.  We were booked for campsites at the very end of the month so the govt decides to shut it down on the very weekend before the reunion.  NICE.  ALL these guys said screw it and are now heading to Mtn Top in PA to ride.  Their money is going elsewhere.
    Worse yet, logging and environmental tree huggers are calling the shots. 
    I hope you are well sir.  If you need me to do any predator hunting seminars, I have been doing them around the country for years.  A few weeks ago I was on the Outdoor Channel as Pro Staff for Foxpro Game Callers.  We featured a show on fox hunting in MD. 
    Take care my friend.
    P. H.

     

    I am a forest user, both camping and for ORV use.  I am an AMA member and a former boy scout who loves riding in the woods, camping and hiking.  Most of my friends also ride. Many of my friends who do not ride hunt and fish in the state forests as well. 
    Please do not close the ORV loop in Green Ridge State Forest, and please reopen the Pocomoke trail system as well. I cannot help but notice from the posted report that the majority of illegal riding areas are also the furthest away from the current legal alternatives. Illegal riding will only increase with closure of legal areas to ride.  Your own research, showing multiple illegal mountain bike trails, users who have more legal alternatives than ORV users, bears this out. The environmental impacts of illegal trails is clear, but without legal maintained riding areas it will continue unabated.  The current trails are unsustainable because there are no other alternatives.  If you want to reduce use of the western Maryland ORV trails and help curb illegal ORV use in the eastern counties, open ORV use areas closer to Baltimore and encourage responsible riding.  As the posted report stated, West Virginia has had great success with the Hatfield-McCoy trail network and Virginia is planning a similar trail system.  Both states have shown increased revenues and reduced environmental impact from the opening of these riding areas.
    Sincerely,
    D. D.

    As a resident and tax payer in the State of Maryland, I want to protest any closing of the ORV trails at Green Ridge State Park. 
    There are hunderes of us Marylanders who love to ride the trails at Green Ridge and who are MORE THAN WILLING to pay a higher fee each year in order to keep the trails open.
    We, as a group of about 25 riders, travel to the park from Norther Baltimore County, about a 2 hour trip, just to ride the trails and see the beauty of western Maryland.
    My husband and I by ourselves make this trip 2 to 3 times

     

    Good Morning!
     I am a member of the Blue Ridge Jeepers Club from South Central PA.  The Blue Ridge Jeepers are a family oriented group of safe "Jeepers" who love the great outdoors.   I am also a Constituent Services Representative for a Pennsylvania Congressman, who sits on the Water Resources and Environment Committee, so the environment is very important to me as well. 
    Our group had the privilege of visiting the beautiful Green Ridge ORV Trail on Saturday, April 2, 2011 (we had 18 ORV's there that day).  The trails were clean and well kept, all the drivers, including those on ATV's were courteous and friendly.
    I was saddened to hear that the beautiful trail may close.  I have followed the newspaper articles on the reasons for a possible closure and I personally did not see any illegal riding going on that day.  While this may be at times an issue, I feel there are solutions to this.  One solution is tighter enforcement with stiff penalties/fines for any illegal riding.  If someone is hit in the wallet hard enough, word will get around and illegal riding would be reduced very quickly.  Also, limiting riding to designated dirt roads only would help with any environmental issues.  ATV's and dirt bikes should not be anywhere but on the designated dirt roads.  Unfortunately the smaller ORV's at times do "forge their own paths" so that may be something to look at as well.
    Our Jeep group does community services, including cleanup of State Forest lands, and we for one would not only be willing to assist with that, but also we would be willing to pay a yearly fee to ride on the Green Ridge Trail. 
    I hope that the Maryland DNR can come to a conclusion of keeping the trail open while curbing any environmental damage that may be occurring. 
     N. B.

     

    I had the pleasure of driving this trail with our local jeep club this weekend and was amazed by the beauty of the trail. I was also saddened at the fact that you guys are considering closing the trail. I would willingly pay a usage fee of 10 or 15 dollars per day just to ride the trail so that money could go towards the needs of the trail. I would also be more then happy to volunteer on trail cleanup days as well as maintenance days. The Jeeps that we came up with all had cb's and if we new of a channel to report illegal actions we could definitely help out the rangers and call in anything. I understand the potential impact of the illegal trail riding in the area but before closing it why not give all of us legal users a chance to help you maintain the trails? This park has an amazing ability of bringing friends and family's together to enjoy the beauty of western Maryland; and their are not many places where you can drive the ridge of a mountain and enjoy the valleys on both sides of you at once. Once again before you close this trail permanently please consider some alternatives first and give them some time to work.
    Sincerely,
    J. H.

     

    Please keep Green Ridge ORV Open!   My daughter is 7 and we love to ride there! 
     M. H.

     

    I would like the ATV trails at Green Ridge State Forest to remain open.  Furthermore, I wish DNR would implement trails in parks close to the Baltimore/Washinton DC corridor.
    I just purchased an ATV for me and my son to enjoy the outdoors.  I really don't want to travel out of state (likely PA) to enjoy riding our ATVs.
    Thanks,
    John

     

    I am sorry to hear that your going to try to shut Green Ridge ORV trail down. Just to let you know I bought my MD DNR ORV sticker after your study was published with no notices anywhere to the public that certain ORV trails were going to be shut down, you and your staff sold me the MD DNR stickers under false pretenses according to my attorny I have every legal right to ride Green Ridge until Dec 31, 2011. So I will see you on the trail, I will ride slow so you can see me and you can stop me and give me a citation and then we can meet each other in court... Happy Trail Riding...

     

    I would also like to add that if you plan to close the ORV trail at Green Ridge state park because of the condition of the trail. I would hope that you take into consideration that there are ruts just as bad or worse on most of the roads within Green Ridge state park. I have been coming up there for years venturing on every road within Green Ridge. I have experience ruts on Yonkes Bottom, Mountain Rd., Fifteen Mile Creek Rd., Sugar Bottom Rd, Parts of Mertens Ave are very bad and Carroll Rd. All from standard wear and tear from trucks, motorcycles, campers, cars, Tractor Trailers, logging trucks plus equipment. . So tell me how they are not closing down ALL of Green Ridge and only focusing on the ORV trail. We come up there and spend tons of money at local business's I have recommended this park to everyone I know! I come up in June and don’t leave until august. I take my boys through this park every day. We use the ORV trail all year long! Think about how you will affect local business's. For instance Little Orleans Camp Ground. Most of the people who come there to stay, come to venture throughout Green Ridge and to use the ORV trail! More riding areas in the state of Maryland would be wonderful. But, when this park closes on April 24th at the start of the peak riding season, where do you expect people with all levels of riding to go? Have you even considered that. Think about the increase of illegal riding. That is what you will have!!! I can’t believe they would even consider this. This is ridiculous! I mean come on we are talking about 16 miles in 46,000 acres of forest!!!! You can’t even give ATV rides that!!!! This state is ridiculous no wonder everyone is venturing to Pennsylvania and West Virginia to ride. If this trail closes, I will be doing the same! Why support a state that doesn’t support their taxpayers!
     O.

     

    Greetings, I was hoping to get a response from my previous emails  regarding the ATV/Dirt bike trails at Green Ridge.  With very few public  places to ride, I would really hate to see these trails go away for the  riders out there.  I would not be opposed to paying  more for the yearly  pass or volunteering to help with patrolling the trails.  I'm sure there  are other riders that feel the same way.  I'm also am member of the  Cresaptown Sportsmen's Club and brought this news up at one of our club  meetings. This did not go over well with our club members.  We currently  have around 500 active members.  We would be happy to help in any way  keep these public trails open for ATV's & Dirt bikes. I hope to get a  response from this email.
     Thanks,
    B. S. Z.

     

    I work in the media and also have Orv's.  As most riders, I feel this  is a freedom that we can't afford to loose. I'm writing because of my  deep concern of loosing one of the few places left in MD for Orv's. 
     I've seen the pictures of the trails and  the so called damage, but I've  also been on trails that have had logging done, which I believe is far  worse than what any ORV would do.  If your worried about destroying the  Eco system and the forests, It does much greater damage uprooting our  forests and wildlife for home development and I don't see anyone  stopping that.  I've seen what damage the logging contractors have done  too, not to mention the littering that is caused from the logging, maybe  someone needs to post those photos.
     I'm just curious if this email address that we are sending comments to  is for someone at HQ to review and help determine if they are going to  keep the trails open or is this just a place to vent. In regards to the  trails at GRF, I think that this whole ordeal has not been thought out  entirely and could be profited from.  Unlike many other projects that  Maryland pulls on the taxpayer.  If our people in office do not listen  to what "We The People" have to say, then we need to get them out of  office and make some changes.  When I hear about having public meetings  regarding the discussion of the trails and find out that the public  knows nothing about it, this  certainly infuriates me.  The next step  taken will be to stop the Orv's on private land. I enjoy hiking,  mountain biking and all the outdoor activities so I am certainly  sensitive to the needs of other outdoor lovers, but there's got to be a  better way to work things out.  I hope you reconsider the closing of  GRF.  After finally getting in touch with a real person at DNR, its  sounds like you have already made up your mind.  That is truly a shame!
    I hope others stand up and appeal this!
    Regards,
    BZ

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto:
    The conclusion of your ORV report is well supported.  ORV use is not compatible with a state forest managed in an environmentally sensitive manner.  Soil compaction is a serious consequence of continuous ORV use.  ORVs weigh  up to  1500 pounds. The tires on many ORVs are 11 inches in width ( http://www.amazon.com/Carlisle-AT489-ATV-Tire-25-11-00-12/dp/B003MAW1AC.)   Soil compaction caused by ORV tires  limits root growth, water availability, and nutrient accessibility. The damage is increased because ORV roam the forest, frequently going off designated tracts.  ORV use also increases invasive species, causes erosion, and adversely affects the health of the streams within forests. ORV use causes forest fragmentation, which limits plant and animal migration and breeding. ORV use destroys RTE species.  No public comment filed thus far disputes the Report's conclusion that  the scale and scope of ORV use destroys  forest ecology.
    The issue is what to do about the environmental degradation caused by ORV use.   This issue raises two questions:  are there non-environmentally sensitive locations in Maryland that ORVs can use?  Is there any reason the government, rather than private enterprise, needs to develop these sites?
    For western Maryland there are good alternative sites: abandoned mine land.  Western Maryland has a storied history of coal mining.  There are a reported 9500 acres of  abandoned mine lands in the coal region of Western Maryland.  (http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Land/mining/Coal%20Mining/Pages/Programs/LandPrograms/mining/BOM/index.aspx) .  West Virginia has built 500 miles of  trails at six different locations in former mine country. (ORVReport at pg. 8.) We see no reason that Maryland cannot use former mine land for a similar purpose.
    A second issue is what DNR's role should be in developing alternative ORV sites.  The report states that it is in DNR’s interest to facilitate obtaining lands of the "lowest ecological value" for ORV use, so as to keep the vehicles off higher value land, presumably state forest land. (ORV Report at p. 86.) DNR should not itself develop these alternative sites. Private enterprises have opened ORV tracks in other states and, presumably, can do so profitably.  As the report notes, significant funding is available for ORV manufacturers to facilitate the construction of private ORV tracts.
    Private entry has not occurred in Maryland because DNR operates ORV tracts at an economic loss.  No private enterprise is going to enter the business when it competes with a government  that sells its services at a loss.  To encourage private entry, DNR must exit the ORV business and make it difficult for people to ride ORVs on forest land illegally.  DNR can do this by increasing education, penalties, and enforcement.  Most important, since "logging roads are the main access points for illegal ORV use," (ORV Report, pg 77 point 7), DNR must require loggers to block access to logging roads upon completion of logging. In short, DNR must, for the sake of healthy forests,  exit the ORV business.  This action, together with the growing popularity of ORVs, the ready source of industry financing, and  availability of former mine land will make entry into the business by private enterprise  attractive.  These actions will encourage ORV recreation as well as protect Maryland valuable forest heritage.
    Again we congratulate you on your fine report and its forward-looking recommendations.
    Sincerely yours,
    F. L.
    President

     

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    To close the ORV trails at Greenridge State Park would be a great disservice to many responsible off roaders in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. These trails are the only ones in the area, and to close them would. Take from the grandeur of the rest of the beautiful park. I make a point of going to Greenridge at least once a year and it is truly my favorite place to be.
    I think you would find that the people who use the trails are very responsible and concerned citizens, and would likely be willing to volunteer their time to maintain the trails. I personally come from Carroll County to visit Greenridge, which is no small feat in a 4x4 with current gas prices. But I know many people who come from the eastern shore and southern Maryland to enjoy the park and trails. It is the only place of its kind for a very long way. In fact, it's the only place I know of at all where you can really camp and 4 wheel, without a camp store and bath houses and small children being driven around in golf carts. People like myself have modified our trucks specifically with the ORV trails at Greenridge in mind. It's a wonderful past time that many people enjoy as a way to spend time with their families and friends and to teach children about respecting the environment while enjoying in a very unique way.
    I believe there would be an increase in illegal off roading down fire trails and power lines if the ORV trail were to close. Please consider the respectful hobby that so many Marylanders enjoy, and what we are willing to do to keep the trails open. Thank you
    M. G.

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto,
    As a lifelong motorcycle and ATV rider, I am somewhat ashamed to say I had not ridden the Green Ridge ORV trail.  I finally took the opportunity on Saturday April 23, the last day it was open to the public, and would like to make the following comments.
    I was a little shocked by the blatant disregard some operators show for the rules.  I saw many ATVs and untagged motorcycles riding on regular forest roads, riding the loop backwards, turning around multiple times to ride through mud puddles, and a lot of excessive speed (even while riding against the flow of traffic).
    The noise generated by vehicles on the trail, while noticeable, generally was not offensive.  There were a few vehicles that were operating with loud exhaust and they could be heard a long way off.
    I did see some illegal off-trail riding, but most of that was done to get around the large mud puddles that covered entire sections of trail.
    The trail loop allowed me to see areas of the forest I otherwise would never have been able to experience.  The views from along the top of the ridge were beautiful and the wildlife along East Valley Road didn’t seem to mind the sound of my bike or when I stopped to photograph them.
    I saw a lot of families out riding the trail together.  Although I don’t have children, the best memories I have growing up were off-road riding with my father.  It was also a great way to stay in shape, a far better workout than any Wii Fit could provide you with.
    I don’t like to take this attitude, but there are a lot of people talking about the ORV trail ruining the quiet and solitude of the forest.  There are plenty of other forests and parks throughout the state that DO NOT offer ORV riding to the public, so why can’t they enjoy those and let us enjoy this one?
    Finally, the logging operations going on at Green Ridge State Forest were a far bigger eyesore than the ORV trail could ever be.  The state has shut the trail down due to sensitive environmental areas, but heavy logging equipment and tractor trailers are causing a lot more damage to the environment than off-road community does.
    There are a lot of off-road groups in and around the State of Maryland, I believe the Forest Service should reach out to them to get there help creating a more suitable trail around the sensitive areas.  I would be more than willing to take a week off work and bring my tractor out there to help cut and clear a new trail.  Also, why not reach out to that same community and develop a volunteer ranger program to patrol the trails, at least from Friday-Sunday.  I know there would still be administration costs, but having volunteers patrol the trail during peak usage times would help reduce the workload on the forest’s staff.  I do fully support the state closing down the Poplar Lick Trail due to the creek being home to breeding population of native trout.  The impact on the creek from the ORV use (and abuse) is more than the trout population can handle, in order for them to have sustainable reproduction, it is in the best interest to shut down that particular trail.  The problem we’re facing is that shutting down legal riding areas is only going to create more illegal riding areas.  I live a short distance from Susquehanna State Park and Stoney Demonstration Forest, and at either one there are significant signs of illegal riding activity. I believe the state should also look at opening other legal riding areas closer to the Baltimore metro area.  I would be willing to pay a higher permit fee to support the ORV trail system in the state, especially if there were riding opportunities closer to home.
    Thank you,
    G. K.

     

    To whom it may concern,
    I am a teenager and I go up to Green Ridge at least once a month with my family and our close friends. We always respect the rules and the trails. Often times we leave it cleaner than when we got there. There are no places to ride ATV’s where I live except for busy roads. Please do not close the trails down.
    Thank you for your time and understanding,
    E.

     

    John, I have an addendum to my previous comments that should be in harmony yet expand upon them. 
    As you can see there are many highly motivated citizens interested in riding on their "public land". For years now the State has been collecting various monies from fees and grants as well as accruing money from POS sources yearly. If any of these funding sources have been raided by various State "executives" over the years, that should not be a legitimate reason to increase fees or disrupt plans going forward to enable lawful riding. It is for this reason that I don't agree with the proposal to increase fees of any kind.
    I also see an attempt to further limit, restrict, and otherwise regulate the public when it comes to using their "public land". I believe this is tolerable only so long as the amount of regulation does not disenfranchise the actual people for whom these recreation opportunities are meant. For instance, there is not enough evidence to exclude minors 12-16 from enjoying riding on this land. The MIEMSS report is a specific opinion about ATV use and is but one viewpoint and should not be taken as gospel, or the most valid model.
    Finally, for this addendum, I've noticed much talk about ATVs and trails. ORVs also include dirt bikes (two-wheeled motorcycles) and some dual sport vehicles that can ride on streets. I want to make sure that they are included in the discussion, whenever that resumes. In addition, I want to specify them as a separate type of user of recreation: motocross riders / trail riders. If turbidity is harming fish then obviously trails should be relocated. If Smartwood accreditation is mandated by the governor then a creative solution to co-existence should be sought openly and new trails opened accordingly. A number of motocross tracks could be opened immediately without lengthy studies being performed. Turbidity, it's been shown, is not such an issue with any place other than Poplar Lick. The funding is there, and has been for years. And motocross tracks would provide a degree of immediate relief from unwanted trail damage by the more "enthusiastic" riders.
    I hope that our email addresses and contact numbers will all be used to summon us to the next meeting. I don't want to miss it, for sure! Thanks again John and especially to Paul Peditto.
    W. O.

     

    DNR,
    Please raise your fee's to $100.00 per vehicle. Most of the issues are money driven. Any rider who really enjoys your your parks will not have a problem paying this small fee. No one can provide a ORV area for $15.00  per year.  I have 5  bikes and we enjoy riding your parks. RAISE YOUR FEE'S keep the trails open.
    Thanks,
    ATVRAT

     

    Please leave the ORV trails open. They are the only place in Maryland where my family can ride legally together.
    D. D.

     

    To Whom it Concerns-
    I am a MD State Employee and my family owns the property located between nearby Dug Hill Road and Mountain Road.   MV Smith Road runs through our property and gates prevent motor vehicle access.  We maintain the property as a tree farm and participate in State wildlife conservation programs.
    Occasionally ATV/motorcycle riders ride on our property and ride MV Smith, Dug Hill, etc.  If the ORV trails are closed there will no doubt be increased illegal off road use of these vehicles.  That means increased enforcement burden to DNR officers (I know DNR officers already spend a fair amount of time chasing ORVs in the summer) and increased environmental damage.
    I don’t see any advantages to anyone if the trails are closed.  If the issue is money, raise the fees.  We have talked with ORV riders and they say MD has artificially low fees.  Most do not mind paying extra to ride on the rails.  If these trails are closed the ORV problem will not go away.  They will be riding the mountain roads and riding on other private and state property.
    Thank You for your attention-      
    D.S.M  

     

    Save your breath people. We don't have a voice and we will not change anyone's mind. Like mentioned before, it's about money and politics.Think about it, maryland took in under eighty thousand in permits. The state can make over a million a year if they outlaw ORV's state wide in fines, confiscation, holding your pickup truck, bikes and trailer for ransom or selling at auction. There is no concern over economic impact, consideration to the financial investment by individuals and family's who legally enjoy this pastime.
    Pay attention to Maryland politics, our rights are being stripped away daily behind closed doors such as this and you won't hear about it in the news.
     PU.

     

    Has anyone actually read the "ORV condensed  report? Read "final thoughts"
    second from last page. It seems that it was  written by a thirteen year old.
    What's up the picture of the dog on the last  page. To respond to the last
    line in "Final thought's" YES!!! BUTT OUT!!!   I DON'T RECALL ASKING FOR
    YOUR LAME OPINION!  ABANDON YOUR LAME GROUP AND  GO BACK TO SCHOOL !!!

    HOW ABOUT DOING AN IMPACT STUDY ON THE INVESTMENTS  MARYLAND FAMILIES HAVE MADE TO ENJOY THIS BLESSED RESOURCE NOT TO MENTION THE  ORV DEALERS WHO WILL FORCED TO CLOSE THEIR DOORS BECAUSE OF YOUR OPINION. HOW  ABOUT THE ECONOMICAL IMPACT OF HANCOCK FLINTSTONE, FROSTBURG AND CUMBERLAND AS A  RESULT. 

    WHO ARE THESE SO CALLED "STAKE HOLDERS" ? WHY DO THEY GET TO SPEAK FOR  THE THOUSANDS OF MARYLAND RIDERS? BASED ON YOUR WEBSITE, MARYLAND WILL LOSE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BY SHUTTING DOWN THESE TRAILS.
     
    YOU FOLKS CAN THANK YOUR FELLOW DEMOCRATS. GET EVEN WITH THEM AT THE POLLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

    I am not an owner or user of ORV's.  I have personally seen the destruction and erosion that these vehicles can cause on public and privately owned land during my many hikes in Maryland and elsewhere.  I do not begrudge ORV owners the opportunity to use their vehicles on public lands, however it must be controlled in such a way that it does not cause irreversible damage to the environment, significant impacts on wildlife, and unacceptable noise pollution for those of us who use our feet instead of motorized transport.  Earlier commenter's have offered constructive suggestions as to how to meet these objectives while maintaining opportunities for using ORV vehicles on public lands.  If these can be implemented successfully, then I fully support continuing having ORV trails in Maryland, but I object to keeping trails open if there is no way to prevent further damage and degradation of the environment from continued use.
    J.F.

     

    Dear Sirs,
    I am genuinely saddened by the news of Green Ridge ORV trail being closed. I have enjoyed using them over the last 7 years. With this closure, I will likely never visit again. I understand the conflict of multiple user groups in the same park system. However, I do not see the great environmental impact  on this area from ORV use. I think that you will see a serious erosion problem begin once access is barred.  Regular use helps to retain the soil. I have seen some abuse from riders cutting off of the marked trail but it is not that prevalent.  When you consider that I have never once seen park personnel on any trail area while I was there, I feel that this is minimal.  I do see some reasonable suggestions in the report summary such as a higher user fee and some reorganization. I hope that your staff implements some of these ideas.
    Additionally, there are some local clubs that would be a likely source of information and could even offer volunteer assistance to help or guide maintenance.
    I have driven my street legal motorcycle through the trail at Poplar lick. While I do not support closing it, I can see where the concern for the stream is based.  The trail crosses the stream several times. Perhaps rerouting the trail to minimize the number of crossings would be a suitable solution to the environmental impact.
    A good portion of the report seems to deal with illegal use on unauthorized areas in other parks. I think that this should be the focus of all action coming from this report. Closing legal access will most likely increase illegal use.
    I remain hopeful that the closure will be temporary and used for reorganization of the trail system and support staff. This is an asset to our community and a good example of the park service providing the community with something it wants.
    Thank you.
    PW

     

    Why would the legislature want to close the few legal areas available to ride ORV's by law abiding citizens?  Every time I use these areas, I notice lots of participation by families who have no where else to go in Maryland.  Myself and my two sons have enjoyed both western Maryland sites and would like to continue to do so.  Please look at what Pennsylvania and West Virginia have done to bring much needed visitors with money to their legal riding areas.  I'd rather stay in state and legally ride my ORVs in areas supported by my tax dollars.
    Thanks, JK

     

    Howdy
    I just wanted to take a moment to express our feelings twords the closing of the green ridge trails or any other trails in the area or any part of the world,
    My family has been coming to green ridge for years  Just for the ORV trail,  a tradition that has been going on  for a long time,  we all get together at family events are we talk mostly about planning a green ridge trip, take off for a week or two and head to the mountains,  head to Green ridge,  not only will this effect the community  it will have a huge impact on the ATV and off road vehicle Community !  now I know to the rest of the world  “OUR GROUP”  the off road vehicle bunch. Looks like a small piece of the pie.  But as a man who was brought up to respect the woodlands,  I am having a real hard time dealing with the fact that the trail is closing.  And just like all the other things AKA the little man.  Or the small mom and pop shops around the globe. They close and never open back up because they aren’t as modernized as the rest of the world or a behind the times,   Well people need to realize that there are people in the world that love the less modernized places and the behind the times areas It’s a tribute to where each and every one of us was born into,  there is nothing wrong with the slower lane  Why speed by  slow down enjoy the smell of the trees and the fresh mountain air,  Im in no hurry to get old,  and it saddens me greatly to think that My lil  3 WEEK old son will possibly never have the chance to tackle East Vally RD,  that hell never be able to meet me at the door and say HEY POP,   Lets  do a green ridge trip,  or hey pop my buddy and his dad want to go to green ridge and ride with us.   Very depressing.  There is no doubt  that every off road trail has its dangers.  But as does life ,   Life has dangers the problem is when you come in and closing  down something cause its dangerous or unsafe  to me is not the answer!!!  So the world has to change because there are idiots in it ?  no way………. keep the trail open and make the world educate them selves on how a throttle cable works -    it doesn’t have to be held wide open,  but they do it wreck and say “ it’s the bikes fault “  no  it has a throttle for a reason if you do not have enough common sense to know how to operate the throttle then you should not be on a bike or any off road vehicle,  if you do not have common sense enough to know where the brake is on a off road vehicle is then even God cant help you!!!   You shouldn’t have a license.   If you do not have the common sense to say to your self “ hey there is a turn coming up  you should slow down “ or “ hey the trail is a lil ruff you should slow down”   the point im trying to make is Nature is what nature is.  The world is beautiful  Green Rigde is beautiful
    Being able to Stop at banners overlook  get off your bike and look down at the river and up at the horizon is a feeling like no other.   If we keep shutting down the placed to Ride off road vehicles  its going to tear apart the ORV COMMUNITY,  there is a certain bond you have with a complete stranger.   Its kinda of like back on the frontier  a no man left behind type thing,  its something they are not teaching in schools any longer and its something that Greenridge  taught me at a young age!  Respect mother nature and mother nature will respect  you !!!!!    I can not express how depressing it was when a co worker came up and said hey did you hear there shutting down Green ridge and It was as if a family member passed away, others may not understand the passion me and the rest  of the ORV community have for  Green ridge and the passion we all have for ORV –ing in general,    It really bad that the bike is in the shop and I will not get a chance to get in one last ride !!!!!
    Saddened
    D. K.

     

    To whom it may concern,
    The Maryland ORV Trail Assessment Report reveals a systematic management problem within Maryland. As an avid outdoorsman, legally enjoying a large majority of the activities the report cites as damaging to the environment and areas mentioned, it concerns me that the initial answers provided in the report are simply to close areas such as the Green Ridge State Forest ORV trail. Legal recreation in Maryland, which is limited to begin with, is now at risk and it appears as though the DNR has written off the larger issue of mis-management of these areas as an issues of user misuse and abuse. The report also notes several illegal trails, yet fails to suggest options beyond the immdediate closure of such networks. By closing the legal riding areas and giving ORV enthusiasts no reasonable legal options to enjoy such activities, Maryland DNR is setting itself up for a never-ending battle of rogue and illegal trail use and continual financial burdens that come with the identification and reclamation of such areas.
    What the Maryland DNR needs to focus on is providing a legal, safe, affordable and accessible ORV opportunity to the tax paying citizens of this state and visitors to Maryland. Sustainable trail design, building, and maintenance techniques must be incorporated as part of the DNR's management of these areas. By shutting down ORV areas the DNR is closing down vital tourism dollars to areas already hard hit by the economic conditions present in today's world. One need to look no further than what the Hatfield & McCoy trail system has done to help keep small towns in sourthern West Virginia alive in an area where industry and jobs have already abondoned. Maryland DNR should undertake a trail user education program, focusing on trail stewardship, a simple approach already placed into action by groups like the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and the American Motoryclist Association (AMA), as well as many local groups such as the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (http://www.more-mtb.org). Simple steps could go a long way to improving current ORV areas and expanding the options beyond the very limited legal areas in Maryland at present. It should be a goal of the Maryland DNR to engage local and national off-road based groups, as getting these groups engaged and active in the state can provide a quick answer and catalyst to sustainable trail use and upkeep.
          Maryland DNR, the ball is in your court, don't let the residents of Maryland and the enthusiasts who bring dollars into our state down by simply turning your back on ORV areas.
    Sincerely,
    J. M. W.

    Dear Sir:
    I am an avid OHV rider, however due to the lack of Open Riding Areas in Maryland and absolutely none in Delaware, I am forced to go to motocross tracks.  However when i want to ride off road, I travel all the way to California several times a year.  I gladly pay my out of state permits, buy motel rooms, food, gas, etc and all things related to travel and helping the economy.  I amazed on a holiday weekend the huge number of OHV enthusiasts traveling to the desert in their toy haulers.  Toy hauler after toy hauler going down the road.
    I can only guess the amount of effect these riders have on the economy of California.  I tell everyone in California how lucky they are to have a State Park system like they have and the opportunity to ride in so many different areas.
    Do you know there are only two legal places to ride motocross in Maryland, and only one in Delaware.  Now you are considering closing some of the few areas set aside for riding.  And you wonder why people go out of state to buy there bikes and not pay sales tax.  Give us a place to ride, not close riding areas, and we may be more willing to pay taxes and permits. 
    Moto cross has been a family recreation for over 15 years, we have three generations riding now.  Now my grandchildren are old enough to ride off road, and I'm sure they will be going to California to ride at Ocotillo Wells OHV SVRA and I'll be buying yearly permits for their bikes.  Close areas loose tax money, kill an economy that could grow even more..
    Sincerely,
    G. R. B.

     

    Dear Maryland DNR,
    Please don’t make it a crime for me to take a bike ride down the Poplar Lick trail.  Nothing in the report on your website suggests that bikes have any greater impact here than fisherman or hikers.  On my first visit to Garrett County I rode my bike up the Poplar Lick trail to New Germany State Park and fell in love with the place.  We subsequently bought a house in the area specifically because we love biking and skiing in the park and state forest.  It would be a terrible disappointment to see those activities criminalized.  I would also note that the Monroe Run trail, where bikes and ORVs are already prohibited, is a mess.  In the summer it gets so overgrown that is practically impassible even by foot.  Also, I’m not an ORV rider  but I have thought it might make some sense to open the Asa Durst area to ORVs.  The Asa Durst trails are so overgrown it is impossible to follow the trails (except in the dead of winter).  Maybe if ORVs could get in there they would knock down some of the overgrowth and make the trails useable again (obviously, the trails we need to be routed away from the swampy stream-bed area at the bottom the current trail system).
    Thank you,
    C.S.P.

     

    Wow Maryland really doesnt want our money, slowly and surely taking the legal land away to ride atv's, while surrounding states do what they can to open it up for us. Oh thats right Baltimore City made it legal to ride atv's on city streets, I know cause i live where they ride, of course they are all stolen and illegal, but they get to have all the fun. I on the other hand have to drive 2 1/2 hours any direction to ride on land i bought the permits for. If you keep taking our land away you force our money into other states and kinda push some into riding on illegal property when they would be doing right. What pictures i saw of Grenridge looks like it always does, a muddy dirt road, and not really any pictures of Stafford road cause the rocks dont damage to well. Just because a Honda Civic cant drive an ORV trail does not mean close it like Maryland thinks it does, it means Off Road Vehicle trail and it is going to be muddy, rocky, rutted, and rough. 
    Nice pictures of the Atv's used to take the pictures by the way, they are illegal riding too, I dont care who they are they still leave tracks like everyone else.
    Thanks,
    Richard

     

    Please don’t force people to ride illegally , I have been riding in green ridge for years . I have plenty of places I can ride near my house that are not the most legal place to ride but I chose to drive 1 1\2 hours so I can ride legally . its safe for my family , there are no other places in MD to ride . It would be a sad day for freedom , the day you make Green Ridge illegal to ride
    Sincerely,
    R. M.

     

    Please keep the trail open what good would it do to close it? 

     

    To whom it may concern:
    To read the suggested closure of the Greenridge State Park ORV trail was a shock to me and my son. We are coming here since years, camp out on the trail and enjoy a few rides with our dirt bikes.
    With the closure we have no other place to go and would be forced to find a ”private” place to ride our bikes.
    We would be willing to pay significantly more money for the permits (maybe you should think about daily and monthly passes instead of yearly permits) in order to cover maintenance cost for the trail and I would like to urge you to consider this option.
    Thank you for your consideration and support.
    Best regards,
    U. W.

     

    I respectfully request that you carefully consider any reduction of access to Maryland’s natural resources.  While I fully support protection of our environmental resources, I am a Conservationist not a Preservationist.  I believe that Maryland’s natural resources can be enjoyed by all under the proper conditions.
    My father spent his entire career with the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, starting as a Park Ranger and retiring as Park Superintendent in the early 90’s.  He was instrumental in developing & building one of the very first trail systems in our state – the Meadow Mt Snowmobile Trail.  While we feel fortunate to have this short (11 mile) trail, I can’t help but question the validity of your statement in the recent press release:
     “However, we are also very much interested in providing sustainable recreational opportunities on our public lands for a wide spectrum of outdoor experiences.”
    When the same new release ends with:
    Off-road vehicle trails were first authorized to be established on DNR lands by the Legislature in Maryland in 1974 and DNR designated the trail locations in 1976. No additional trails have been designated on DNR lands since that time
    In the 35 years since this trail has been in place, I have seen little, if any, trail maintenance or improvement (other than what we have done on our own).  In fact, we have observed the steady decline of all Maryland Forests and State Parks due to the reduction in funding of the MD DNR.  Like many who have already commented, I strongly believe this is a budgetary issue disguised as an environmental issue.
    Surrounding states are increasing trail access – Pennsylvania has thousands of miles of marked, groomed, snowmobile trails.  Our state seems eager to decrease usage rather than find solutions that protect the environment while maintaining access.  I find this direction extremely troubling since I reside in Maryland’s largest county where State Forest & Parks consume over 20% of the land area (nearly 85,000 acres).
    There is a much larger issue at hand than just the trail system mentioned in this report.  Has anyone studied what actions could be taken to minimize the impact of the ORV trails on the surrounding environment?  Simple solutions like bridges at stream crossings and improvements to trail beds would likely go a long way to restoring places like the Poplar Lick.
    My final point.  While I completely support the expansion of ORV trails in Maryland, my particular support is for additional snowmobile trails.  By traveling on top of the snow-pack, a snowmobile is unique in that it never actually comes into contact with the surrounding environment.  Furthermore, the snowmobile trails actually benefit the local wildlife by creating a “packed trail” by which they can travel to and from food and shelter during the winter months.  Personal experience indicates that whitetail deer and turkeys use snowmobile tracks & trails extensively throughout the winter – and we are glad to “share the road”.
    I’m asking you to reject the easy solution of simply closing these trail systems, and accept the challenge of finding a solution that both protects our environment and maintains access to our natural resources.
    Respectfully,
    G. J. W.

     

    I have been an ATV’er for ten years. I started late at 50 years old. I have ridden on illegal land and legal Trails,( Pocomoke and Greenridge) .Ther HAS to be a space for us in these big outdoors, or as the impact report states, closure will only promote illegal riding. If we have state funds for entitlement projects, are’nt we entitled also? Thank You for providing a section for comments.
    Sincerely
    G.S.F.

     

    Hello DNR,   I am a lifelong MD resident and business owner. My family and I have been camping and legally riding motorcycles in the Greenridge State forest for decades. My parents camped in the 1950s. I strongly oppose to the closure of the OHV trail loop. I know of several OHV groups who have offered to provide manpower and resources  to help with trail maintenance. There aren’t many places in MD for this type of family recreation private or public. And with fuel prices so high it is becoming less appealing to travel to other states that have good riding areas. It seems that some other states are able to make trail systems work and we should be able to do the same. Closure will only promote illegal riding and kids without family things to do seem to find trouble. Please reach out to the OHV community for help to keep Greenridge open and realign the trails around sensitive areas if needed 
    Thank You,
    G. S.

     

    Please do not close the trails!!!

     

    Thank you for the chance to comment on the proposed closure of Green Ridge and other ORV trails.
    I live in Baltimore City, so if I want to ride my motorcycle off road, I either need to travel a fair distance to Green Ridge, but it is the closest legal opportunity to ride in the state.
    Based on the suggestions in your report, I would not object to an increase in fees for off road vehicle use on DNR land. You might start with those, like myself, who ride street legal vehicles (in my case, a dualsport motorcycle) on the ORV trails, currently at no cost. I would also support moving the trails to areas where they would have less ecological impact.
    I would suggest, though, and your report seems to support this, that closing the existing legal trails without providing a legal alternative will do more harm to the environment, as enthusiasts seek out extralegal mean of pursuing their sport, which, as you note, is growing in popularity. Close them as DNR's scientists see fit, based on the environmental impact, but I urge you to do so only after opening new locations.
    Thank you for your time,
    C. L.

     

    Please do not close the off road trails and riding areas. This would hurt business and curb a popular hobby.
    Thanks
    J.G.

     

    Please count me in as one who wishes NOT to close the trails sir. I do not even ride off road but would love to have a beautiful area like Green Ridge to spend quality time with my daughter if we wanted to. I do not understand that when citizens of a state are willing to PAY for a benefit in OUIR OWN STATE that we support and pay for fully, and the state makes a profit to help other issued, why we can’t have it. I thought this was OUR state, the citizens. There will always be a few folks that will violate the rules, and a few folks that don’t want it (noise, etc) but it clearly appears the over whelming majority wants to keep it open and enjoy it in the proper way.
    BG

     

    Mr. Peditto,
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.  As a Maryland resident, I would like to encourage the State to reduce the ORV trail system as much as possible.  Maryland has many beautiful forests and the habitat is irreplaceable.  State lands can and should be shared and used by all people equally, provided they do not damage it in terms of eroding it's soil, harassing wildlife, causing unwarranted noise pollution or otherwise destroying the natural environment.  On a broader scale, this issue concerns proper land management:  cultivation and protection of the natural resources that migrate through, inhabit and reproduce in the area, which the ORV trails cut through and degrade.  If this issue arises due to fiscal issues AND closure of specific trails is not determined to be the best resolution of the issue, I would urge the State to raise the fees significantly and reduce the access to, time allowed within and reach of the remaining ORV trails.   
    Sincerely,
    PE

     

    Dear Maryland State,
    To close any of the locations is short-sighted.  I could understand a temporary suspension of usage -- to give time for nature to repair itself.
    It would seem that if over use is causing terrible damage, it is obvious that more sights should be opened to accommodate the intended users.
    From reading the comments, it seems that users are willing to pay higher use fees.
    G. S.

     

    Maryland is a beautiful state with a wide variety of terrain.  Unfortunately, the powers that be have only opened up limited legal riding areas as was required by law in the 70's.  Now there is talk of reducing these areas even more?
     Even a tree hugging state like California has a vast ORV trail system where they treat OV riders as a valued part of the society, not outlaws.
    I have ridden on some of the very few ORV trails that MD has to offer.  The problem is the way they are setup, they invite and almost encourage people to go off the trail.  Using Poplar Lick as an example, one can run up and down the trail, or should I say level gravel road, a few times and grow bored very quickly while longingly looking at more challenging but illegal trails that peel off.  Sure, you can load up after 30 minutes and go to another trail and ride that for 30 minutes, but that does not make for a day of fun.  Furthermore, to think you are going to get people to pay more for such mediocre trails is ludicrous.
    If Maryland was on the ball, they would take a lesson from West Virginia and their Hatfield McCoy trail system.  Instead of vilifying ORV riders, they embrace them and encourage them to spend their money and enjoy their scenery on a trail system that actually goes real distances and has some challenging terrain.  That is something that people would be willing to pay for. 
    Sure minimal damage gets done by any off-road vehicle when driven in the woods.  If that is really such a big concern, then why do the DNR themselves patrol the woods on ATV's?  Even woods where ATV's are not allowed?  Maybe because they can cover more ground and see more of what is going on?  Exactly the same desire as the ATV riders. 
    You can use that same argument against letting any sort of human contact to happen in the forests.  Just as a fisherman walking in a stream can cause damage, a person camping at a campsite or hiking through the woods.  However, the parks and forests are there for everyone to enjoy and the extremely minimal damage that gets done is no worse than what a storm might cause and the forest does a good job of healing itself.
    Let Marylanders enjoy Maryland. 
    What's next, banning Jet Ski's during the day on weekends?  ......ooops, you already did that at Deep Creek.
    M.W.

     

     Increase the cost of ORV permits, but please keep the trails open. Everyone who is paying 15$ better be willing to pay ~50$ a year to keep the trails open. This will also generate additional revenue to open new trails and answer the overuse of current trail lands. I drive 2.5hrs from Annapolis and would love additional trails closer to home.
    N.M.

     

    Maybe in my old age I'm getting cynical. When I saw the picture of the dirt bike driving recklessly on the cover, and read that ATVs and dirt bikes would be considered ORVs along with SUVs, my expectation was that the environmental left is taking the first step in eliminating all human access to the park.  While I'm sure that's the goal of some, I was encouraged to see the revenue reports from WV, and that VA is following suit with plans to open new trails.  But then, as you get toward the end of the report, you'll read of concerns of impact from hiking, biking, and horseback.
    Many tools are available to manage traffic, vehicle requirements (e.g., exhaust volume), reckless & destructive driving, etc.  As a group, we always “police” the areas we utilize (reporting illegal activity, collecting trash as we find it, etc.).  Bypassing these options and going straight to trail closings would be a clear sign that the government has been co-opted .  You could already argue that government has overstepped its bounds authoritatively, extorted property that should be open and public, and is misusing tax dollars in doing so.
    Please keep the Maryland ORV trails open.  I enjoy coming to Maryland enjoying the scenes with family and friends.  It's nice to go somewhere you don't see regularly, and there are many other things to see and do while there.  But if the ORV trails close in Maryland, you can all come up and visit us in Pennsylvania, until everything closes there.  Then we'll all head to the Virginias I guess.
     Thank you,
    P. L.

     

    To whom it may concern,
    I highly encourage the state of Maryland to increase the number of OHV areas in the state. I am not a resident of Maryland but do travel on a regular basis to near by states to participate in off highway recreation. We travel to PA, WV, VA and NC. We generally stay in a hotel for one or more nights, eat at local establishments, purchase gas and other items at local stores. If Maryland had a established trail system, I would certainly visit the area and give some of my recreation dollars to the state.
    Thank you,
    E. Cox

    To whom it concerns,  it seems to me there are two issues here.  #1 environmental concerns caused by 4 wheelers and #2 money.  i agree the 4 wheelers cause way too much damage especially by careless operators and sensitive trails should be closed, but keep in mind horse back riders cause environmental problems too.  snowmobiles leave little or no trace, so please don't group the snowmobiles with
    4 wheelers or horseback riders.  (it's not like we can ride snowmobiles everyday and the state doesn't groom the trails like 
    those places that charge $50 a day. )   we're  gonna lose money if 
    you we close the trails especially at green ridge(why even buy a pass if you close the trails?).  i say close em both,  keep the permits the same price and start charging the horse back riders a $15 fee to 
    ride on state property or do the horsey people hold too much clout?  
    their damage is measurable so lets charge them for it.
    thank you for allowing us to comment although i feel its just a formality for a decision thats already made.

     

    After having read all I can find on the issue from all sides, I believe that there is no alternative to continuing the current trails as well as expanding the system.  It is perfectly clear that illegal use most be stopped and I haven't heard any opposition to that by any suggested means.  I personally feel a check in system would be great and insure future use of the system.  I am in favor of raising the fee for registration of ORV’s.  The environmental concerns  are real and should be addressed.  There are many ways to solve these problems  even if its as simple a small bridge to stop travel through a river or simply moving part of a trail.  I am all for the closing of the trails on a TEMPORARY basis for repairs to preserve them for the future use.  A picture of a mud hole in a trail is the easiest of things to correct.  There is an overwhelming outpouring of offers to help financially and physically with the repair and maintenance of the trails.  The examples in surrounding states should be followed.  There is too much too lost by just closing the trails.  I myself would be more than willing to help with the work needed on the trails even if it comes down to me and my shovel.  I am all for enforcement.  All obvious offenses should be SERIOUSLY punished through stiff fines and even confiscation of vehicles involved.  RIDE  OFF THE TRAIL LOOSE YOUR RIDE.  I am all for  using cameras to catch people riding where they shouldn’t.  I am all for displaying registration plates ect.... to make sure that people are riding legally.  This seems like common sense to me.   Thanks for you consideration
    Aaron

     

    I believe that no matter what is said, you people will shut down Green Ridge ORV trail because you have your minds already made up... The rest of the ORV trails here in Maryland is only a couple miles long and really aint worth the drive, time or effort to ride there unless you live there. I believe the State of MD should have to reimburse all permit holders for the remaining months we cannot ride the trails that we desire since we already paid for the year or leave the trails open till the end of the year and not issue new permits. You should look and model your trails after the Hatfield and McCoy trail system in West Virginia if you all really wanted to make money for Maryland. I know by shutting down G.R. ORV trail we have decide to move to Southern WV near the H&M trails to be able to ride at our leisure. I know other familys are doing the same.
    Thank You for all the Years of good riding and Camping....
     J.C. S.

     

    Only in America are trails closed to the public, with whom the land belongs to. They are going to shoot themselves in the foot after loosing money from the closure. In this economy, couldn't they use all the help they can get? There are no places to ride in Maryland. Period. Are people going to stop riding? No. They will do so illegally, or travel to other states to spend their money.
    Like many, I wouldn't be opposed to closing the ORV trail in Green Ridge if it was relocated somewhere else. When voting on budget bills I always vote in favor of parks and lands. Unfortunately, instead of preserving land use for the public to enjoy, they just close it to all. There are enough people who would gladly donate their time towards improving the lands we call home.
    You would be surprised at how many of us noisy motorized users are actually nature lovers. We do not seek to destroy the lands and wildlife. That's why we escape the cities to go to places such as this. We all may have different views on relaxing and hobbies, but when the night draws the day to a close and we sit around the campfires to breath in the fresh air and feast our eyes upon the stars...it is our souls who will be hurt the most.
    Motorbike rider for life. Rest in peace Green Ridge.

     

    I just want to voice my disapointment that you are considering shutting down both Poplar Lick and Green Ridge ORV trails.  We are responsible people who take good care of the land and always try to leave it the way that we found it.  Should you give in to special interest pressures from extreme environmentalists, I can assure you that I along with many other residents of this state will be looking for full refunds as you were all too happy to take the permit fee before telling anyone that some of the best places to ride may no longer even be open.

     

    I am pleased to see that the DNR is taking a look at the issue of ORV trails and riding opportunities on public land in the state of Maryland. I just wish the process didn't feel so much like checking the boxes on a predetermined outcome.
    To give you some background on who I am and the perspective of my comments. I am a resident of the Germantown area of Montgomery County. My ORV/OHV is a 4x4 mid-sized pickup truck. I am a white collar professional employed by the Federal Government. I like to use my OHV for rides in the woods and in other areas where there is scenery to view and technical driving obstacles. I am actively involved in a four wheel drive club which was instrumental in two separate cleanups of an illegal dump site along the banks of the Patuxent River with the Patuxent Riverkeepers organization and recreational canoe and kayak clubs. I have also participated in cleanups and maintenance in the Potomac and Savage State Forests. I have also participated in volunteer maintenance of the snowmobile trails in Potomac State Forest although I never intend to ride a snowmobile there.
    I like to camp and for this purpose use a small teardrop style trailer. My camping trips in Maryland include Potomac SF, Savage SF, Greenridge SF and Rocky Gap. A "typical" weekend outing includes camping fees, fuel, food from the local grocers and restaurants. I figure about $100 to the local economy per day. Add to that the cost of registration for the truck and trailer plus the storage fees for the trailer since a combination of Montgomery County plus HOA regulations prohibit storing it at home and we are talking $900 per year. This does not include the maintenance or repairs of either vehicle. The maintenance and tax fees would be collected whether I am required to travel to Pennsylvania, Virginia or more distant locales but the spending in the form of fuel, local stores and camping fees would be lost to Maryland.
     I read the ORV Trail Assessment and Report and wish to comment on the content, methodology, conclusions and subsequent actions.
    The report indicates that 221 trail records were evaluated in addition to 203 illegal (unauthorized) sites. The database appears to have three choices for recording the evaluation: High Impact, Medium Impact and Low Impact. Later reading appears to account for a fourth level of Impact, i.e., none but the database groups these with Low. This is also evident in the cases where clubs were asked to provide the impact assessment. (Page 51). Although there are apparently at least some areas where the level of impact would be classified as "none", the report groups these with low impact with the underlying assumption that any impact is a negative.
    On page 11, the report states that there are no authorized or legal riding areas on DNR land in the Central Region. On page 70, the report states that there are no authorized or legal riding areas on DNR land in the Southern Region. On page 76, the report states that there are 8 authorized or legal riding areas on DNR land in the Western Region. Further, on page 70, the report states that the source of the illegal activity is often known and frequently includes other conveyances, such as equestrian and mountain bikes.
    On page 76, the report identifies the presence of invasive plants yet only implies a relationship by their existence in the same area. This is a basic fallacy of logic in attributing the cause of the invasive plants to the ORVs. Since my white car is seen in the same area as my gray car is not enough to logically conclude that the white car is the cause of the gray car's presence. Likewise, the presence of invasive plants near trails is not sufficient to conclude a particular class of trail user is responsible for the presence of the invasive plants.
    Subsequent to the release of the report, it was announced that DNR would be closing all legal trail areas immediately while finding a solution to the problem (with a temporary delay to later in April in the closing of the Greenridge SF ORV loop in recognition of the number of committed reservations for the camping area) . This seems to be inconsistent with recommendations of the report which generally lean towards recognizing the popularity and growth of the sport both for recreational reasons as well as the positive economic impact in the immediately surrounding areas. The report also concentrates on illegal activity and areas where ORV/OHV use is not authorized. Closing authorized areas does not seem to be productive towards identifying the most frequent problem identified in the report, i.e., riders in unauthorized areas.
    Anecdotally, at least one forest manager prefers not to have ORV/OHV/ATV activity as he is concerned that it enables and encourages other illegal activity due to the mobility of perpetrators. In California, the Bureau of Land Management observed an increase in illegal activity following the closure of the area to the public motorized recreationist. Perhaps having more eyes and ears on the ground in legal activity is more effective than providing a cloak of invisibility to those who would perform such activity.
    I fully support the identification of additional areas for recreational OHV/ORV/ATV use in Maryland's publicly-owned lands. As a user of those facilities, I am willing to pay an additional fee for those uses. However, based on recent practices by the State of Maryland to use funds which were supposed to be set aside in a Transportation Trust Fund and were subsequently used to supplement a deficit in the general fund such that there is no remaining transportation trust fund to fund transportation needs, it would best be visibly separated and accounted for in the budget. In federal parlance, I am looking for something similar to non-appropriated funds which would be used for these special purposes. In setting an appropriate fee level, consider that privately-operated OHV recreational parks include dedicated facilities and even limited insurance coverage in their $30 per day fees. As an information point, I suggest you take a look at the recreational trails fee program being done as a demonstration project in the Uwharrie National Forest in central North Carolina.
    In considering additional areas which might be used as trails, remember that there are varied users (as recognized in the report) with varied qualities desired in a trail system. For example, ATV users generally travel faster than 4x4 trucks. Equestrian users are less interested in uneven paths that hold appeal to mountain bikers.
    The report mentions safety issues as well. A combination of education and regulation can go a long way and could be addressed in various ways. One such method would be to include a mandatory training orientation when purchasing permits or providing evidence of such training/orientation.
    In short, the report seems to provide documentation of unauthorized activity in areas where there are no publicly authorized trails. This leads me to believe that there is a need for additional enforcement activity, perhaps to even include posting phone numbers where irresponsible or illegal activity is observed. There is a masking of no impact areas in the categorizing of the impacts. Activities such as meetings with little advance notice seem to indicate a desire to exclude public review and input to the process. As a driver, I am requesting additional, not fewer, suitable recreational opportunities in my home state and am willing to pay a reasonable fee for that privilege. I am a responsible driver who believes in TreadLightly and packing more out than I bring in and I am willing to participate in volunteer activities to help maintain the quality of these areas. I recognize safety issues are of paramount concern, as they should be.
    Thank you for your time in investigating the issues, hearing our comments and in working towards realistic workable solutions.
    K. H.

     

    I belong to a club called blue ridge jeepers.this was my first weekend out at the orv trail and I had a blast.there's nothing  like having a legal place to go offroading having fun and spending time with friends and family.I think you should keep the trail open but charge either a daily fee or yearly fee to help with maintenance patrol and enviroment.maybe if you charge money that people will not tear the trails up and go places they shouldn't.this is a good place to go have fun and I would hate to see them close it down for good.hope this means something and maybe help in not shutting the trail down.thanks member of brj

     

    I hope it’s not too late to comment on ORV trails in MD. 
          The environmental issue associated with off-road vehicles is a huge concern.  What is the point in having an off-road trail if we destroy the beautiful environment that we’re there to see? But I’m not sure that closing any existing trails is the appropriate response.  This will only re-direct traffic from those trails to the ones still remaining open.  People that would normally go to the close trail will all simply start going to the next best open trail, causing an even greater environmental impact to the areas surrounding those trails, which I’m afraid will only eventually cause more closures.
          To me the appropriate response is to open additional trails in Maryland to spread the environmental impact over a greater area and provide more options to off-roaders. Re-direct the existing trails further from environmentally sensitive areas if possible.  Then re-assess whether these changes have eased the impact on the current problem areas enough that they can remain open or if they still need to be closed. I guess I’m just advocating the idea of trying any other measures first before closing existing trails.
          If cost and manual labor for remediating the environmental impact is a concern, look to the off-road clubs and enthusiast community for volunteer days to help with maintenance.  I believe you will have plenty of willing hands.
          Please focus on educating off-roaders of their environmental impact.  Focus on giving the good eggs more opportunity to help you police the bad apples.  Educate the many off-road enthusiast groups and help direct off-roaders that are not members to these responsible parties.
    Thanks!
    J. O.

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto:
    All Terrain Vehicle use at Green Ridge State Forest has dramatically increased over the past several years.  The Green Ridge State Forest Citizen Advisory Board is concerned about both the capacity of the land to support this activity and the increasingly irresponsible and illegal use of Off Road Vehicles (ORV’s).  Driving ORV’s in non-designated areas is threatening our State Forest.  This illegal activity is having a negative impact on wildlife habitat and has carved untold miles of new trails through our State Forest lands. The illegal trails penetrate sensitive forest habitats, streams, and wetlands. Illegal routes erode and compact soil, destroy plants, degrade wildlife habitat, diminish water quality, and spread invasive plants.
    We support DNR’s initiative to develop a long-term plan for off-road vehicle management for Maryland’s public lands.
    We support responsible use and wise stewardship of our public lands – use that leaves the land healthy, use that conserves our wildlife, and uses that allows for the continued enjoyment of these lands for our families, for our future.
    This is an issue our Board has spent significant time discussing, and we have observed conditions in Green Ridge State Forest.  We hope that our experience and perspective will be of value to you as you lead DNR’s consideration of this important management issue. 
    We would welcome the opportunity to serve on a work-group specific to ORV use on Green Ridge State Forest.
    Sincerely,
    Mr. D.B.S.

     

    I will not be able to attend as my fire dept is having an open house that date for out 25 ann. However I am very intrested in the results and intentions of the state as to weather they will be opening some place on the Eastern Shore and other places in the state to ride. I am representing the United Riders ATV Club in lower eastern Maryland we have approx 50 members. Thank You
    C.E. F.
     

    Hello:
    I am a new ORV enthusiast and just purchased a Razor side by side.  I am very disappointed to learn of Green Ridge closing.  There are so few places to ride in Maryland and we really don't want to see this trail closed.
    Please consider ways to reduce damage at Green Ridge and keep the trail open until new facilities for riding ORVs in Maryland become available for use.
    Thank you,
    D. F.

     

          While I certainly understand the desire of ATV users to have access to trails in Maryland, it appears that due to the environmental impact of the ATV’s and some user’s irresponsibility, the widespread use of public lands by ATV’s has negative impacts.  I have personally observed in Green Ridge Forest and at various spots in Garrett County demonstrations of how ATV use harms the forests.  ATV use widens and creates ruts. This undoubtedly increases the sediment load to streams which may threaten fisheries. ATV use often conflicts with non-motorized uses, such as hiking and cross-country skiing. Additionally, noise and intrusion of the modern world into nature often compromises the enjoyment of many user groups. The numbers of motorized users and their intensity of use, also results in other environmental degradation that reduces the pleasure of other visitors, potentially resulting in displacement of the non-motorized users.
    I witnessed this last year while taking a group of Boy Scouts backpacking in Green Ridge State Forest.  The condition of the trails, noise, dirt,  and the recklessness of some of the riders were appalling, and have possibly precluded us from future use considerations of our own public lands.
    The ability to damage the environment, and preclude others from recreational use opportunities is not justified by a $15 annual use fee of a product that costs several thousands of dollars.  If ATV use on our public lands is to continue, assessment of fees should correlate with the costs of management and repair of the recreational land used, as well as the cost of enforcing the laws.
    Thank You
    S. N.

     

    I for one was encouraged by the conclusions made in the ORV report. I believe damage can be caused to the environment by constant use of the same area for ORV use. I also agree that by simply closing legal riding areas many will be forced ride illegally (because we’re gonna ride).  I further agree that all will pay more for the right to use ORV’s on state land. I would happily shell out $100 annually for a permit.  Therefore, I think the conclusions are simple: Raise the permit fees, force anyone riding on ORV trails to have a permit (tagged or untagged) and come up with some new riding areas that are not as environmentally sensitive, and rotate them. Close Green Ridge every three years for a year for example. It would add diversity.
    Just please, please, please keep it challenging. Green Ridge should be the model for all ORV trail systems. 15-20 miles long with varied terrain and elevation. 
    Thanks again and don’t hesitate to ask for help from all of us!

     

    DNR Officials,
          The review of the ORV trail system here in Maryland is clearly necessary however the conclusion of its findings is not correct.
    Judging from the comments that are posted already I think it is clear that whatever problems have been found with our trail system can and will be fixed by willing volunteers of the ORV community who treasure these trails.  I understand that making these reviews is your responsibility. I also understand that due to the current economic climate and political tensions the quick fix is to abolish trail riding in our state parks rather than find a reasonable solution that attempts to suit all parties involved.  You must think of the consequences of such a decision, the people who will be impacted and the resulting impact on the surrounding environment.
          Closing these trail systems will only further the problem of ORV's in unauthorized areas.  I believe everyone in the ORV community agrees that these trails have aided in keeping young kids out of trouble by providing an exhilarating alternative for their free time that too many children fill with video games and or drugs and crime.  Closing these trails means you are contributing to the problem, not being a leader and role model that wants better for the surrounding community.
          As far as the environment goes, how will closing the trails benefit the ecosystem? You will be leaving miles of ground uncovered and unmaintained leading to just as much soil erosion and sediment as there currently is.  With riders on the trails we are able to see what is happening to the trails and if an effective maintenance system was put in place these issues could be fixed, yes I said fixed not ignored.  If pollution is your concern then look to interstate 68 that is next to Green Ridge State Park.  What about all the runoff from those big roads?
          Are you going to shut them down as well?  No you will find a solution to the problem rather than avoid it.  It is time for us as Americans to prove we are not afraid of hard work, and that is what will be required to keep these trails.  Let us be leaders to other programs that face a similar future and show them that we as a community can come together to find a solution rather than let yet another simple obstacle divide us even further.  Think about the future, the children who will not benefit from these trail systems.
    A. A.

     

    Mr. V. C. called on April 15, 2011 about Green Ridge SF (GRSF) ORV trail.  Mr. C. can be reached at 301-752-0232.  Mr. C. disagrees with the assessment to close Green Ridge SF ORV trail.  Mr. C. respects what the Department is trying to do.  Also, Mr. C. understands that money is tight and to keep this trail and others opened is costly.  However, Mr. C. believes that the GRSF should remain opened because of the economic value it has for the community, i.e. for ORV dealers and ORV mechanics.  In fact, there is a large ORV trail in West Virgina called Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area that actually allows ORVs on the roads. Mr. C. reiterated that ORVs bring more revenue, businesses and jobs to those areas that have them.  It is a big initiative to keep this trail and others open in Maryland, plus it is a family recreational activity that people enjoy.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Maryland is a beautiful state, and one that everyone should enjoy.  While I can certainly appreciate DNRs desire to balance land management with people management, I am saddened to believe that the solution set includes closing the trails to horses and OHV.  As an avid horseman and dual-sport motorcycle rider, I think your financial studies are drastically underestimating the potential lost revenue from trail closure.  What about tourism dollars from the gas I purchase, the food I eat and the hotels I stay, and the shops I  visit while taking a break from the bike in the OHV areas?  Additionally, should the day come that horses are banned from the parks I ride in, I would certainly sell my farm and move to a horse friendly state.  As MD is heavily dependent on property taxes, it would further depress real estate taxes by lowering home values.   As Maryland has continued many programs to encourage farmers to re-forest their property and put their property in a conservatorship, I don't believe you would want to see farms being developed as it would further impact wildlife and waterways.
          Lastly, there are some trails that I have been riding for nearly two decades. I too have noticed that riders of mountain bikes, horses, and OHV have increased,  but the areas do not appear to failing as depicted in your PowerPoint.  For the trails with some minor re-sculpting,   however, it is not much unlike the habitat of a beaver where forests are dropped, ponds are created, meadowlands are fertilized and then the forest re-grows. 
    All the best-
    D. B.

     

    I am writing this to respectfully request DNR to open additional trails for legal and responsible off-road vehicle owners and for keeping the Greenridge loop open.  It is has been our experience that the majority of off-road enthusiasts have a deep appreciation for the great outdoors and believe in being good stewards of their environment.  Off-road programs encourage families to spend quality time together in the outdoors (away from the distractions of TV and computers) and serves to raise awareness for the need to protect the environment.  My wife and I participate in an Maryland off-road club and unfortunately we have to go out of State to enjoy our off-road passion.  In our club, we spend a great deal of time educating our members on the importance of protecting the environment and being respectful.  While our club members are enthusiatic about enjoying and driving their rigs, they are equally as committed to "treading lightly" and finding ways to maintain trails. Further, the off-road community is known for supporting its community by hosting food drives to benefit the less fortunate or raising money during a trail run for a particular charity.  It is our belief that with the support of local clubs and associated businesses, Maryland could enjoy success both financially and environmentally by developing a trail system. We believe that the DNR could enlist the support of the off-road community to assist the State in policing the parks and providing clean-up/maintenance support so that the concerns of citizens with respect to off-road vehicles is addressed. Perhaps the DNR could consider meeting with various off-road clubs, community members and others to discuss how we can develop a trail system that will be a benefit to the State. 
    We appreciate the DNR's time and consideration with this matter.
    Kind regards,
    S.B and D.W

     

    I tried to send these comments several weeks ago, but have not seen them posted on the public comment section. I am sending them to you again in hopes they will assist you and the public in coming to terms with the ORV issue. Best Wishes, M. G.
    M. G.
          I have reviewed Maryland’s ORV Trail Assessment and Report and would like to offer the following comments for your consideration.
    This will be a rather lengthy offering, but one that I hope will give DNR and other interested parties a better understanding of how we have reached this point in dealing with the management of ORVs on public lands, specifically our state forests. It is also my hope that these comments will fill in some gaps that I see in your discussion of the ORV issue as it relates to the course of action, I believe you will need to ultimately take to solve the problems that are, or will be, faced by all of us in our future recreational use of Maryland’s public lands.

    Historical Perspective
          ORV use on Maryland’s public lands was virtually nonexistent until the mid 1970’s. There were a few full size four wheel drive vehicles that might make it further back along a forest road than the rest of the hunters and fisherman who were limited by their use of two-wheel drives, but their impacts and levels of use were largely negligible. During the mid-1970’s, however, Garrett County and the Appalachian Plateau experienced winters of extraordinary snowfall when most of the Northeast and Great Lakes region was bereft of snow. As a result snowmobilers flocked to Garrett County in vast numbers. Elected officials and local businesses saw the opportunity to capitalize on this market and began to pressure Maryland’s DNR to develop suitable trail systems on its public lands.
          At the same time interest was increasing among four wheel drive enthusiasts and trail bike/ motocross riders. Also, a new breed of machine- the three wheeled ATV, with its high floatation tires, had also come onto the scene and began to attract its own fast –growing user group. These dynamics set a stage that required Maryland’s DNR to look closely where it could possibly accommodate this new type of recreational use. Most state parks were too small or had existing recreational uses that would not readily mesh with the noise generated by large levels of ORV use. Wildlife management areas invoked their primary function as wildlife habitat areas to stave off any introduction of ORV traffic onto those lands. Thus, it fell to the larger tracts of undeveloped public lands on Maryland’s state forests to shoulder the burden of accommodating this new use. Maryland’s state forest managers on the Eastern Shore and in Allegany and Garrett County suddenly found themselves tasked with having to quickly evaluate the existing forest roads on their respective forests and develop a list of trails that could be targeted for snowmobile and wheeled ORV use.
          I had the pleasure of knowing many of the forest managers who were confronted with this undertaking and I can personally attest that they were not pleased with the timeline or the lack of technical assistance that was available to evaluate these trails. Nonetheless, the political pressure was heavy and they did the best they could with the assignment. Simultaneously, regulations had to be drafted to control these new ORV uses that were going to occur on state lands. To try to codify a set of useable regulations for this new type of recreational use, was, in itself, a major undertaking.
          The prevailing philosophy and plan at the time was that the State of Maryland would provide an initial core trail system that would then be expanded onto private lands, through recreational easements. This process would then create a trail infrastructure fueled by local government and business support which would grow to support a marketable regional ORV attraction. Unfortunately neither the local governments nor business communities, who had initiated the political pressure, fulfilled their end of the bargain. Subsequently, DNR was left as the sole provider of a trail system that never reached its full potential. Since that initial step into the ORV arena, Maryland’s state forest managers, resource specialists, and enforcement officers have been challenged year after year with how to best deal with ORV use.
          There have been numerous initiatives throughout the past 35 years to try to reinvigorate this process of ORV accommodation, but it has typically failed due to lack of fiscal resources on the state side in terms of staffing, equipment, materials, and most importantly- technical expertise. Also, local government and business support has continually failed to come forward with any meaningful contribution to the problem. During the 32 years I have spent observing and participating in the ORV planning and discussions there have been at least four timeframes when the ORV issue has boiled to the surface, with numerous discussions regarding the need to enhance or improve trails, create ORV parks on old strip mines, or adopt a system utilized by other states to deal with the ORV issue. In each case there was talk but no definitive action or tangible initiative to solve the problems we continue to face.

    The ORV Problem Spectrum
          The problems associated with the ORV issue on state forestlands are many and varied as follows:
          1.   Our state forest boundaries are not secure. There are many points
    of access onto our state forestlands. Every adjoining landowner to state lands has the ability, in varying degrees, to drive an ORV onto state lands if they would so desire. Those adjoining landowners in the more remote areas of state land ownership are especially prone to so.
          2.   ORV enthusiasts are quite creative in their development of illegal
    trail systems. Unfortunately the desire of many locals to ride their machines has overcome their consideration of any ethical use of either private or state land. Regardless of whether it is one or five percent of the overall ORV user population, this unregulated ORV usage can potentially do enough damage to fuel one’s desire for all out ban on ORV use, depending upon one’s sensitivity to the issue or the damage one has seen on the landscape. I have personally witnessed the
    following:
    • ORVs travelling in excess of 40 mph along county roads to access
    state forest and private land trails.
    • ORVs traveling along state highway right of ways and traveling
    through the culvert systems under I-68 to access state and private land trails.
    • Huge, illegally cut, trail networks covering miles of winding trails
    through wetland and forest habitats where the riders had little consideration for the damage they were doing to soils or forest vegetation.
          3.   ORV enthusiasts are broadly divergent in the type of experience
    they are seeking. Some ORV enthusiasts are hunters or fisherman who simply desire to have ORV trails or forest roads open so they can more easily gain access to their primary recreation activity. Others represent a more “pure” form of ORV enthusiasts, but here too they differ significantly in their desires or intentions. Some simply want to take a scenic drive along a trail, while others are looking for significant technical challenges or obstacles to test themselves or their equipment. Thus in order to truly please all ORV enthusiasts one would need to provide a full spectrum of potential ORV trails or riding areas.
          4.   Mechanical controls devised to block ORV usage from the majority of
    public / private areas have proven largely ineffective in curtailing illegal use. The smaller single rider ATV units are quite capable in working their way around even the most well planned obstacles. They simply need to back away from the obstacle, plan a slightly more circuitous route, cut some vegetation, and they effectively create a wider berth around any gate or barrier. In addition, obstacles and barriers often become the target of those ORV enthusiasts seeking to challenge themselves or their equipment. Large rocks and heavy duty gates become objects to pull or push out of the way. Areas which are structured to discourage vehicular use by “roughing up” the terrain become challenge courses to overcome by winching or “working” vehicles through these areas.
          5.   There will never be a sufficient law enforcement presence to
    adequately deter those who are intent on abusing the ORV system or who seek to develop illegal trails or access. The Ranger merger with NRP in 2005 was supposed to consolidate and double the number of NRP officers available to address natural resource violations such as illegal ORV use.  However, DNR has not been able to maintain this targeted number of officers. As a result, NRP officers find their numbers largely the same as before the merger. However, now there are only a few law enforcement rangers within the staff of the Maryland Park Service. Given their other duties, NRP officers cannot devote an acceptable amount of time to back country/ remote area patrol at a level that could truly be called effective in enforcement against illegal ORV use. Even if it was possible to provide adequate levels of patrol and illegal ORV interdiction, an officer cannot take the chances necessary to apprehend many of the ORV violators they would contact. The average officer, outfitted in his law enforcement equipment, on a standard patrol ORV, is no match for a young adult who has been riding an area for months or years, and who is intent upon fleeing. In these cases youth, area familiarity, and fear of apprehension will win 98% of the time time. We should not expect our officers to risk life and limb in these situations. Thus many enforcement efforts simply show a presence in an area for a short period of time. This temporarily may run illegal ORV use out of the area, but it rarely can deliver the type of enforcement that can eliminate the illegal use from the area. It simply becomes a game of “cat and mouse”. Unfortunately, there are far too many mice for the cat to catch. And, in the case of natural resources enforcement, there are many more offending mice who engaged in illegal activities where they are not traveling through rough terrain at speeds in excess of 30 mph.
          6.   There is insufficient penalty imposed upon ORV offenders. It is odd
    that we have not placed a similar level of offense severity on illegal ORV use that we have placed on spotlighting whitetail deer. I would submit to you that at this point in time the loss of a whitetail deer pales in comparison to the landscape and environmental damage that can be done by an illegal ORV, especially in fragile habitats or on fragile soils. However, in dealing with the spotlighter we will confiscate his vehicle, weapon, and any other equipment attached to the violation, but with the ORV violator we allow him to walk away with a ticket whose fine will rarely exceed $100, and which is likely to be pleaded down to a much lesser charge or fine in court.
          7.   There is no mechanism in place to provide the necessary level of
    educational and ethical training in the use of ORVs. As I looked over the injury data in the report associated with ORV use I noticed another disparity in terms of how we view ORV usage. We have instituted hunter and boater education requirements given the level of safety concerns and potential for personal injury and property damage associated within hunting and boating.  However, we have turned a blind eye to the fact that every year in Maryland we are experiencing thousands of ORV associated injuries, several deaths, and untold levels of property and environmental damage, but we have yet to implement a pro-active educational program at the state or local level that would train and focus ORV users on safe and ethical use of their machines. .
          8.   Management staffs on public lands are not adequate to handle the
    recreational issues along with the proper design, upkeep, and maintenance of associated recreational facilities, such as ORV trails.
          This applies especially to state forest lands. Savage River State Forest consists of 53,000+ acres of forest land and boasts a wide range of recreational uses.  In 1979 it had a full time classified staff of nine people consisting of a forest manager, assistant forest manager, a recreation specialist, two forest rangers, a forest maintenance supervisor, and three maintenance technicians. The forest also hired four or five contractual workers to assist in maintenance and office operations. By 1996, after the forest was consolidated with the state parks of New Germany, Big Run, and Casselman River Bridge, there was a combined work force of fifteen classified positions to deal with both forest and park issues. The staff consisted of a lead project manager, assistant park manager, forest manager, forest technician, five forest/park rangers, a naturalist, a maintenance chief, three maintenance technicians, and an office administrator. The project also hired 5-10 contractual workers to assist with forest and park maintenance.  The state forest and parks were separated in 2005 and the forest currently has a fulltime classified staff of four or five employees and hires four to five contractual workers to assist with office operations and forest maintenance. Clearly, the forest has not been adequately or properly staffed to deal with the recreational issues that it faces, ORV or otherwise.
          Having given some historical and practical perspectives based upon my prior interactions and attempts to manage the ORV issue on Maryland’s public lands, I would like to share the following closing comments as food for thought among your staff, ORV stakeholders, and the general public:
          •     First, please note that I am not an ORV enthusiast. I do not enjoy
    riding them or being around them to any great degree. However, I do respect and uphold their right to seek to properly use state lands for their chosen recreational pursuit. My primary interest lies in seeing the best interests of the citizens served while utilizing the best management practices to sustain and protect our natural resources. I do want to see state government held accountable for its role as a steward in  proper and effective management of state lands for the overall benefit of the public and accommodation of as many user groups as possible.
          •     Maryland’s state forest were originally created to demonstrate and
    showcase the proper manner in which forest lands should be managed on a sustainable basis to provide the citizens of Maryland with a well balanced and effectively managed forest resource that would provide and protect the quality of the forest in terms of timber, water, wildlife and fisheries habitats, scenery, and recreation. As I view the current condition of our state forests, I feel that they are not living up to their original design as a showcase for proper management. They have been insufficiently staffed and minimally funded. This is a primary reason why the ORV issue has once again come to a head. There is the technology and expertise out there to overcome these issues, but there needs to be a willingness to research and invest in its application on the ground. You may be able to minimize some localized impacts to areas such as Poplar Lick by simply shutting them down, but you will not solve the problem. You will simply move it to another area. And, in that process you will demonstrate that DNR does not have the resources or technical expertise to deal with ORV issues in more sensitive areas. I do not say this to demean the Department, but it is a point that needs to be recognized to some degree.
          •     Poplar Lick is a lovely six mile long scenic area that people enjoy
    for camping, biking, hunting, fishing, and historical appreciation.
          There is monument along the stream to a fallen B-52 crewman who perished there during the winter of 1964 when his aircraft crashed.
          If the road is closed to ATV and vehicular traffic will there be any committed maintenance efforts on the part of DNR to maintain the bridges and low water crossings to facilitate hikers or mountain bikers? If not nature will quickly reclaim the area making it difficult to negotiate except by a well seasoned hiker. If that is the ultimate outcome, then many people will be deprived of the recreational activities and outdoor experiences they have enjoyed in this area for decades. It also seems that most of the ammunition promoting closure of the Poplar Lick trail is based upon concerns for the area as native brook trout habitat, and that ORV use needs to be eliminated to reduce the effects of sedimentation and turbidity on the native brook trout. This would lead me to question how many streams in Savage River State Forest provide fully functional habitat for native brook trout. I would hazard to guess that there are dozens of stream that provide quality habitat for these fish. The question then arises as to whether the effects on trout in this six mile stretch of stream outweigh the combined recreational activities of other users when there remains a great deal of quality brook trout habitat in other streams throughout the forest.  It is my hope that this issue, and the decision to close Poplar Lick, is not just result of parochial preferences from certain disciplines within DNR where a relatively small section of fish habitat is held tantamount to all other forms of recreation and public access.
          •     Ultimately it may be best to admit that Poplar Lick was a mistake
    and the all past access to that area was an unwarranted intrusion into a natural stream valley. I’m fine with that.  However, before the area is closed, alternative areas should be created to accommodate the loss of use in the areas proposed for closure.
          •     I feel that we are long overdue in requiring an ATV operator’s
    license and education program. These machines have far ranging implications in terms of their impact on our natural resources and the other user populations that pursue recreation on our public lands. ORV use also has untold effects on our overall natural resource base through their use on private lands. I am a strong proponent of private property rights, but it is a common fact that water flows downhill/stream, and I do not feel a property owner has the right to foul waters downstream through their improper use of ORVs even on their own property. Education programs and licensing of operators can go a long way toward developing stewardship ethics among all ORV enthusiasts.
          •     Effective law enforcement that allows for the confiscation of the
    illegally operated ORV should also be a primary goal. This will also require education of the judges and officers of the court so that they understand the gravity and levels of damage done when these vehicles are not operated properly.
          Thank you for the opportunity to express 30+ years of pent up thought processes in dealing with the ORV issue in Maryland. Writing this letter has been a mind and soul cleansing experience. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
    Respectfully and sincerely offered,
    M. G.

     

    I think the photos in the report are the best evidence that there is no problem with riding at the ORV trails. Take a look at the photos and show me a problem. I see mud puddles with tire tracks through them, so what. The mud puddle would be there anyway because it is a low spot where the rain collects and kills the vegetation. This has nothing to do with ORVs. I see a stream bank with two trees that have the roots exposed due to the water in the stream during high water, what does this have to do with ORVs? I see sandy areas with tire tracks, so what. At this rate you won’t want people on the beach because they might leave foot prints. Most of the trails at the riding areas are established fire roads that should be kept open for that purpose anyway. These closings are about an agenda, and our government is out of control!

     

    To whom it may concern,
          This is ridiculous about closing the ORV trail. The trees can be logged and areas are being temporarily destroyed by the logging companies. There has got to be a bigger reason why there trying to close this trail. I talk to DNR. all the time and I know their tired of babysitting.
          Anyway Twice a year my wife and I take some of the older children from church up there to ride. We live in Baltimore and the riding areas have diminished. The kids we bring up there to ride are the very same that ride illegally throughout Baltimore. At lease at green ridge they have somewhere to go.
          Please don't close the ORV trail it has brought a lot of smiles and stories to children throughout Baltimore City and County.      
    Gary

     

    Dear all,
    I am a student researching Appalachian plants and hoping to protect areas like Green Ridge for future generations of research and enjoyment. I have several research plots of medicinal plants in this area which I would very much like to protect. As the road is already very washed out, I would urge recreational users to consider those who do not have access to off road vehicles and who use the forest by foot. Please protect this area of Green Ridge for non-vehicle use.
    Thanks, A.V.

     

    To whom it may concern:
          I am expressing my displeasure in the recent plan of Maryland DNR to close ORV trails in western Maryland.
          Last year I was fortunate enough to ride the nearly 20 miles  ORV trails in Green Ridge State Forrest. I have to say I was surprised to see the number of people that use the trail with 4 wheelers, ATV, motorcycles, jeeps & trucks. Another observation I made while riding the trail was the location from which many of the trail users have traveled from. 
          It seem the trail is an attraction to people who may come camp and do some off-roading, hiking and maybe some hunting! 
          I don't think anyone can argue the fact when people travel they spend money. Any recreational activity costs money, which in turn can help boost the economy.  I seems MD DNR is trying to make it more attractive to travel to Pennsylvania or West Virginia to experience the great outdoors.  If the main reason is money please consider raising the permit sticker to a "premium" price. I know people who are now paying $50 or more per   year to hunting clubs just for off-roading.  Also volunteers could help maintain the trails and report people who mis-use the trail.
          I hope you will re-consider the closures and western Maryland can keep its reputation for being the states premaire area for family recreation.
    Sincerely,
    B. G. E.

     

          Thank you for the opportunity for input on the issue of banning ORVs on public lands.  I wish to fully support DNR efforts to close the trails in the Green Ridge State Forest and the Poplar Lick trail in the Savage River State Forest. These noisy, air polluting, erosion causing vehicles have no place on public lands in Maryland. I am a resident of Allegany County and avid outdoorsman.  I enjoy birding, nature walks, and fishing.
          I cannot imagine why these trails were ever allowed to be established on public land in the first place. Our natural resources should be protected and managed to provide pleasure for all members of the community, not the selfish desires of a minority. Our resources should be managed in a manner that enables them to be enjoyed PEACEFULLY by all visitors.    Not only do these vehicles disturb the sense of being "one with nature" that many outdoor enthusiast seek, but they also contribute significantly to erosion. I need not point out that MANY of the "ATVers" do not limit their riding to the established trials.  More than once, while floating down the Potomac in a canoe, fishing, I've had ORVs go tearing across a shallow area of the river and tear up the banks, muddy the waters, and otherwise disturb the peace of the day.
          Western Maryland already has many problems relating to our environment. We still have many issues with the negative impact of strip mining, logging, and deep coal mines being dug under the Casselman. On the horizon, we will have the negative impact of fracturing the Marcellus Shale.  Please, move forward with your efforts to at least remove one of the problems currently making our state parks a less desirable place to visit.  
          I also need to comment on those who are calling this "right" to tear up the forest, a local "heritage" issue. ATVs are NOT a "heritage' issue. It is one of those "red flag" words that some people use to make it look like something they are entitled to, is being taken away. ATVs have not been around long enough to be recognized as a "heritage" issue.
    Again, thank you for the opportunity to respond to the DNR on this issue.
    P. K.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Great way for the state of MD to generate revenue from state residents and from residents outside the state like myself. People would come from far and wide to explore MD's beauty and wilderness with their families.
    Sincerely,
    R. I.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    ohv brings recreation revenue to local communities. i frequently travel to different places throughout the country just to recreate with my family and friends.
    Sincerely,
    W. H.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    To often I hear of areas being closed. Please help bring new trails to Maryland! OHV's are one of the fastest growing sports in America. Having an area for safe responsible use helps families have family time, promotes responsible OHV use, and helps teach life long lessons.
    Sincerely,
    J. H.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Please provide a safe and open trail system in Maryland to increase tourism in the state and to reduce illegal activities that damage other areas.
    Sincerely,
    G. P.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Please look at the Hatfield and McCoy trail system in WV for an example. It has been a huge economic boost for southern WV. It is supported by a federal offroad fuel taxes and a small portion by the users.
    The results have been enourmous business growth in a stagnated, coal based economy.
    Feel free to contact me for more information on getting your trail systems started.
    Sincerely,
    R. McL.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I live in western New York state and regularly travel to VA, PA, CO, UT, CA, NV and anywhere else I can find good off highway areas to legally use my off road vehicle. If Maryland can get something set up I will gladly travel there a few times a year. When we go on trips we stay at hotels and eat at restaurants for nearly every meal. While it may not fix the economy we certainly bring quite a bit of money to whatever community we travel to. Maryland is a beautiful state and I would love to see more of it. Please consider developing some good off highway trails to keep the land available for everyone to enjoy.
    Sincerely,
    E. S.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid offroad enthusiast and lifelong resident of Maryland I would like to see more OHV areas in Maryland. I belong to a club, Mid-Atlantic Early Broncos. We have monthly trail rides and get social events. Our biggest yearly event is in Gore, Va. at a private campground. We have over 100 Early Broncos show each year and are looking for a new place to hold it. We have guys all over the east coat from Florida to New England come each year. Out of our clubs treasury we spend thousands of dollars for everything from food, port-a-potties, tents, to a generator and much more. Not including what the paticipants spend each year for lodging and fuel. We would appreciate the thought and possibility of a off road recreation area for our state.
    I guarantee we can organize as many work parties to help build trails as you need.
    Thank you
    A. F.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Please open up some new trails in Maryland. Us offroaders need all the help we can get when it comes to battling trail closures. I'm sure this would bring much traffic and revenue from the 4x4 world. I would be more than willing to make the drive from Ohio to explore some new trails! Here is to hopes that this happens!
    Sincerely,
    K. N.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I am an avid off-road enthusiast with Jeep and ATV vehicles. I would be most appreciative of any efforts to open public land up to off-road vehicles wherever possible.
    Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    T. R. Sr.

     

    To whom it may concern,
    My wife and I recently noticed the closure of Poplar Lick ORV trail to vehicle access.  I support this measure fully.  My wife and I walk our dogs down this trail and frequently are almost hit by ATV's going 50-70mph with no regard for others safety.  I also feel this closure will help the stream itself due to decreased sedimentation of the stream due to the ATV's not going off trail.  I am an ATV owner myself, and do frequent the trails in the area, but feel it is time to send a message to those that would injure the trail and disregard previous warnings.  As far back as 10 years ago the DNR Rangers at Savage River State forest warned people if they did not take care of the trail, it could be closed.
    B. D.
     

          Attached is the position paper representing the Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association. First, let me appologize for its length. A situation such as this simply can not be condensed to one page and represent our thoughts. Many of the suggestions and comments are based on in the field first hand experience on public and private lands that I have visited in various parts of our country and of course, on our State Forests.
          Again, I am very disappointed that I simply can not make Thursday's meeting. It would have allowed me to make my points by actually pointing them out.
          I will be in and out of my office all day. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me. My office number is 410-. 
          The position of the Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association regarding the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ future management of ORV recreation.
          The Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association, a regional association, represents close to 400 family members, with a large portion of the membership living in Maryland and an even larger portion that will recreate in Maryland on state lands. Middle Atlantic is a member of the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, which is a charter member of Tread Lightly! Thus, Conservation and solid land use ethics are our number one core value.
          The members of Middle Atlantic have been enjoying four wheel drive recreation on the State Forests of Maryland, dating all the way back to the late 1960’s. While access has been limited, it has been enjoyable and unifying to the point of drawing as many as 20 vehicles a far as 200 miles or more away, especially on our once celebrated “Snow Runs.” Here we use to fill the Casselman Inn in Grantsville, thus, carrying that business through difficult periods.
          Our membership have performed hundreds of volunteer hours toward trail marking and construction for others and conservation efforts to keep our water quality in check and control the movement of soil.
          There are other not so obvious benefits to the public and public lands keeping access open to four wheel drive enthusiasts. Four wheel drive users buy gas, auto parts, repair services, food, lodging, beverages, dining out. Four wheel drive groups help to keep routes open for emergency vehicles, state vehicles for field work and fire fighting, as well as rescue. Four wheel drive groups will report issues or problems spotted in less traveled areas.
          The membership desires more access on our state lands, much less, retain access that is already permitted.
          While the Association firmly supports a solid sustainable Silvacultural program and understand, that a managed forest is a healthy forest, as well as, that there is value in certification. At the same time, we know that this can be achieved without sacrificing recreational four wheel drive access.
          Within Federal Lands, there are Congressionally declared Wilderness Areas, where nothing mechanized is permitted within those boundaries. Yet, there are routes, known as “Cherry Stems” that cut through these areas with no negative impacts to the “Wilderness value.” Thus, at least for licensed four wheel drive vehicles, the southern section of Stafford Road should remain open in it current location. This section sees the least amount of ATV use and the lowest amounts of renegade use any where on the loop.
          A possibility is a simple serious of educational and/or warning signs making the public aware of the “dangers” of interfering with Rattlesnake habitat should suffice. I cannot comment on the ATV access on this stretch, as I have seen very little use there from that group. That section is very rough. A major plus for four wheel drive recreation, but not so much so for the typical ATV user. The scenic value of this route is second to none. Once the weather warms up, we typically avoid getting out of our vehicles in this area, as we do not care to have any encounters with snakes, yet we have never seen one at that particular location..
          The northern section of East Valley Road, again on Green Ridge, is by far the most abused area. I am pleased to say, thus far, I have never seen any evidence of four wheel drive abuse. While money could be spent to move the road bed, it should be kept in mind that this road was designated a part of the ORV loop long before that section to the west of the road bed was ever declared State Wildlands. Simply based on the principle of prescriptive rights, as well as demand, the road should remain open to motorized vehicles.
          At the same time, this section has suffered from a lack of available law enforcement, as much as anything else. Other possible solutions would be to install, true barricades at abused sites, such as large boulders or wooden guard rails, of at least 4” x 4” construction. Water bars could have worked, if they had been installed properly and located properly, in such as manner, as to slow water and soil movement, as well as ATV speed. They need to be at an at least 45 degree angle to the road direction to discourage using them as “jumps.” Make them wide and tall enough to make jumping even more difficult; the sharper the angle, the more difficult to jump. They should span the entire width of the road bed, or more, as to discourage braiding. Properly installed, they can make the road just short of maintenance free.
          The Southern Section of East Valley has some abuse, but again, the same techniques can work there. Also, there are some sections to the east of the road bed that could be developed into spur routes, with little impacts. Much of that has been recently timbered, thus, some routes exist.
          MAFWDA, agree, that rotating trail access may help control the conditions, particularly on the Green Ridge loop. There is little enough four wheel drive usage, that it would be feasible to exempt licensed motor vehicles from the rotation process.
          Another possibility would be to open routes on a given weekend based on the numbers on the ORV permit. Either based on the actual number, say numbers 999-1500 or odd/ even.
          Poplar Lick should not be closed year around to licensed vehicles. It should be open during deer season and during the driest summer months. Snowmobile access should be permitted, as their impacts would be minimal during the snowy season.
          While no doubt, the fisheries division would argue that there are measures that would minimize any negative impacts from motor vehicle fords. In simple terms, on either side of a said crossing, lay down a stretch of varying sized of rocks, primarily, larger ones. At the crossings, on either side, birm up the road a bit. This would re-route the run-off. The rocks would work as filters and clear the debris from vehicle tires.
          On the GWNF, they installed low level concrete bridges with a series of culvert type pipes running through them. This works in two ways. The water flows, normally, through the pipes. The more water, then more pipes have flow. If there are high levels of water, or if there is a major stoppage, which was very rare, the water simply flows over the concrete. The water remains clear and the bridge remains intact. The ones on the GWNF survived the major flooding from Hurricane Fran, even when an earthen dam gave way. Recreational Trails Fund money can be applied to this measure.
          The rest of the road should have a slight grade away from the stream, to reduce siltation.
          I like to fish, as do many of our membership, as much as I enjoy recreational four wheel drive. So, I (we) have a sincere interest in the quality of our waterways. Properly constructed routes can make the two compatible.
          It is only fair to the ATV group, that if Poplar Lick is closed, a comparable new route is open for that use near by. 
          One avenue to explore at some point, are guided, organized rides on select routes, even if a separate track of land or ORV/OHV park is established. These rides could use normally closed routes during dryer times of the year. Good tourism material.
          United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) has always tried to discourage the term ORV (Off Road Vehicle) and instead use OHV (Off Highway Vehicle). ORV seems to promote what we are trying to control. We are not permitted to drive off road in Maryland. These routes are roads. Snowmobile trails are just that. Snowmobile trails.
          We have always promoted user education. It was quite apparent that the public knows very little about our state lands. They do not understand the difference from a Forest and a Park. They know very little about timber management and its benefits. They have not, until now, caught on to what happens when Tread Lightly! ethics are not followed. They know nothing about the Recreation Trails Program.
          Raising fees could help to pay for an educational program that could require viewing a video or reading a set of guidelines and regulation and signing off on an acknowledgement of an understanding of this information. Aside from the obvious, it would also give enforcement a legal standing. The additional fees could also go toward more law enforcement. Michigan has an annual permit that all must buy to use the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, plus there are 3 day permits that must be purchased for each visit. This is a great way to monitor demand on a given day.
          The members of Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association want to continue to foster solid relationships with the DNR. We would also want to see expanded access, even if it is on a rotational basis. Historically, we have been able to access unique routes on the state forests with little to no impacts and no lasting impacts, negative in nature. Typically, these are closely monitored, guided rides. Organized groups or clubs can be key players in this process.
          Each of the State Forests have potentially, outstanding areas or routes to drive one’s four wheel drive vehicle on, with little to no impacts and no long term impacts, if done so under controlled conditions, in some areas.
          A primary goal for the state should be the establishment of an ORV/OHV park, if you will. While this is not likely to be a total fix, it should substantially reduce to levels of abuse and demand on the State Forest road system and resources. Monies are available to get this established or at least started. Once established, these parks can be self sustaining or better.  
          We sincerely hope this information is of some use to the department and can be used to foster a sustainable Off Highway, motorized and multiple-use trail system.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    P. S.
    President-Conservation/Land Use Director
    Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association.

     

    Please keep the riding trails open There isn’t enough places to ride now!
    Thank you,
    W. H.

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    My family and I have been going there for years.
    It’s the only trail in MD worth going to.
    We stay on the trails and obey all the rules.
    The development of land in MD has all but eliminated all riding areas, legal or illegal.
    This is the only place we have left.
    I feel as though closing the trail will lead to more illegal riding.
    Its beautiful, away from the city, in the mountains, wildlife everywhere.
    Oh, and we can camp there as well.
    Please don’t eliminate this riding trail.
    The big picture, the trail is such a small % of land compared to the rest of the park.

    I am in favor of higher fees, not only that, before you are issued a permit you must do 2 hrs of community services on the trail.
    (I have a small skid steer loader (toro dingo, perfect for the trails) and would be glad to offer my time to keep the trail open)
    With over 2000 permits last year, think of all that could be done to maintain the trail & preserve the land & wildlife around it !
    B. G.

     

    Dear Maryland DNR,
    I think that the plan to close Green ridge ORV trail is crazy. Maryland offers virtually no places to ride. I have been riding Green Ridge with my three boys for eight years now. They love it! It’s the only riding area to legally ride on that offers a fun trail! We come all the way from Middle River! Baltimore County has zero legal riding trails in our area, not to mention they want us to pay a registration fee( Baltimore county registration fee!) I’m not even allowed to ride on my own property without the authorization of everyone who lives around me! So I now have a vacation home in Western Maryland that we go to just so we can Ride at Green ridge!  I can’t even believe you would consider this! We have bigger problems then ATV’s maybe you should be more worried about contractors tearing down trees and covering up wetlands to build more houses and business's that are vacant. Perfect point where MD-43 was built (from Eastern Blvd- RT. 40)! That was a wonderful illegal riding area. Most buildings are still vacant and they just keep on building! Maryland could have turned that into a riding area! But, no! Sell it! build on it, That’s the Maryland way, and you think it’s the ORV trails doing that damage!!!
    T.O.

     

    I for one would like the trails to be closed, hiking or camping at Green Ridge State Forest in many places is disrupted by the noise of ORV's. Big Run hiking trail is one of the best in the state but one has to hear the noise of ORV's. And when I use the trail in my truck you can see the damage that is being caused.
    R.T.M. Lavale MD

     

    I have used the ORV trails in Green Ridge, Cresaptown Sportsmen’s Club and the Hatfield and McCoy trails in WV. I enjoy riding on all of them, but the worn trails and mud holes from the constant use and erosion look horrible. To me it is much more pleasant to idle down a country road and enjoy the scenery. My daughter and I love to ride where we can stop often and take pictures, enjoying the streams and mountain views. We often see wildlife along the trails. Animals don’t seem to be bothered by the sound of the engines if they are not cranking at 95 db.

    I guess what I am trying to say is the public use trails are an eyesore, and looking at the pictures on your website of the lack of regard for the gates and signs shows outlaws won’t obey the laws unless they are forced. All the woodlands in Maryland cannot possibly be patrolled 24-7. So stiffen the fines by impounding the law breakers bikes, along with issuing heavy fines. Also set up game cameras to catch law breakers. But with that shouldn’t there be an area set aside for people to ride that want to rip and tear with their high horsepower machines, someplace where erosion could be controlled, someplace with jumps and dips and obstacles for riders to overcome. If not  Green Ridge, maybe somewhere like Green Ridge.

    There should also be a place that more conservative riders can go and gently ride their machines and enjoy the outdoors, wildlife and nature. I realize that even riding gently leaves a footprint, but footprints are better than ruts and ditches.

    PS. Concerning your website pictures, one of the riders appeared to be riding a bicycle. It also appears that a bicycle bridge was being cut up with a chainsaw.
    I didn’t spend days reading the entire document so I don’t understand exactly why riding a bicycle on public land is a problem? Is a bicycle really a nuisance to the environment or wildlife?
    G. F.

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto,
    As a 30-year resident of Maryland, and now an 8-year resident of Pennsylvania, the Green Ridge State Park ATV trail is the only off-road trail within a one-hour drive from my home.  My 13-year old daughter and I have used this trail many times, and gladly paid the permit fees for our off-road motorcycles.  We’ve also gladly worn helmets, goggles, boots and body protection in order to ensure that we are protected should an incident occur.

    This trail offers just about every variation of off-road opportunities that novices such as us could want.  The trail is long, but with a gravel road bisecting the trail, permitting a shorter route if desired.  Closing this trail would seriously limit the opportunities we have to ride on ATV trails.

    Even more importantly, the town of Hancock lies directly between our house and the trail, making it the perfect place to stop for dinner, gas and a truck/bike wash after a day at Green Ridge.  With all three of Hancock’s major companies having closed their doors in the last few years, I know that the local shops appreciate our business.  As the DNR website notes, visitors spend $25.56 for every dollar that Maryland invests in its state parks.  We are great examples of Maryland benefitting from our tourism.

    Should you wish to contact me at 59 Hearthside Lane, Greencastle, PA  17225.
     Sincerely,
     E. H.

     

    Please leave the ORV trails open. They are the only place in Maryland where my family can ride legally together.
    J. R. M.

     

    Dear Secretary Griffin,
    I recently found out about the plans to close some of Maryland's most popular (and essentially only, to my knowledge) off-road trails in Green Ridge.  I wanted to express my concern as a resident of Maryland.

    I am one of the founders of an online off-road group, where we gather to discuss the joys of getting out into nature and exploring and enjoying it.  We see 4WD recreation as a way to enrich our lives with exploration of the world that we've been given.  We heavily encourage responsible off-roading through the principles of Tread Lightly.  We also believe that through these principals a forest can maintain a sustainable 4WD community and trail system.

    I have personally been through Green Ridge multiple times (as well as many other forests) and I've always noted how beautiful the Green Ridge area is.  Conversely, from the DNR website, I noticed a blurb saying "The Green Ridge ORV Trail remains closed due to poor access and trail conditions."  And a quote from John Wilson says "If people would stay on the trails we wouldn’t have to do that. But people don’t stay on the trails."  However after seeing the trails myself, I see very little signs of misuse or of people traveling off the trails.  I do know of one area that sees misuse, along the powerline, however that area has been very poorly marked and should be revisited by the DNR in order to keep people off.

    I find it somewhat disturbing that in one statement, the ORV area is being closed due to environmental impact, but in another, we are continuing to harvest trees from Green Ridge.  I could be completely wrong, but the environmental impact of cutting out swaths of trees would be much greater than allowing 4WD vehicles to access designated trails, and that access to the 4WD trails is being cut in order to retain the tree harvest accreditation.  In my view public land should be primarily there to preserve public access, not to supplement the state revenue.  However, I understand that my views are somewhat one-sided, and there are many sides to this argument.

    However, if we have the ability to make tree harvesting a sustainable and environmentally friendly operation, I'm sure we can find ways to do the same with the 4WD trails.

    In closing, we (the greater 4WD community) are the ones that actually go out and enjoy nature in the state forest.  We are the ones that want to preserve the area and keep it clean.  If the state were to promote "Tread Lightly" principles and work with the 4WD community to have "clean up" days or to help further communicate how we can help the forest manage these zones, I'm sure you would see an outcry of support (especially when the alternative is losing access).  However the DNR needs to publicize these issues and not rely solely on word of mouth.  I agree with the proposed initiative in the latest ORV report to create an online database of ORV users as a way to communicate trail locations, closings, issues, and educate the overall ORV community.

    My fear is that as you close ORV trails, you will see an increase in the illegal activities that plague your lands.  I believe that is the opposite of what you want.  If the public is given accessible lands to utilize, you will find that the vast majority of people will follow posted rules and directions, and be responsible ORVers.  I support the proposal to add ORV sites while simultaneously raising rates, but rate hikes should be considered carefully.  Raising access rates will lead ORVers to expect better, longer, and more challenging trails.  We the public already believe that our taxes go towards maintenance of these trails, raising fees will raise user's expectations accordingly.

    I appreciate your time.  If there is a way to stay informed on these issues, please let me know the method.  I will be forwarding the DNR press release to my other contacts within the ORV community.
    Thank you!
    James

     

    Once the Brook Trout are gone, they will be gone forever.  I’m in favor of closing the Poplar Lick ORV Trail to ORV traffic.
    C. W.

     

    Dear Mr. Peditto,

    Count me on the list of people who are thrilled that you are considering shutting down the ORV trails at Green Ridge State Forest. 
    Sincerely,
    L. V.S.

     

    what good does it do to invite us for a meeting if the minds of people are made up even before the meeting has started. now that people have spent there money on permits and equipment , how are we being compensated for the money we've spent.  maybe the government should refund our permit money as well as our bike money, trailer money and our equipment money. In said meeting for the orv trail all I heard was a bunch all bullcrap. I agree about the fish problem but at green ridge the only problem is greed by the government. we has tax payers and citizens pay for these parks with tax dollars not to mention the amount we spend on bikes and equipment and get taxed again on those purchases and now were being told we cant have access to these parks.  do you honestly expect people that are going to drive for hours to use these parks to turn around and go home.  I thought the purpose was to work together and come up with a solution so people wont trespass or ride illegally. clear cutting the land isn't going to solve your problem of erosion and run off and not to mention animal habitat you will be destroying , so much for CONSERVATION. what about conserving our rights to parks that we pay for. people were willing to work together to come up with a solution and were only asking for a little time. before this gets out of hand  I'm asking for green ridge to be opened back up.
    thank you , regretfully     J. L.

     

    Dear Sir
    An article concerning the closure or the Poplar Lick ORV trail appeared in the Thursday (3/31/2011) issue of the Cumberland Times.  I was very pleased to read and strongly support the closure of this trail.  While walking this trail I have often observed ORV's intentionally traveling off the trail into areas of soft mud and repeatedly speeding back and forth through fords.  While I agree that these riders need a place to enjoy their chosen recreational activity, this actvity would be better located in an area where its impact on stream health and the associated health of the wild brook trout population within the stream would be eliminated or greatly reduced.  The trail along Poplar Lick could them be maintained as foot traffic only. 
     T.V. Sr.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I would hate to see this place not accesible to us . We enjoy ridding off-roading camping and have lots of memories with family and friends there.
    Sincerely,
    S. G.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    I do sincerely hope that you choose to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    R. R.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    R. S.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I am a four wheeling fan. I am also a responsible wheeler. Leave it like you were not there. I would like to voice my desire to have these OHV trails. It would be a great oppurtunity for the state and for us.
    Sincerely,
    C. B.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Four wheeling is an outdoor activity loved by young and old alike and a great way to connect with your children and the outdoors. Opening new trail systems is a wonderful idea and will prevent people from wheeling illegally because they would now have somewhere to go. Offroaders as a whole are a very responsible group of people and we value any land we can have access to, to enjoy our hobby. Please open new trails so that the good people of Maryland will have somewhere to enjoy their favorite hobby. Thank you for giving us all this opportunity.
    Sincerely,
    N. McM.

    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.
    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.
    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.
    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    J. H.

     

    please reconsider closing green ridge park to off roading, maryland is running out of legal
    4 wheeling spots at a fast rate. i am all for raising the fee alot more, i think this would keep alot of the illegal wheelers out of the park. and a mandatory check in befor using the trails would  help as well. i support the tread lightly motto 100% and would hate to lose this privilege at such a beautiful place. thank you for your time.
    upper marlboro md
    M.B.

     

    Put me in as against closing such trails. There are more benefits to having these trails open to us riders than many take into account. Us riders help to keep these trails open. Give it a year without any riders and these trails will be unusable if a fire ever broke out and the fire department needed to use them.

    Sure as with anything there will always be the bad apples in the bunch but I am sure overwhelmingly that there are more good than bad riders out there.
    Erick

     

    After reviewing the reports from the two trails on which my family and I ride. I have some thoughts I would like to share regarding these studies. Bottom line this seems to be a MONEY issue. There is an obvious lack of proper rule enforcement along the two Western Maryland trails. Following through with the intention to close these valuable recreation spots will only adversely effect Maryland as a whole. I can only speak of Green Ridge and Poplar Lick trails. The Green Ridge trail is a HUGE money maker for that particular area. There have been plenty of times I have seen every single camp site filled along that 18 mile trail. I have also seen the loading and unloading areas completely packed. Every person on that trail is a dollar sign for Maryland. Maryland is in no position to turn away anything that generates money back into the state's budget.

    As far as the information in the studies. An expert can take any information founded from "tests" such as these, and manipulate them in a favorable fashion to their opinion. Example... "Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Haze> of a fluid<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Fluid> caused by individual particles<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Particle_(ecology)> (suspended solids<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Total_suspended_solids>) that are generally invisible to the naked eye<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Naked_eye>, similar to smoke<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Smoke> in air<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Air>. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality<https://mail.google.com/wiki/Water_quality>." Please inform me of ANY creek, river, or stream in Maryland that does not exhibit "turbidity" when crossed by a vehicle or a human for that matter. I know every creek,stream, or river I have ever walked in or crossed I have seen such "turbidity- individual particles (suspended solids)" after every step I took. If this clearly is an issue for the stream in the Poplar Lick ORV trail. I would expect the whole trail to be closed to all access. Camping, fishing and driving to be included. Where is the fairness in that?

    Now for Green Ridge. Yes illegal riding is a problem. Of course this is a budget/manpower issue. How about raise the penalty on minor offences and immediate suspension from the trail upon being caught riding illegally. If there truly is a concern over the breakdown for this 18 mile track. Open the whole forest road system up to orv riders (atv's and dirt bikes included). This not only takes the burden off of Stafford Rd, East Valley Rd, and Mertens Rd. It will generate alot more money and draw a bigger crowd to this region. Thus bringing in more MONEY. Opening more trails up would make people less likely to want to venture off the current road system.

    As I said before this is obviously a money issue. Raise the permit fees. Raise the fines and have harsher penalties. Be more apt to suspend someones riding privileges in these areas. Enforce a check in style system already in place for some suburban Baltimore area hunting lands. Kinda hard to check in to ride the trail when your riding privileges have been suspended. This would drastically cut down on illegal riding as well as the number of repeat offenders. Closing these trails will seriously effect families that depend on these trails as a family activity. Neither the trail rider nor the State will win with these closures.
    J. C.

     

    This caught my attention in the Cumberland Times paper today.  I am an  avid ATV/Dirt Bike rider, a member of the Cresaptown Sportsman's Club  with over 500 members.  With the limited places to ride in MD as it is,  it would be a big disappointment to loose any more places. I hope they  reconsider the closing of these trails.  I am sure that there are others  that feel this way too.
    B. Z.

     

    To whom it may concern:

    As a Maryland resident I would like to encourage the development of OHV trail system. Maryland is full of beauty and I would like to enjoy exploring the state through the trail system. Opening public land to the OHV trail system is a wonderful way for families to get away together. Having trails linked together makes exploring the state exciting.
    Explaining on the 86 miles currently in Maryland would keep me in Maryland. I do not want to leave Maryland to travel to West Virginia (where a wonderful OHV trail system in place), Pennsylvania, or surrounding states to get OHV trails.
    Please consider expanding the OHV trail system in Maryland.
    Sincerely,
    T.N.

     

    This initial comment is specifically about the Poplar Lick ORV Trail. As VP of the Youghiogheny Chapter of Trout Unlimited I polled our membership about their position on possible closure of the trail. I received numerous replies and all were in favor of the trail being closed. Respondents cited the clear evidence of the negative impact on the brook trout population as the basis for their positions.

    On a personal basis, I have for many years been a member of the Potomac Garrett State Forest Advisory Board and am very familiar with the need to satisfy multiple users of state lands. Great care needs to be taken however to minimize any significant impacts caused by user groups and unfortunately ORV trail users cause an inordinate amount of damage due in large part to illegal activities. I believe the report has good recommendations to improve enforcement and minimize impacts. As one who is very concerned with protection of brook trout habitat and general stream environments I support the removal of trails with negative impacts where ever possible and certainly feel that the Poplar Lick Trail should be closed.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment and good luck in dealing with a difficult issue.
    S. M.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    i have been atving and off roading in Pa since 1998,only because of the opportunities and trails that Pa presents. i would much rather spend my recreation dollars in my home state than another.if there is anything that i can personally due-(trail work etc.)just please--let me know!!!
    Sincerely
    S.T.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I live in Pensylvania and I am an OHV enthusiast. I would love to travel to Maryland to go "wheeling" legally but currently there are very few trails to drive on. I understand that you are looking at adding additional miles of trails and I wholeheartedly support that. I currently wheel recreationally in PA regularily and if Maryland had more trails to drive on I would visit the state more and bring my tourist dollars with me. Thank you for working to add more OHV trails in your state!
    Sincerely,
    S. .S

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    S. T.

     

    Hello, The MOST fun we as Marylanders can have in a park is on a specialized ORV or 4x4 (Jeep). Please spend money on making the parks safe and fun. I'd go on but everybody knows that Maryland State Rangers are well aware of the huge fun parks with ORV after all there're open to the public last year! =D thanks for your support!
    R. P.

     

    Dear Maryland DNR,
     It has just come to my attention that you are considering opening off-road vehicle areas in Maryland.  I have been an off-road enthusiast for the past 24 years, ever since I started driving, and strongly endorse this.  I feel Maryland sorely needs legal areas for me and others like me to enjoy our hobby as I see this question regulary posted on website forums: where can we go off-roading in Maryland? 
    I also feel this would open up areas of Maryland’s less accessible wilderness to other outdoor enthusiasts.  The trails would allow people that may not be physically fit enough to hike to certain destinations to have access to these places. 
    I have routinely been leaving Maryland to enjoy off-road parks in other States for years.  This also takes my tax money to these other States.  Maryland is losing out on sales tax from restaurants, hotels and other facilities that I and others would be using.  I would also suggest a permit be required for the use of the land, which could help the budget crisis Maryland is currently in.  Requiring permits could also help to regulate those few in our hobby that are not as responsible as we would like them to be, something that I’m sure is a major point for those opposing the opening of off-road trails, maybe even an opinion that some of those within the Maryland DNR have.  Please don’t be swayed by the large company truck commercials that show every 4x4 blasting through streams and tearing up the land.  That is advertising sensationalism.  As a group we are responsible adults that police our own clubs, leave areas cleaner than when we arrived and have helped, at no charge, to create trails in other State’s off-road parks.
    Please open trails for off-road use in Maryland.
    Thank you for your time,
    P. S.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid OHV user in NY, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.
    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.
    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.
    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    P. P.

     

    To whom it may concern:

    I am an avid OHV user residing in Maryland when not at school during the year. I will be moving back this summer. I hope to be able to enjoy designated areas for OHV use as much as possible. I greatly appreciate and cannot thank you enough for considering opening more land for OHV use.
    As a state Maryland has relatively little legal lands to enjoy in this manner even with OHV user and outdoors-men numbers rising each year.
    Opening more land would be very well recieved by these many legal and responsible OHV users. Such programs will benefit Maryland as the tend to promote people to spend more time being active and outside. This also strenghtens the people appreciation of the environment and encourages people to truly look at the impact they can have on their environment.
    OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    M. R.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you so much for even considering opening more OHV trails here in MD!
    Many of my friends and I have been into 4wheeling and camping for years but have had to travel out of state to do it. Obviously this adds costs that many college students (like me) cannot afford, which always keeps many people who are interested in 4wheeling from coming on trips. This could be a great opportunity to get many Marylanders back out into nature!
    More OHV trails in close proximity to schools would also help introduce kids to the great outdoors and as we all know, kids these days need to get out of the house and off of the internet as much as possible. Besides the benefits to children, it will drastically reduce (if not end completely) trespassing and illegal 4wheeling in Maryland. The lack of places to go offroading is the biggest cause of illegal 4wheeling.
    More OHV trails is a great idea, please make it happen!
    Sincerely,
    M. L.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Hi, I'm Justin Williams, I don't live in your state I live in Connecticut, however, I support all OHV. I'm an offroad enthusiast I also enjoy the outdoors, hunting, fishing, etc.
    I see these large dense forest and only the area near the roads or parking spots actually gets used, except for the very few that hike for a full day straight to even see the center of some of these forest.
    When hunting you need to carry a lot of equipment from tree stands to a bow and in the event you actually bag a deer it is a lot of work to drag it out to the truck. Trails would drastically help hunters utilize the entire forest not just the outskirts.
    I just hope CT will fallow the nearby states in opening OHV trails/land. Off-road enthusiast are respectable group of society, majority enjoy the outdoors and clean up after themselves most will volunteer to clean up trails or do whatever it take to keep the trails open.
    Please don't stereotype us all into the few illegal off-roading rebels ruin it for the rest of us. Some of us have over $100,000 into our offroad vehicles.
    If you open this to out of state access I can ensure you will find a lot of tourist spending money in your state from hotels, meals, gas, parts, etc.
    I hope you open up more land.
    Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written.
    Sincerely,
    J. W.

     

    To whom it may concern:

    I am an avid OHV user residing in Maryland when not at school during the year. I will be moving back this summer. I hope to be able to enjoy designated areas for OHV use as much as possible. I greatly appreciate and cannot thank you enough for considering opening more land for OHV use.
    As a state Maryland has relatively little legal lands to enjoy in this manner even with OHV user and outdoors-men numbers rising each year.
    Opening more land would be very well recieved by these many legal and responsible OHV users. Such programs will benefit Maryland as the tend to promote people to spend more time being active and outside. This also strenghtens the people appreciation of the environment and encourages people to truly look at the impact they can have on their environment.
    OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    M. R.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you so much for even considering opening more OHV trails here in MD!
    Many of my friends and I have been into 4wheeling and camping for years but have had to travel out of state to do it. Obviously this adds costs that many college students (like me) cannot afford, which always keeps many people who are interested in 4wheeling from coming on trips. This could be a great opportunity to get many Marylanders back out into nature!
    More OHV trails in close proximity to schools would also help introduce kids to the great outdoors and as we all know, kids these days need to get out of the house and off of the internet as much as possible. Besides the benefits to children, it will drastically reduce (if not end completely) trespassing and illegal 4wheeling in Maryland. The lack of places to go offroading is the biggest cause of illegal 4wheeling.
    More OHV trails is a great idea, please make it happen!
    Sincerely,
    M. L.

     

    I have grown up in the state of Maryland, using the state park and forest system for hiking, biking, camping, and responsible ORV use.  I have camped at many of the places and used the trails there.  I think that instead of closing trails, we could look at getting more volunteers through local and statewide ORV clubs.  I myself am a member of a Jeep club and the club has participated in trail cleanups at GRSF in the past.  I myself have been upset with the illegal use of the land surrounding the trails, as well as the trash created by irresponsible users.  It is a few bad apples that create closures and prevent the majority of us who are responsible enough and tread lightly from enjoying the challenges, comradery, and scenery backcountry travel allows.  I would hate to see all the trails closed and my children unable to enjoy them.  I teach them how to be responsible when camping, hiking, and biking, and we help clean up a stream that is a tributary to the Patapsco River.  We need to educate the users of these trails, and one of the best ways is through clubs and other advocate groups.  If the trails are closed, than other states will benefit from our trail users, and I think it would increase the amount of illegal use as well.

    A few other places to check with for funding would be the Tread Lightly! Program, BFGoodrich’s trail funding program, and the Blue Ribbon Coalition.  Having worked in the state parks, I know there are some park managers, rangers, and maintainers as well as some regional managers that are avid wheelers, bikers, hunters and ORV users.  I think joining together with the users of these trails can help keep them open as well as possibly open new ones.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope a decision is made to keep the trails open and educate the users.
    Sincerely,
    J. J.

     

    Mr. P.,
    I am fully supportive of closing the Poplar Lick ORV trail to motorized vehicles. However, I can see allowing mountain bikes, if persons so choose. I feel that this might result in decreased camping by vehicle campers, but that the decrease in vehicle campers might be offset by an increase in hiking/possibly biking campers. I do agree that the trail parallels Poplar Lick too closely and as such could detrimentally affect the native brook trout population. I grew up with my now deceased father teaching myself and my 5 brothers how to trout fish on this and other Savage river drainage native brook trout streams. I am passing that tradition on to my own son---we were happily catching/releasing brook trout in Poplar Lick earlier this month. Although they appeared to be abiding by trail rules (i.e. staying on the trail), we did see some people riding 4-wheelers at what I thought might be faster than intended on the trail---this could obviously lead to more unwanted erosion and deterioration of the native brook trout fishing.
    Sincerely
    J. C.

     

    After reviewing the reports from the two trails on which my family and I ride. I have some thoughts I would like to share regarding these studies. Bottom line this seems to be a MONEY issue. There is an obvious lack of proper rule enforcement along the two Western Maryland trails. Following through with the intention to close these valuable recreation spots will only adversely effect Maryland as a whole. I can only speak of Green Ridge and Poplar Lick trails. The Green Ridge trail is a HUGE money maker for that particular area. There have been plenty of times I have seen every single camp site filled along that 18 mile trail. I have also seen the loading and unloading areas completely packed. Every person on that trail is a dollar sign for Maryland. Maryland is in no position to turn away anything that generates money back into the state's budget.

    As far as the information in the studies. An expert can take any information founded from "tests" such as these, and manipulate them in a favorable fashion to their opinion. Example... "Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles (suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality." Please inform me of ANY creek, river, or stream in Maryland that does not exhibit "turbidity" when crossed by a vehicle or a human for that matter. I know every creek,stream, or river I have ever walked in or crossed I have seen such "turbidity- individual particles (suspended solids)" after every step I took. If this clearly is an issue for the stream in the Poplar Lick ORV trail. I would expect the whole trail to be closed to all access. Camping, fishing and driving to be included. Where is the fairness in that?

    Now for Green Ridge. Yes illegal riding is a problem. Of course this is a budget/manpower issue. How about raise the penalty on minor offences and immediate suspension from the trail upon being caught riding illegally. If there truly is a concern over the breakdown for this 18 mile track. Open the whole forest road system up to orv riders (atv's and dirt bikes included). This not only takes the burden off of Stafford Rd, East Valley Rd, and Mertens Rd. It will generate alot more money and draw a bigger crowd to this region. Thus bringing in more MONEY. Opening more trails up would make people less likely to want to venture off the current road system.

    As I said before this is obviously a money issue. Raise the permit fees. Raise the fines and have harsher penalties. Be more apt to suspend someones riding privileges in these areas. Enforce a check in style system already in place for some suburban Baltimore area hunting lands. Kinda hard to check in to ride the trail when your riding privileges have been suspended. This would drastically cut down on illegal riding as well as the number of repeat offenders. Closing these trails will seriously effect families that depend on these trails as a family activity. Neither the trail rider nor the State will win with these closures.
    J. C.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. M.

     

    "An annual $15 permit is required of riders. In 1994, there were 500 sold. A year ago, the number was 2,182."

    That should tell you enough.  Please don't close the ATV trail in Green Ridge. 

    Too many families (like mine) enjoy this wonderful place for all of us to get away and enjoy nature on our 4-wheelers... legally, and safely.
    thanks,
    GLEN

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users.
    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. I travel monthly from NY to PA and occasionally as far as VA to enjoy OHV trails. My family and I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland.
    With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    E. K.

     

    I would first like to thank you for considering opening more ORV trails in Maryland. As an avid atv rider what Maryland has to offer is very disappointing especially when compared to other nearby states. I frequently travel to Pennsylvania to ride one of there many trail systems in the state forests. Maryland has the right idea with having some places open to ride but most do not offer enough mileage to make it worth the drive. I travel on average twice a year to southern West Virgina to the Hatfield McCoy trail system, a six hour drive and put money into their local economy and spend $50 to ride because they offer over 500 miles of trails which makes it worth the drive and money spent. I think if Maryland could copy either West Virginia or Pennsylvania and the ORV opportunities they have it could bring in extra money for the state and I feel cut down on illegal ORV use. However unless the mileage of trail approaches what the Hatfield McCoy system does I think raising the permit fee to $50 could have a negative effect. Pennsylvania offers roughly 200 miles of trail spread out across the state and a Pennsylvania permit only costs $20. I think the cost of the permit must be considered strongly and should to take into account permit costs in other nearby ORV areas and what the state of Maryland will offer as far as mileage of ORV use. I personally believe that having a permit that is equal to or more expensive then other nearby areas could have negative consequences (more illegal riding,and few people purchasing permits to name a few) if what Maryland offers is not in line with what the other nearby areas do.
    E. H.

     

    I have read the report on OVR trails in Maryland and the recommendations to close some, including the one in Green Ridge State Forest.  I'm a resident of Bedford County, Pennsylvania and have used the Green Ridge trail.  Prior to riding I did some research using DNR's website and trail maps, as well as took a ride to the area to look at the trailhead.  I was thoroughly impressed with the maps on site and on the website, as well as on DNR publications.

    I went to the State office in Cumberland and got my ATV registered in Maryland and eventually rode the trail.  It was beautiful and I was envious of what the State of Maryland was providing its OVR riders.  I really like the Green Ridge Trail and would be highly disappointed with its closure.

    The report's assessment that OVR riders will go somewhere else is accurate and the unintended consequences could be worse than the problems the report is trying to address.  If an alternative trail is going to be constructed to replace the Green Ridge Trail, I feel that the current trail should remain open until the alternate one is finished.  I would abide by any additional restrictions in the interim, however, just closing it does not seem prudent or fair.

    ATV's and other OVR's have become a big family recreational opportunity and the loss of State support for this sport would be devastating to a lot of families.  I appreciate the ability to share my thoughts and I'm hopeful it will have some impact.

    Thank you,
    D. J. C.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Being a company in the 4WD community we often host or sponsor off road events in these OHV parks.
    Best example would be in the little town of Hollister, California we sponsor an event called Top Truck Challenge (TTC). When TTC comes to town we bring commerce, job opportunities, and clean fun.
    That in turn gives the locals and the state incentive to keep the park clean and open as well as the sponsors and competitors looking forward to going back to that town and state again.
    This country is a pretty big place and it should cater to everybody and everything.
    Sincerely,
    D. D.

     

    There needs to be some way to find places in the state forests to ride and make orv zones. Just go to any other state and they can help you,as there are plenty of places to ride in those states. I just got back from West Virginia where I spent about $1000.00 on food and supplies at local stores and lodges. they have over 1200 miles of public trails there however it took 8 hours to get there, and also Virginia. New York is insane with state trails to ride, you could spend a year there and not ride the same one twice. Surely there is space to ride in Maryland, especially on the Eastern Shore. Thousands of acres which are not sencitive areas. If more leagal places were opened up to ride, alot of the ileagal riding would cease. Why dosen't the state make some orv parks like in other states, we have open air dog walks, skate board parks, frisbee golf parks and bike trails why not orv trails for orv's only. And why after all these years was there only one orv area on the Eastern Shore. There were and are still seversal on the Weatern Shore, and the only one here on the Eastern Shore had been closed for 2 years making in an all day trip to ride leagally for like 2 hrs with 4 hrs travel time from here to the Weatern Shore. Surely someone can find somewhare to make an orv zone to ride here on the Shore as we can find areas to do everything else here.

    Thank you for allowing this information.
    C.F.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I believe it would be a great idea to open new trails in the state of Maryland due to the fact that this would bring new revenue into the state and into areas that it could really help. Most trail systems open in rural areas that would not usually have tourist. By opening these trails it would also open peoples eyes to other things that the state of Maryland has to offer. This could also open new doors for businesses in these areas and if Maryland is like the rest of the country new jobs are a welcome sight.
    Sincerely,
    C. M.

     

    Greetings to all,

    I am sending out this e-mail as a follow up to last week’s ORV meeting held at DNRPs Gywnnbrook office. I first want to say thank you for holding this public meeting and allowing ORV users the opportunity to voice their opinion and concerns to the potential closures of both the Poplar Lick and Green Ridge ORV trails. I hope this is the beginning to further discussions on ORV trail development and usage throughout Maryland’s state parks.

    I  attended the meeting on behalf of Garrett County Snowmobile Task Force, MDSSA (Maryland State Snowmobile Association), Garrett County Snowdrifters and Garrett Trails. Garrett Trials is the acting arm of the county and is tasked with the responsibility to promote and develop multi-use recreational trails within Garrett County.

    The potential/inevitable closing of the poplar lick trail to ORV traffic raises concerns to all of the groups listed above. Garrett County relies heavily on the tourism industry to bring money into the mountains of Maryland. With the closing of this trial you are telling those individuals that come to Garrett County to ride their ORV to take their money else ware. I believe this was voiced several times at the meeting. With the shortfalls in the state budget Garrett County as well as every other county in Maryland has taken a sever hit to their budget and can’t afford for that tourism dollar to slip away.

    I understand and take credence in the study that was conducted by the Maryland department of fisheries on the increase in turbidity levels in the local stream that ORV riding has caused, and understand the damage turbidity has caused to the native trout that run in this stream. My concern is that the study did not give a fair shake to the use of Snowmobiles (an ORV)  on this trail. Currently the poplar lick trail is listed as a multi-use ORV trail to include ATV’s, four wheel drive vehicles (trucks), and motorcycles, with the trail being closed from the 2nd week in December through the 2nd week in March. What I am asking for is that if you are set on closing the Poplar Lick trail to ORV use, that you please reconsider allowing the use of this trail for Snowmobiling during the winter season (i.e.: Dec through March) so that we can capture some of the tourism dollar that this trail may lose due to its closure. Please keep in mind that snowmobiles need snow to ride on and the ground that the snow is lying on is frozen several inches thick. The end result of snow and frozen ground is less turbidity for the native trout. I am sure there are other logistics and concerns to opening this trail during the winter, but please give it your consideration.

    Again I would like to thank you for the open dialog and look forward to your response.
    Respectfully
    B. N.

     

    Please do not close the Green Ridge ORV trail!  It is only a small group of people that abuse it.  Do not punish the law abiding user, punish the abuser!
    B. A.

    please reconsider closing green ridge park to off roading, maryland is running out of legal 4 wheeling spots at a fast rate. i am all for raising the fee alot more, i think this would keep a lot of the illegal wheelers out of the park. and a mandatory check in befor using the trails would help as well. i support the tread lightly motto 100% and would hate to lose this privilege at such a beautiful place. thank you for your time.
    M. B.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid OHV user in CA, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.
    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year. Here in California the closest legal riding to me is about an hour on winding mountain roads, and the "good stuff" is a minimum of three.
    as far as i know Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.
    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    F. M.

    To whom it may concern:
    I have been visiting the Western MD trail system for 12+ years now. It saddens me to steadily lose access to first Savage, then Potomac and now Greenridge. Please allow organized, responsible users to help with getting a great Trail system in Greenridge to an acceptable state so it can coexist with all the wildlife as well as the other user groups.
    Thanks,
    L.L.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    As a resident of this state I wholly support the movement to open more trails. I regularly go out of state to ride my ATV, use my rock crawler and ride snowmobiles. All of the money I spend would be better used in my home state. My family and I all enjoy outdoor recreation and feel that we would do it much more if we could do it closer to home. Our time is invaluable and we would like to donate as much as possible to pushing this through and opening new trails.
    Thank you very much
    Sincerely,
    C. K.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal use by responsible OHV users. An initiative such as this is greatly needed in the state of Maryland.

    There exists in Maryland a large group of OHV clubs and enthusiasts who are dedicated to safe and legal OHV operation. These individuals are diligent about maintaining the environment in which they enjoy this recreational activity, carrying out any trash they may generate, and respecting posted trail limits and boundaries. OHV enthusiasts have been given a poor reputation in recent years due to the actions of a simple few individuals, and the community is dedicated to discouraging such actions.

    I feel that a dedicated trail system in Maryland will not only reduce the amount of illegal and unsafe OHV activity, but can also open up new recreational areas to the public, providing the opportunity for additional revenue and increased tourism within the state, rather than sending it to our neighboring states.

    As a resident of the state of Maryland, I sincerely hope the state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy, respect, and maintain the great environment of the state of Maryland.

    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J.M.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I am a resident of a state that has effectively 0 miles of public OHV trails. The news that Maryland is looking to open more comes as a very pleasant shock to me!

    I, and members of my club (Fingerlakes 4x4) currently travel from Rochester NY well over 200 miles into Pennsylvania to offroad and race at a private park in Tremont, PA. We travel nearly 200 miles to recreate on a relatively small parcel of private land near Albany. 3-4 times a year we drive right through your fine state on our way to areas in Virginia.

    If a trail network can be developed to add some variety to our existing options, users will come - and with them, tourist and support dollars to your local businesses. Local users will be able to stay local and keep more money in the state that currently travels out to PA and VA and WV.

    OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they ar e about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    M.M.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid OHV user in CA, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    J.T.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    S.F.

     

    Hi, just asking that you do all you can to ensure the atv and dirt bike trails in western Maryland remain open for the pleasure of all the enthusiasts.  I ride these trails with family and friends, including my one brother in law and his wife and five kids.  It’s great exercise, gets us all outdoors, and we always spend money on the way to and from the trails, whether for maintenance parts, snacks or at restaurants.  If you look at the true footprints of these trails, it is a tiny fraction compared to all of the public land in western Maryland.  Obviously I don’t support those riders who ride off the trail but again even if the trail footprint was doubled by this violation, it would still be a tiny % of the surrounding lands.

    To recap, with the health and exercise benefits of riding, family and friend togetherness, the positive economic impact, and that the actual trail footprint is a small % of the public land, I appreciate all you can do to keep these trails open to the public.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.  If there is anyone else I should contact to help the cause, kindly let me know.

    Thanks and regards,
    D.A.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, routinely in Md and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be abl e to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.

    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    T. T.

     

    Good Morning:

      Please DO close the 16 mile O.R.V. trail in the Green Ridge State Forest as you are wisely considering.

    Thanks,
    G. M.

     

    My husband and I live in Garrett County, have two ATVs and used to ride the local state trails here, especially Poplar Lick.  We are well aware of the abuse of this trail by others and it is sad that this happened.  Our reason for riding the trails was to see the scenic beauty of our county and to explore the woods.  We never left the designated trails out of respect for the area but saw many others doing it.  I think the main problem with the sate trails is that they are too short, that it encourages abuse because there is no where to really ride, so most will go where they are not supposed to.  If you had trails like the snowmobile trails - that actually go somewhere, were continuous, I think this abuse would not exist - people would just ride - taking in the scenery instead of destroying habitat. We haven't bought any permits for two years as we didn't think it is worth the $30 we had to spend to ride very short trails.
    L.H.

     

    I am writing to pledge our support to keep Green ridge trails open to off road use. The Baltimore 4 Wheelers have completed many hours of volunteer work in our state parks and forest and would welcome the opportunity to cut new trails to preserve our natural resources. Please keep us posted as decisions are made so we may provide assistance.
    D.S. 

     

    About time that there was focus on the damage ORV have caused to Poplar Lick BrookTrout Population.I use the camp @ the entrence of Poplar Lick ORV,siltation is a problem the entire length of the stream.Past time to close the trail to all ORV &Mountain Bikes,FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY .& Close the illigal ORV trail across from the confluence the Savage River & Poplar Lick along the power lines!!! It's just another mudhole dumping into the Savage.
    C.F.

     

    I would like to voice my support for keeping the ORV trail in Green Ridge State Forest open.
    My friends and family have been camping at Green Ridge for the past 10 years, and the ORV trail is one of the main attractions.  It's one of the very few legal places to drive our vehicles off-road.  I believe keeping it open will also prevent people from seeking alternatives that could be more damaging to the environment and/or illegal.

    We are a responsible group, strive to "leave no trace," and truly appreciate the natural beauty and history of the region.  We look forward to our Green Ridge camping trips every year, but if the ORV trail is closed, we'll likely look elsewhere.  Please keep the ORV trail open!

    Thanks for your consideration,
    D.P.

     

    I have traversed much of Green Ridge over the past 20 years, by Jeep, Mountain Bike, and by foot. I raised my children to appreciate Green Ridge and the surrounding area for its beauty and recreational opportunities. I have helped maintain and improve wildlife habitat on nearby properties in the Forrest Stewardship program. Please keep Green Ridge and other trails in Maryland open for future generations to enjoy.
    CMH

     

    Hello,
    My Name is R. P. and I am a Maryland Resident that loves the outdoors, loves camping, and loves off road riding.  I am a dual sport rider - Dual Sport being a street legal vehicle that is capable of riding off road.  I live in the far eastern part of Maryland in North East, MD. 

    In regards to trail riding in my area, there is nothing for us Marylander's to use and ride legally, so most of my friends drive to western Maryland or Pennsylvania to ride legal trails and off road areas. 

    We plan weekends of camping and riding, where we do help the local economies in the surrouding areas, thru lodging, food, fuel, riding accessories, etc...

    Here are some comments I would like to make:

    ORV permits Cost

    To help aid in the cost of trail maintenance this cost should be raised.  I can not say what the expected cost should be as I'm not sure what the maintenance costs are of trail maintenance, but I would think something along the lines of Resident Fee $100.00 Per Year - Non-Resident Fee $150.00 Per Year.  Required for all vehicles (strictly off road and licensed vehicles).

    Illegal Riding

    This is a huge concern for me, as I only ride in legal area and respect what nature has to offer in those sensitive areas.  I would like to look at the current fines and consequences for riding illegally.   Any illegal riding should be dealt with in a very severe manner, as this is mostly the cause for most trail closings in the United States.

    Sensitive Areas

    If there are sensitive areas within these trail areas, we (the people) should allow for trail re-location around these sensitive areas and allow these areas to flourish along with allowing the trails to flourish through other areas.

    Trail Maintenance

    I would like to see the oppurtunity to work with the DNR in helping maintain these trails for future use and help promote the recreation of off road riding as a clean, fun, family activity.  Event days or scheduled clean up days would allow us Marylanders and surrounding friends to come aide in the maintenance of these trails to help subset the cost of maintenance put on the state.

    Closing of Trails

    I am somewhat taken back by the harsh decision to close these trails based on a draft assesment.  Offering to relocate these trails to other areas of less sensitive areas would not only mean a loss in economy revenue to local towns and surrounding areas around these state parks, but also a loss in enjoyment of spending quality time with friends and family enjoy the natures of Marylands outdoor lifestyle.   Several states have successfuly implements legal riding areas, that produce both economic growth in the trail areas and clean fun legal riding. 

    I would suggest that these trails stay open until furture research and actual information has been collected and presented to the people of Maryland, that clearly shows why these trails should be closed.

    We are here to offer our help immediately either by being selected as part of  a study group or to help start maintaining trails and surrounding trail areas or to help promote legal trail riding in Maryland, all with the direction to make sure we have a successfull 2011 riding season and many more in the future.

    In closing I would just like to say thank you for letting me be heard through this forum and I intend to contact my local state representatives and officials to express my thoughts to them too.

    I look forward to hearing a response on my concerns and issues

    Thank You,
    R.P.


    to whom it may concern,  i have a small cabin near the meadow mountain snowmobile trail and use it in the winter from time to time.  i pay my $15 permit fee and pass respectfully, but the gate near my cabin on maynardier ridge road is often locked.  it doesn't seem right and now you want to raise the permit fee?  the trails' not groomed, the state doesn't maintain it at all, in fact the loggers do the most maintenance and sometimes they screw it up.  we are riding 

    on the snow on top of the trail so there's no environmental damage.  
    i just ask that if you choose to raise the price please charge the folks that are causing the environmental problems (4 wheelers) not those who leave no trace.

    sincerely,
    B.R.

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    S.M.

     

    I am writing to ask you to consider opening more areas to OHV use in your state. I grew up on the east coast and one of the reasons for me moving west was to be able to use my OHV in a legal, respectful, fun, and challenging way. If you open more areas for OHV use in your state you would see and increased revenue not only for local businesses, but for the state in general as OHV users are always willing to travel to seee a new area. These are families with disposable income that respect the land, the people, and the laws of where they visit.
    Sincerely,
    D. B.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    D. F.

     

    It has been brought to my attention that Maryland is considering creating and opening many more miles of OHV trails. As a resident of Colorado I have access to many hundreds of miles of OHV trails. Having access to these lands is a source of great enjoyment for me and my family. I am eager to see the development of this project and encourage all Maryland residents to access and enjoy their wonderful state by OHV!
    Sincerely,
    B. B.
     

    As an avid OHV user in Virginia, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, especially on the East Coast and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, our state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes means traveling out of Maryland where my hard earned money is spent helping other states economies.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    J. L.

     

    As an avid OHV user, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, our own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    C.L.

     

    I do not currently live in Maryland but I wanted to thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I have seen the benefits that a well designed trail system can offer not only to the local community, but also the making the land of Maryland open for the public to enjoy. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    A. C.

     

    Dear Sirs:
    I wanted to express my disappointment that the DNR would consider closing the ORV trail at Greenridge State Forest. I fully understand that there can be environmental concerns about the use of the trail. I believe that most people that use the trail participate in cleaning the area and adhering to the Tread Lightly request. I like many others would love to continue to enjoy the trail. I have read
    about the trail and until last weekend have not been there before. The trail itself was closed but I explored the park and am looking forward to using the trail. To me the use of ORV trails by 4x4 owners like myself most of us consider it a privilege and intend to reduce our impact on the environment. Please reconsider keeping the ORV trail open for future enjoyment to all of us. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
    Sincerely,
    J. D. C.

     

    I believe that the opening of more OHV trails would be a great idea for a few reasons.

    1. With the amount of people who are in the hobby of offroading whether in an OHV, ATV, UTV etv. I would bet that there is a lot of illegal wheeling (trespassing, turfing, etc.) that could be prevented if there were more areas to legally go.
    2. The trails could be open to accomodate more than just OHV traffic and used for multiple applications. It can provide access for conservationist activities, hunting/fishing or any other outdoor activities to areas that were previouly unaccessable.

    These are just a few brief examples but I believe that opening these trails could be beneficial to a substantial amount of interests around the area.
    Kindest Regards,
    Sincerely,
    J.M.

     

    For the past four years I have been driving my Jeep 2-3 hours each way just to go offroading for a day. This makes me spend money in other states, where I could be spending in the great state of Maryland. Over 14% of the Maryland population has participated in OHV use. That works out the be 577,600 people in Maryland that wheel or ride. I know that if we have closer places to wheel legally that number would rise. So please take all those people, and all the people who would get great benefit from this trails and listen to us and open some trails!
    Sincerely,
    M. B.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    K. K.

     

    Adding a more advanced off-road trail system similar to other states nearby such as West Virginia would give locals and visitors to the area the opportunity to operate their OHV in a safe but exciting new environment. This would help reduce the illegal and dangerous use of OHVs on public roadways and would pump money into Maryland's fragile economy by alluring visitors from all over the eastern United States to camp, drive off-road, and enjoy Maryland's natural beauty. Minnesota has a great state run OHV area called Iron Range OHV Recreation Area (http://www.ironrange.org/recreation/atv-ohv/ohv-park/), It's a smooth running off-road driving park with many different features that entice locals and tourists alike. Iron Range is open to all off highway vehicles such as 4WD(trucks, Jeeps, SUVs, Etc.) dirt bikes, 4wheelers, and UTVs, this is just one of the many state run OHV areas that has become a successful model for other states to follow. Pl ease allow the opening of a new OHV trail system in Maryland.
    Sincerely,
    K. H.

     

    I have been traveling the South Easter United states exploring backroads and scenic drives as well as tackling every OHV trail possible in my jeep. Maryland is one of the many states with limited access. I know myself as well as many others would extend our trips to visit more of Maryland if there was more to see while off the paved roads.
    Sincerely,
    B. B.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    T. S.

     

    As a resident of a nearby state (Va) it would be great to see an OHV trail system opened nearby, and I know many others from my area who feel the same. Now we have to drive many miles to enjoy any type of OHV recreation. Thanks for listening.
    Sincerely,
    J. S.

     

    I would like for you to open OHV trails in Maryland. There is a huge outcry for the need of legal OHV places in Maryland. Neighboring States may even adopt the idea.
    Sincerely,
    N. H.

     

    More OHV parks mean less illegal land use. Please give us more OHV parks.
    Sincerely,
    E. J.

     

    Please Develop a real ohv system in MD. While in the service i was stationed in California. That state has some beautiful trails that resulted in time well spent with my wife and I. I can't tell you how many miles i put on my little jeep but I would drive every single one of them again. Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    K. B.

     

    My husband and I have been all over the east coast looking for places to go 4-wheeling in his Jeep. We would love to see a new trail system set up in Maryland that we can go to. This is a great family activity for us because our son loves going and being one of the guys. But it is tough on our family having to travel a few hours to get someplace, and spending the extra money on a hotel room because it is too late to try and come home afterward.
    Please open new trails for us!!
    Sincerely,
    R. C.

     

    As an avid OHV user in md, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    J. D.

     

    As an avid OHV user in Maryland I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use. Each year I travel out of state in order to find challenging and legal four wheel drive trails to enjoy. This is money being spent out of state that could better serve local communities in Maryland. I am one of thousands who do so which in turn would equal a large revenue for communities around any newly developed ORV trailes in Maryland.

    The state of Maryland has many, many offroad clubs who spend thousands of volunteer hours in out-of-state parks cleaning, repairing, and continually maintaining their trail systems. Under the guidance of these Maryland offroad clubs, we could bring active and revenue generating tourism to our state.

    Help the Maryland offroad community grow and thrive. Support the development of off highway vehicle trails in our state.
    Thank you,
    D.F.

     

    i do wheel occasionally with my family, and would love to be able to go somewhere closer and spend my money in maryland. right now i travel to pa or virginia and i must spend 300.00 just in camping fees alone. please, help maryland give people like me and my family a choice to stay here in state and enjoy what we love to do. thank you, von bierman
    Sincerely,
    V. B.

     

    Please develop more OHV trail system
    in Maryland so that the individuals who love to do this can have fun in their own state and not got to other states.
    Sincerely,
    V. C.

     

    Please help to develop more OHV trails in Maryland.

    Thousands of dollars of revenue continues to escape Maryland due to the severe lack of OHV trails. Pennsylvania has several publicly owned and operated four wheel drive trails that draw thousands of dollars to the state annually. With that influx of tourism, monies are being spent in local restaurants, hotels and stores.

    The state of Maryland has many, many off road clubs who spend thousands of volunteer hours in out-of-state parks cleaning, repairing, and continually maintaining their trail systems. Under the guidance of these Maryland off road clubs, we could bring active and revenue generating tourism to our state.

    Help the Maryland off road community grow and thrive. Support the development of off highway vehicle trails in our state.
    Sincerely,
    M. G.

     

    I live on the east coast in NJ and I am an OHV enthusiast. I would love to travel to Maryland to go ""wheeling"" legally but currently there are very few trails to drive on. I understand that you are looking at adding additional miles of trails and I wholeheartedly support that. I currently wheel recreationally in PA regularily and if Maryland had more trails to drive on I would visit the state more and bring my tourist dollars with me. Thank you for working to add more OHV trails in your state!
    Sincerely,
    A. P.

     

    I think it would be great to get some legal ORV trails open in Maryland. Because if the land was open to public use I am sure that the local 4x4 clubs would be happy to help provide trail clean ups and to help the forestry service or whomever to work on things like erosion control and helping make the designated trails I know I would. My family and I love to go riding around in the woods looking at the scenery and exploring in one of our two jeeps. I for one know of some places the people like to go 4-wheeling but because they are not legal places I don’t know who to contact to organize a cleanup of the areas. The thing Maryland needs to realize is that people are always going to disobey the law and ride on land that they are not supposed to but if we make more land open to the public we will be able to have better control on what impact they have on the land and the environment.
    Sincerely,
    K. G.

     

    Please consider opening new trail systems in Maryland. There are plenty of responsible off roaders in the are that would greatly appreciate the openings and use them to the fullest extent. Thank you for your time and considering the issue.
    Sincerely,
    D. T.

     

    Traveling to other states has always been a pain for me when I want to go enjoy a simple weekend of offroading.

    That coupled with the gas I have to burn and the lodging I have to rent and that the tax money that goes along with all of these expenditures goes towards another state's roads really grinds my gears.

    Moreso, there are many high school kids and other simpletons seeking to delve in the fine sport of offroading, most times illegally. This puts a bad taste in my mouth, when they ruin otherwise flat public land that has no OHV merits, with ruts and beer cans. The reason these places get torn up so badly is because there are no responsible users to cast an evil eye on the bogons who give our sport a bad name.

    If there are organized places for the public to enjoy our outdoors, with people who care, people who educate and provide a good example for the less than educated few, our lands can become a place that others seek , a place to draw customers for local businesses and attention from the media. A place people proudly call their vacation retreat. A place called Maryland. A place I call home.
    Sincerely,
    C. C.

     

    I would love to see ohv trails opened up. This would be a great step forward. Me and my family love to ride through the woods and experience the great outdoors. Please open these trails. It would be a great place for us to take our next vacation.
    Thank you
    Sincerely,
    B. D.

     

    A OHV park would not only help out Maryland but it would also help out the surrounding states as well. People that offroad are very respectful people who do their best to take care of the land that is open to the sport. Thank you
    Sincerely,
    T. P

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    C. H.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I am from a neighboring state, and I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hop e to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    M. S.

     

    The opening of these trails would be a huge step in the right direction for the state. Please hear all of us who are willing to go out and maintain the trails. 99% of the people who use these trails do so responsibly and will care for the environment.
    Sincerely,
    J. M.

     

    Please help to develop more OHV trails in Maryland.

    Thousands of dollars of revenue continues to escape Maryland due to the severe lack of OHV trails. Pennsylvania has several publicly owned and operated four wheel drive trails that draw thousands of dollars to the state annually. With that influx of tourism, monies are being spent in local restaurants, hotels and stores.

    The state of Maryland has many, many offroad clubs who spend thousands of volunteer hours in out-of-state parks cleaning, repairing, and continually maintaining their trail systems. Under the guidance of these Maryland offroad clubs, we could bring active and revenue generating tourism to our state.

    Help the Maryland offroad community grow and thrive. Support the development of off highway vehicle trails in our state.
    Sincerely,
    J. W.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    T. D.

     

    As an avid OHV user in TX, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    D. G.

     

    As an avid OHV user in OH, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    M. S.

     

    I feel there are many Marylanders that would benefit from an OHV trail system. Many residents of our state simply have no place to legally ride. This is a legitimate form of recreation enjoyed by many. A properly managed trail system, could provide needed revenue to the state and minimal environmental impact. I realize there are many important issues facing our legislators at this time, however, please consider this request.
    Sincerely,
    J. T.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    E. N.

     

    As an avid OHV user in WV, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    K. W.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    S. Z.

     

    Please help to develop more OHV trails in Maryland.

    Thousands of dollars of revenue continues to escape Maryland due to the severe lack of OHV trails. Pennsylvania has several publicly owned and operated four wheel drive trails that draw thousands of dollars to the state annually. With that influx of tourism, monies are being spent in local restaurants, hotels and stores.

    The state of Maryland has many, many offroad clubs who spend thousands of volunteer hours in out-of-state parks cleaning, repairing, and continually maintaining their trail systems. Under the guidance of these Maryland offroad clubs, we could bring active and revenue generating tourism to our state.

    Help the Maryland offroad community grow and thrive. Support the development of off highway vehicle trails in our state.
    Sincerely,
    E. V.

     

    As an avid OHV user in Maryland, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, especially on the East Coast and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, our state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes means traveling out of Maryland where my hard earned money is spent helping other states economies.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    J. M.

     

    I am writing this letter in support of a Maryland OHV (off highway vehicle) park.

    I, as well as many, many other people love the state of Maryland and hold it dear to my heart. I love to spend my money and time right here where i grew up, doing the things that I love. But unfortunatly, when it comes to driving my vehicle off highway and enjoying the outdoors with my family and daughter, i have to travel out of state to pennsylvania, or other states where they have the opportunities to do such things. I am in full support of having a OHV park here in maryland and know that there are thousands of other people who would say the same.

    Not only is this an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and keep marylands workers money here in maryland, this is an opportunity to bring in tourisim, and moneies from out lying states as well, to help support our economy and bring money to other business such as hotels, grocerie stores, and resteraunts .

    The numerous groups of 4x4 clubs, my self included, would be inclined to maintain trail cleanliness and saftey. And use the land for what its intended for, have fun and enjoy the outdoors!

    4x4 groups sometimes get bad names and looked at as if they are ""Law breakers"" and enjoy destroying land, but that is as far as you can get from the truth. Im not saying there arent the few people who have no respect, but those types of individuals are in every aspect of life. If anything we are nature loving people who enjoy exploring.

    In closing, I would like to thank you for taking your time to read this letter and would ask you to please consider the idea of a family friendly, outdoor recreational OHV for familes like mine and all over maryland to enojy.
    Sincerely,
    J. F.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    T. R.

     

    It would benefit the state of Maryland to have more OHV trails.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were a highway on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    Thousands of dollars of revenue continues to escape Maryland due to the severe lack of OHV trails. Pennsylvania has several publicly owned and operated four wheel drive trails that draw thousands of dollars to the state annually. With that influx of tourism, monies are being spent in local restaurants, hotels and stores.

    The state of Maryland has many, many o ffroad clubs who spend thousands of volunteer hours in out-of-state parks cleaning, repairing, and continually maintaining their trail systems. Under the guidance of these Maryland offroad clubs, we could bring active and revenue generating tourism to our state.

    I am currently in college in another state and using their OHV trails. When I come home to Maryland in the summer I have no trails to legally wheel on and this makes my summers very boring. Please consider making room for more offical OHV trails in Maryland.
    Sincerely,

    1. L.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,

    1. S.

     

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    M. W.

     

    As an avid OHV user in VA, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate
    Sincerely,
    J. M.

     

    I have a CJ7 and I love taking it to Rausch Creek, PA. If there were a park in Maryland, I would definitely go! It would be amazing to have one closer to home that would let me enjoy off roading in my home state. I love Maryland and I hope you put in a great park for great people!
    Sincerely,
    L. B.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    E. A.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    AS A RESIDENT of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that our fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area i n Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    C. A.

     

    Maryland needs to expand it's OHV trails and needs to build trails with a little diffuculty to them. My family, 4 vehicles, we travel to many states to use their OHV parks (pass right through Maryland). We can easily spend on avg $450-500 at local businesses near the parks in a weekend. This is money that can help your local business. Other states are now seeing this potential and the OHV communities are supporting them.
    Sincerely,
    D. M.

     

    SUBJECT: PLEASE DEVELOP A REAL OHV TRAIL SYSTEM IN MARYLAND!

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in CA, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    T. H.

     

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    T. B.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. S.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    B. C.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users In Maryland. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    W. R.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    As a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that our fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    C. V.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    K. R.

     

    I strongly support the development of OHV trails in Maryland. My grandparents had lived in Maryland and I always thought it was a wonderful place. One of these days when my son is old enough to appreciate it I hope to share Maryland with him. Being able to share the beautiful countryside of Maryland in addition to his heritage will only strength this bond.

    Being able to enjoy the outdoors through OHV activities is one of the favorite pastimes of both my son and I. There are far too few OHV opportunities available in the eastern United States. That Maryland is considering expanding those opportunities is an excellent step in the right direction. I strongly support Maryland developing this OHV network and look forward to being able to enjoy it in the future.
    Sincerely,
    R. S.

     

    I am glad to see the governor interested in opening more OHV trails. Trails are a great way to get outdoors and see mother nature. I have been trail riding since I was 16 in my own vehicles and have continued to enjoy them now with my own family.
    Large trail networks also bring in travel dollars to the state. I have been to 8 states just to enjoy the outdoors in my vehicle and will continue to support areas that support my hobby.
    Sincerely,
    J. D.

     

    I was disheartened to hear about the Greenridge ORV closing this year. I regularly ride there with friends and had looked forward to another great season in 2011. However, it seems that the state of Maryland has fallen victim to eco alarmist with political muscle. We read the report, and didn't find evidence, written or pictured, that warranted the closing. The motorcycle & atv community has been dealt a serious blow by what was a cover of the night sham where we were not represented by our elected officials. We will remember this when it is time to vote and our numbers are many.
    Sincerely,
    R. S.

     

    OHV Comments         "Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    T. K.

     

    Hello,

    I am an off road enthusiast and I travel all over the United Sates visiting friends and making new ones along the way. I know many people that do the same, I also know many people on the East Coast that struggle to find areas for them to use. They let me know there is a movement being made to make it easier on them to have these areas and I would like to show my support for them. Please do purse the matter and make it legal for them to enjoy the great outdoors. In these tough economic times it is difficult for most people to travel very far to enjoy their passion and sadly many will either choose to do it illegally or give it up.
    Thank you for helping my friends.
    B. T.

     

    Thank you for concidering opening more legal OHV trails in Maryland. For the past several years, my club members and I have been doing much of our trail riding out of state, and I believe I speak for all of us when I say that we greatly appriceate any effort towards increasing the availability of local parks to enjoy our hobby.
    Sincerely,
    P .C.

     

    To Whom it concerns,

    My wife and I are avid 4 Wheelers that live in the state of Maryland. In order for us to enjoy our sport we have to travel out of state whether it be to Virginia , PA or Tennessee or any place we can find. I am also the president of a 4 wheel drive club in the state of Maryland. We are comprised of people ranging from young 20 something’s to 50-60 year olds. We are an average size club with 50 or so members. We would love to stay in state and wheel instead of driving long drives to enjoy our sport. If OHV parks we to be opened in our state, I believe they would attract out of state wheelers who would eagerly pay money to have a legal place to wheel. So please consider opening up some land right here in our State and keep money and jobs here.
    Thank you.
    Regards,
    M. G.

     

    I am an off road motorcyclist and am very unhappy about the closures of ORV trails at Green Ridge, Savage River, and Pocomoke State Parks. My friends and I have been going to Green Ridge for years to camp and ride our dirt bikes in a legal environment. Please don't take this fun and family oriented sport away from Marylanders. I understand the environmental reasons, but there are ways to minimize the effects of ORV's on the resources in State Forests. Other states are doing it, so why can't Maryland?

    Please reconsider the closing of Green Ridge ORV trail until State officials have worked to find alternate locations for trails within State Forest lands or outside. Many off road clubs in maryland have reached out to DNR and Wildlife Mgmt to offer help with creating new trails within Green Ridge away from sensitive areas, or find new land nearby.
    Thank you for your attention to this matter.
    Sincerely,
    B. H.

     

    I have grown up on dirtbikes and now I am forced to drive 2.5 hrs away since Green Ridge is down. I also enjoy taking my Jeep out in the trails too. The trail system would be extremely popular and great for the economy! Not to mention off-road recreation is a very good family oriented activity and will help encourage strong family ties!
    Sincerely,
    J. R.

     

    ORV Comment           "Please do not close the Greenridge trail , we have no where to ride. I am 46 and have seen closures before, but this is really bad. Md. has nowhere to ride really , It is much worst here then in other states, atleast they let you ride and they are green too.
    Why does Md. get like this for trees that I'm sure will be fine, and allow much worst violations of damage to the environment elsewhere in the state, ironic isn't it?
    very sad,
    J. K.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    D. D.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    M .D.

     

    This letter is in support of the plans to develop an off-road trail system in Maryland.

    As a former resident of the Baltimore area, I am well aware of the fact that there are few legal opportunities for off-road vehicular recreation.

    While the increased access will certainly make environmental damage less likely, it will also definitely result in economic improvements from folks who come from further distances to take advantage of such a trails system. When I travel to go off-road, I make it a point to purchase my fuel, food and other necessities from local vendors to intentionally help to thank them for the access and to provide them with a direct benefit from the trails.
    Sincerely,
    P. T. S.

     

    All states should take a look at the trail system in Colorado
    It is managed well and helps keep vehicles out of areas they
    are not supposed to be in.......
    Sincerely,
    S. R.

     

    I recently fulfilled a dream of getting a Jeep. I've recently go into taking it off road in legal places through the help of people I met online in the Maryland Jeep Club (MJC). Maryland has so few trails that from Annapolis it takes 2 1/2 hours to drive to them. It takes 3 hours to drive to PA for a far superior trail system. Every weekend I go there I get 2-3 tanks of gas in PA, lunch, possibly overnight lodging and more food. It would be great to reduce my mileage, and keep this money within Maryland. Everyone in the MJC drives at least 2 hours to spend all their money in PA.

    If we have more places for legal wheeling in Maryland it would be very beneficial for many aspects of Marylander business. As off road enthusiasts we would spend less money on wear and tear, gas, trailers, and tow vehicles. Local business would get our money, tow us home when we break, feed us, and provide emergency mechanical services. Ironically it would be greener because we would all be driving less, and have less tire wear. Local construction sites would have less people ruining them.

    With the lower costs, and shorter travel I think more people would go wheeling more often than once a month.
    Sincerely,
    H .S.

     

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    A. A.

     

    ORV Comments
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
     J. A.

     

    As a lifelong MD resident and an avid off road/OHV enthusiast I would love to see some more trail systems and OHV areas opened up around the state for some legal OHV fun. As it stands, we have to travel hours north or south and out of state to find any type of OHV trails worth the time to get out there.

    If we do have more OHV trails in the area, I think you'll find it will draw more enthusiasts to the area, which is always good for local business as well. As it stands, we are losing this business to other states for OHV enthusiasts such as myself and my friends/family.
    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    P. V.

     

    As an avid OHV user in Va, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use so close to Virginia.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    BJ C.

     
    I was born, and have lived in the beautiful state of Maryland for my entire life. I have been involved in OHV use for my entire life as well. I now have a 2 year old son that will soon be joining me in my off road adventures. I would like to express my excitement about the possibility of my home state opening new OHV trail systems. I have spent many hours travelling up and down the east coast, and have been as far as California, to participate in OHV activities. It would be great to be able to stay close to home and spend my money locally instead of venturing out of state to go off roading.

    I would like to volunteer my services if there is anything I can do to help in opening new trails in my home state.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    M. L.

     

    AS a resident of Maryland I find myself traveling outside the state and spending large amounts of money to use OHV trail systems. As an off road enthusiast opening more trails in Maryland would allow me to keep my tax dollars at home where I want them the most. I would be willing to donate time and money to make this a reality. This opportunity means a lot to me and the many members of my family who regularly use OHV trails. We are avid Rock crawlers, ATV riders, snowmobilers, and Dirt bike riders. My family would be willing to get out there and cut new trails as well as maintain and improve existing ones. This would greatly allow us to utilize our state's resources and keep our dollars where we need them.
    Thank you for your time,
    Sincerely,
    C. K.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Please consider my support when deciding whether to build OHV trails in Maryland. I understand there are only 86 miles of OHV trails currently. If people aren't using the lands are they going to want to conserve it? OHV use is a great way to build more ownership of public lands.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. OHV areas are a large draw for me when choosing a place to vacation. I hope one day to recreate in your state.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    B. J.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As a company president and enthusiast I fully support the proposed network of trails. The positive financial and community impact is something that cannot be denied. If you need any further information or help from me, please contact me directly.
    Zach Vaughn.
    Sincerely,
    Z. V.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I live in Baltimore and have to drive 2 hours one way and out of state if i want to do any form of four wheeling. Rausch Creek in PA and The Cove in VA is where me and friends go 4-6 times a year for weekends. we do so because there is nowhere to do this close in Maryland. Everyone knows that Green Ridge is passable by cars and thats not fun. I feel if there is an ORV park ~1 hour from Baltimore, there will be a significant cut down in the illegal wheeling and trespassing that goes on now. We will also have somewhere in state to have fun and spend money.
    Sincerely,
    J. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid fan of OHV activities I applaud the idea of opening up new trail systems. The reality is that public systems are overwhelmingly used and policed by its own. As with any activity there are outlaws, but we do our best to keep them in line. Opening up new areas should certainly make it easier for everyone to comply with the laws.
    Sincerely,
    R. C.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I absolutely support the concept of expanding the legal OHV areas in Maryland. Although I live relatively far away, and will probably never make it there, it sets a fine precedent for other states to follow. A state sponsored trail system is a great use of otherwise ignored land, and stimulates economies both local and nationwide. If difficult enough courses are built, then it would be possible for the state to draw competitions, which bring thousands of people from all over to your state to support local businesses.

    Please consider my position when making your decision regarding the expansion of OHV trails in Maryland.
    Sincerely,
    J. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Four wheeling has become a huge/fun part of my life now. Please allow others to experience what I have in the California/Nevada area in their own Maryland area.
    Sincerely,
    S. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. T.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    R. H.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NE, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    T. D.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    N. S.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I have been into offroading as a hobby for many years now yet always have to travel out of state to enjoy this hobby. With todays economic prices increasing I find myself not being able to enjoy my hobby nearly as much as I used to be able to. I also find that this is not just myself but also many others in most clubs I am apart of. If there were trails open in MD for even the mild offroad enthusiast this would not only save me money of traveling but I would also go much more often. A mild to hardcore trail, even if just an obstical course of some sort (please see Rausch Creeks comp course for inspiration), I could find myself going there at least once a weekend. Not only would this give the local offroad communities a safe and legal place to wheel, but it would also increase revenue for something MD really doesnt have to put much money into. I would particicularly like to see some sort of comp course/rock crawling course near the middle of MD. PA is trying to open something similar to an offroad park and the biggest complaint by people was noise. For the uneducated, Rock crawling and noise do not go together like naysayers believe. The uneducated compare rock crawling to high horsepower dragsters or dirt tracks and dirt bikes, this however is not the case. In rock crawling it takes skill, gearing and a little bit of luck. Noise however is none of that. For example, my rig is a 1987 suzuki samurai with a 4cyl toyota engine that makes a whoping 100hp. Most everyday trucks and Honda cars make a louder footprint wherever they go. My point is I believe that most people that have not been included in this sport are not able to see the opportunity that is offroading. Opening new trails in MD would only bring a positive impact.
    Sincerely,
    A. S.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    My family and I are big proponents of all forms of motorized and non-motorized outdoor recreation. We enjoy sight-seeing backroads and driving our 4x4's on challenging trails, and can take our young daughters places their little legs can't take them yet.

    As avid OHV users in Montana, we also travel around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate r oute. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    S. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Sincerely,
    C. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    SUBJECT: PLEASE DEVELOP A REAL OHV TRAIL SYSTEM IN MARYLAND!

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    B. A.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal use by responsible OHV users. An initiative such as this is greatly needed in the state of Maryland.

    There exists in Maryland a large group of OHV clubs and enthusiasts who are dedicated to safe and legal OHV operation. These individuals are diligent about maintaining the environment in which they enjoy this recreational activity, carrying out any trash they may generate, and respecting posted trail limits and boundaries. OHV enthusiasts have been given a poor reputation in recent years due to the actions of a simple few individuals, and the community is dedicated to discouraging such actions.

    I feel that a dedicated trail system in Maryland will not only reduce the amount of illegal and unsafe OHV activity, but can also open up new recreational areas to the public, providing the opportunity for additional revenue and increased tourism within the state, rath er than sending it to our neighboring states.

    As a resident of the state of Maryland, I sincerely hope the state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy, respect, and maintain the great environment of the state of Maryland.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. R.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in my home state of Arkansas, as well as in surrounding states, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year, which means any added OHV areas will lessen the wear and tear on existing trails and help their sustainability.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.

    As a Parks and Recreation Administration (Natural Resources emphasis) major at Arkansas Tech University I know the benefits and positive effects this will have on your state's tourism industry. The more opportunities you offer people, the more they will care for and use your facilities and trails, which is good for everyone.
    Thank you for your consideration of this matter,
    Sincerely,
    B. T.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NJ, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, especially in the East Coast, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    C. D.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    J. H.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I regularly travel to PA, VA, and NC to enjoy areas in those states and would greatly enjoy offerings in our closest neighbor, MD!
    Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    I. C.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    M. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user from Minnesota, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    S. C.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    L. H.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I drive all over the United States to recreate with my family. We ride Dirtbikes, ATV's and offroad Buggy's

    We would love to visit your state and enjoy a holiday there and this would give us one more reason to visit.
    Sincerely,
    C. P.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    Z. P.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As with most families these days when we are planning a vacation we need to choose wisely where to spend our limited time and dollars. So my family and I look for OHV friendly areas to vacation since it kills two birds with one stone, the family gets a vacation and we get to participate in our favorite pass time Off Highway Vehicle recreation. Since it seems you are looking to become an OHV freindly state, I cant wait to visit with the family.As I am sure you know when traveling we spend about $ 100.00 per person per day so my family of five would make a decent deposit in 5 days of vacationing ing your OHV freindly state. I do hope this works out as NJ is fairly close to MD.
    Sincerely,
    J. P.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV enthusiast from another state, I encourage you to move forward with plans to open up a legal OHV recreation trails within your state. Across the US there is an ever-shrinking amount of trails available to the public, and an increasing number of users. I believe that the government should do the will of the people and by their numbers the people are indicating that they would like more access to public OHV areas. I assure you that the vast majority of OHV users will use the trail system responsibly and even try and educate the few who do not. I’m sure that local clubs and OHV organizations would be more than happy to assist in the creation and maintenance of a trail systems and can act as leaders in the community promoting responsible recreation. An additional a OHV trail system can provide a positive impact to the local economy. Since I do not have any local OHV trails to use, I like many others travel large dista nces to enjoy OHV trails. I know that I spend several thousand dollars in communities with OHV recreation each year, and I am not alone millions of people across the US are searching for access to OHV recreation.

    In summary, I think opening a new OHV trail system would have an excellent effect on the state of New Hampshire. I look forward to being able to enjoy my hobby in your state someday.
    Sincerely,
    J. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Sincerely,
    T. O.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I am a Land Rover owner and enjoy having a place to drive thats off the beaten path. I love to go on weekend trips exploring OHV roads/trails and camping along the way. This provides me with a way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, and to find and explore new places along the way. Please consider developing more OHV routes to allow more people the opportunity to explore off the beaten path. Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    J. H.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in CO, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    B. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NM, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    R. U.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in NJ, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    P. S.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. A.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in CO, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    N. G.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    In my opinion offroad vehicle recreation is a great use of outdoor areas. Being a resident of New Jersey where there are no real legal outlets for someone to take a vehicle, atv or dirtbike I am sure there would be thousands of New Jersey residents alone that would gladly pay a fair and reasonable fee to utilize your OHV parks. These out of state users would also bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the state and to the local economy.
    Sincerely,
    G. K.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Please help give the people of Maryland a trail system they can enjoy with their friends and families. Not just a park for atv's, but a place where jeep clubs can bring their families for clean up days, camping and fun.
    Sincerely,
    D. D.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

     

    As an avid OHV user in Arizona, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    S. M.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    W. M.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in MD, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    P. M.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I used to be a resident of your fine state and have since moved to near by WV.
    Would love to get back to Md and ride some trails with my family.
    Sincerely,
    R. Y.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    The news that MD is researching the idea to build an OHV system is one the greatest things I've heard this year. I may not live in MD but have friends in the offroad community that do. Having the ability to take your family out and enjoy the outdoors is a great ability many do not have.

    I have lived in places where there is offroad areas everywhere and then where we have to drive hours to find legal offroading. Having a dedicated trail system will allow anyone the ability to enjoy what the state has to offer. There are hiking trails and bike trails but no trails for motorized vehicles. This should be investigated more.

    I appreciate your time in listening to my comments and hope that the decision to build a trail system is agreed to.
    Sincerely,
    E. L.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I support the effort to build a OHV trail system in my home state of Maryland. I currently travel to Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania for OHV recreation - taking my money with me and spending it in other states - my point is Maryland is missing out on some serious revenue from the OHV enthusiast.

    Illegal off-roading is also an issue. Developing an OHV trail system would give the OHV enthusiast a place to ""play"" legally. charge me for a permit to run the trails - we will be happy to ""pay to play!""

    The Jeep club I belong to has a yearly event. We are forced to go out of state to hold the event because there are no suitable locations in Maryland - once again this is revenue that the state of Maryland is missing out on.

    I sincerely hope something can some out of this effort. I see this as a win-win for everyone.
    Thanks!
    Sincerely,
    L. T.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I cant even tell you how excited i am to hear this...as a long time 4 Wheeler (jeeper) i have been involved in this for over 12 years.
    my wife and i started out with a well known local club (baltimore 4 wheelers) in late 99 and they worked very hard with local officals to keep access in western maryland open to responsible trailriding...i want to highlight the word responsible.
    we spend countless dollars in other states at privately owned parks to take our jeep.

    hear is the thing...no one is looking for a pristine piece of property with endangered animals or streams with worries of runoff...all we need is an abandoned coal mine or a rock quarry of some sort.
    lets make this happen.
    Sincerely,
    B. L.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I'm an avid Jeep and off-road enthusiast and a proud resident of Maryland. It truly pains me to plan a recreational off-road excursion and not even consider staying in this beautiful state. Currently, the only options I have are Virginia and Pennsylvania for readily accessible trails. That means my time and money are both spent outside the state I love. Green Ridge State Forest was a lot of fun in my first vehicle and helped me learn to drive, but the fact is, four wheel drive is almost never a necessity because of the low difficulty of the trail. If more off-road trails in Maryland were opened, and they were of respectable difficulty levels, I can guarantee that myself and other off-road enthusiasts and off-road organizations would step up to not only make full use of the trails, but to keep them clean and safe.
    Sincerely,
    T. J.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I am the President of a very active OHV club in Vermont. We currently have 30 active members, and we are always looking for new trails to challenge our skills and vehicles. We would love the oppurtunity of coming to Maryland to traverse a system of legal trails. I have been informed that you are looking at additional miles of legal trails and I wholeheartedly support that. Not only does legal trail access curb illegal trail usage, an added incentive is that it also brings significant money into the local economy through lodging, food services, fuel, and sight seeing.
    Thank you for working to add more OHV trails in your state!
    Sincerely,
    M. G.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I live on the east coast and I am an OHV enthusiast. I would love to travel to Maryland to go ""wheeling"" legally but currently there are very few trails to drive on. I understand that you are looking at adding additional miles of trails and I wholeheartedly support that. I currently wheel recreationally in PA regularily and if Maryland had more trails to drive on I would visit the state more and bring my tourist dollars with me. Thank you for working to add more OHV trails in your state!
    Sincerely,
    D. S.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I feel that it is important to have OHV trails for enthusiasts to have. There are many financial benefits to the surrounding communities by having OHV systems.
    Sincerely,
    T. H.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To MD State Officials,
    I am a resident of Newark, DE. There are no local trails for offroading. There are none in DE, and the closest place to go legally is 2.5 hrs away in PA. I would love to be able to go offroading legally somewhere closer and would be willing to pay to do so. Please strongly consider opening legal trails for 4wd vehicles.
    Thank you for listing to the public,
    Sincerely,
    E. P.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    i am originally from maryland and still live very close, me and my club would love to be able to venture somewhere close like maryland to find some good trails to have a good time in our jeeps and what not. please consider it, its a great time and a fun recreation. also it would bring allot more tourist to your state whenever we visit.
    Sincerely,
    J. D.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    Maybe one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.Now I travel to other states to enjoy my sport.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    P. T.

     

    ORV Comment           "As a owner of 4 atvs, my three sons and myself have used the trails in Green ridge and in Garrett County. We would hate to see the trail systems to end and would like to see more trails opened. I have a large investment in our sport that we love and enjoy spending family time together. We have taken trips to PA. and WVa. to the Hatfield and McCoy trail system that has over 500 miles of trails. They have plans for over 2000 miles and we can't wait. But we would rather spend our hard earned money in this great state. We use our RV or our 4x4 pickup to trailer our atvs to trails and would rather this state receive the taxes for our fun. We would love to see more trail opened for our sport but it seems like the people that make the smallest investment in their sport get most of the funding. If you have a bicycle there are hundreds of trails all over Maryland. We only have less than 100 miles in western Maryland. Please help us enjoy our family time together and don't push us to other states.
    Thank You for your time.
    D. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Tourism dollars are important in this economy, why Maryland is content to let these dollars escape the state without even putting up a fight seems odd.

    Offroaders spend vast quantities of money on their Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) and then spend additional money in the surrounding states to ride the trails there. They leave MD because of the pathetically small number of trails here.

    As a lifelong MD resident and voter, I am writing to ask that we develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland and keep our tourism dollars here.
    Sincerely,
    E. K.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    M. D.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for considering this in the MD area! I spend alot of time and money out of state with my OHV and would much rather spend it in state and local!
    Thanks!
    Sincerely,
    R. C.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration
    Sincerely,
    M. E.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    An off road park would be a great place for allot of people to legally use there vehicles. It could also bring money into the comunitty.
    Sincerely,
    P. R.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    A. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Please allow more trails to be opened in maryland. It would bring in more business and keep me from having to go out of state to have any recreation.
    Thanks
    Sincerely,
    S. H.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Having an OHV trail system in maryland would be wonderfull. Not too far away for weekend trips.
    Sincerely,
    M. S.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid off roader and as a person who has some physical disabilities, this is long overdue. The only way I can get out and enjoy the outdoor world is in my heavily modified 4x4. The fact that your state has only a small number of trails and this sport has grown at astronomical numbers really demands something be done.

    I support your state in the decision to make more of the outdoors available to people like me who otherwise could not enjoy it like most healthy folks do
    Sincerely,
    E. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I have read about consideration being given to open Off-Highway Vehicle trails in MD. As an avid offroader, I can attest to the the fact that there is a dearth of locales for us to enjoy our sport. Responsible OHV enthusiasts, of which there are many, will not wheel our vehicles illegally, so a trail system in Maryland will draw offroaders into your state - and those people will bring their money with them. I know that if you were to open trails to offroad use, I would make the trip to MD, and I would spend money there.
    Sincerely,
    J. A.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    J. W.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid four wheeler I am always looking for more legal and open areas to explore. Living in the neighboring state of Virginia I would welcome new trails to explore in Maryland. I would love to have an oportunity to travel to a neighboring state and see the great outdoors.
    Please consider opening more land to the public would decrease the amount of destruction to private land and through envolvment with local Four Wheel Drive clubs could help promote responsible ""fourwheeling"" and have a positive impact on the environment.
    Sincerely,
    R. M.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user of this fine state of Maryland I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    I am a part of a local club that actually has some private land in DE. But it would be more efficient that we have more public land in Maryland to enjoy. I enjoy the Pocomoke state park and Greenridge state park but their needs to be more than these.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    G. V.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    B. C.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.

    While not a current resident of the state of Maryland, I was born and raised in Carroll County and plan to move back within the next couple of years. I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OH V trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OHV area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    N. N.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I think making it easier to build and open new OHV trails is an outstanding idea. I personally go 4 wheeling in Colo. and Utah, but would love the chance to go east of the Mississippi.

    It sounds like you've caught on to the idea that legal trails will cut down on the illegal ones, seems obvious to me too. It also is a major help to attract tourist and the money they spend.
    Good luck
    Sincerely,
    D. K.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern, i just wanted to drop a note to let you know how important four wheeling has been to me and my family, I grew on hunting,fishing,and four wheeling with my dad, let me just say iam now 50yrs old and i am passing everything he taught me about the great outdoors on to my son, i am hopeing that the great outdoors is still around for him to teach his children.

    I know that i live along way away but i take my family on fourwheeling vacations and have wheeled in many states, my hope is to four wheel in every state before i pass.
    Thank You for your time
    Sincerely,
    D. V.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I would like to express my support for an OHV trail system in Maryland. Off Road Vehicle use is growing exponentially and there is a need for legal, public lands for responsible sustainable use. Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    D. M.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Although I will most likely never visit your state, I FULLY support idea of opening new trails for responsible off road enthusiasts!!! Hopefully other states will take notice and do the same. I really enjoy getting outdoors with friends and family for a good weekend of camping and wheeling, and work to keep the areas I visit in better condition than when we arrived. I believe a majority of people that do this as well, but unfortunately there are a few bad apples from time to time. Hopefully we will get some of our trails opened back up here in California as well. Thank You!
    Sincerely,
    J. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    To whom it may concern,
    As a single father I look for every opportunity I can to recreate with my daughter. She has really embraced off roading and the adventures and memories it creates. we have so many good friendships and tales that have been lived and told while on the trail. Today it seems that more and more freedoms and chances for these opportunities for people to gather and experience the outdoors is getting tougher and tougher. The off road community is one of the most generous and has always shown that they will put their ""money where their mouth is"" when it comes to trail maintenace, cleanup and general responsability to do the right thing. I ask that you create places for people to enjoy our fine nation responsibly. Allow more friends and family to build these bonds through activies such as this. Thanks for your time.
    Sincerely,
    J. T.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    please open more trails in maryland. it would be great to see government make a decision regarding public land that wast terrible. OHV parks are great for family recreating as well as generating revenue for the surrounding communities.
    Thanks
    Sincerely,
    A. G.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As a non-resident of MD who has seen the economic benefits of having legal trail systems in place, I thoroughly support the development of a real OHV trail system in MD. I would visit regularly and spend money on lodging, dining, parts, fuel, etc.

    Please consider OHV trail development.
    Sincerely,
    W. K.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I am very grateful for your opportunity to sit down with the community and express thoughts on how we can increase the number of trails in our great State.

    I have been into offroad vehicles since I was in high school, now 35 and long for trail systems that are close to home and worthwhile for me and my family to spend our weekends enjoying.

    I find us having to venture to other states to enjoy what trails they have to offer due to there being none in the area.

    I hope that through the powers above and the community we can find areas available to manage for the general public to use.

    There have been great things to come of some of the other offroad parks in nearby states that I think it would be a great opportunity to bring some of it back home.

    Thank you for your time and please let me know if there is anything that I or my local offroad club can do to help further along our hopes of recreational land to use close to home.
    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    D. M.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

     

    Please accept this letter as a plea for more trails in Maryland. I am very grateful for your opportunity to sit down with the community and express thoughts on how we can increase the number of trails in our great State.

    I have been into offroad vehicles since I was in high school, now 31 and long for trail systems that are close to home and worthwhile for me and my family to spend our weekends enjoying.

    I find us having to venture to other states to enjoy what trails they have to offer due to there being none in the area.

    I hope that through the powers above and the community we can find areas available to manage for the general public to use.

    There have been great things to come of some of the other offroad parks in nearby states that I think it would be a great opportunity to bring some of it back home.

    Thank you for your time and please let me know if there is anything that I or my local offroad club can do to help further along our hop es of recreational land to use close to home.
    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    M. J.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    As an avid OHV user in CA, who spends as much time as possible with family and friends using our public lands for recreation. I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.

    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.

    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.

    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.

    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    T. O

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    For decades I have enjoyed off-highway vehicle trails as a chance to spend time with family, friends, and enjoy the outdoors. On the East Coast, there are few opportunities to do this on public land.

    One area I frequent in Pennsylvania, Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, is one of the few legal, private areas that is close by. As such I have traveled to West Virginia to the Hatfield and McCoy trail system and also to a couple areas in Virginia. In recent years the Tellico ORV Area in North Carolina has been closed - reducing our options further.

    With news that the State of Maryland is looking at the possibility of opening up OHV trails, I would like to voice my support for such a project and my willingness to travel to Maryland to enjoy this sport.
    Sincerely,
    T. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I want to thank you for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use in Maryland. As a avid user of the OHV trail system in Green Ridge, I would love to see more trails established. It is truly a pleasure to use those trails with my family, but we certainly wish for more than the current trail system.

    As a Maryland resident and business owner, this is a project that I would love to see state money spent on.

    Thank you for the consideration.
    Sincerely,
    R. N.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    We need local trails. I use my OHV vichile monthly in other states because there is no where of any size in Maryland to go. By having to travel out of state to use a OHV area I'm not help our states economy.
    Sincerely,
    J. F.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    I am from out of state but a big OHV enthusiast. I and my off road club travel frequently to have events, trail rides and have a good time.

    This would be a great addition to possible areas to go.

    Please move forward with this and be a leader in supporting the OHV community
    Sincerely,
    P. Y.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Not only is the idea of opening new trails dear to my heart, but it is VERY logical. Much like dragstrips and shooting ranges, it will give people somewhere to do what they love without fear of breaking a law. Please give me a reason to visit the east for good wheeling.
    Sincerely,
    R. B.

     

    Please develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland!            "To whom it may concern:

    Since 1976, NOTHING has done by the state of Maryland to promote backcountry recreation with off-highway vehicles. That's one reason why there are only 86 miles of OHV trails in the entire state, and all of those are passable in a normal 2wd car.

    As demonstrated by the other 49 States in the Union, OHV recreation enhances the lives of residents and visitors while supporting the local economy. West Virginia's Hatfield-McCoy trail system is a perfect model for Maryland to follow in developing its own family-friendly OHV trail system.

    Please work with local motorcycle, ATV, and 4x4 clubs to develop a trail system that the State of Maryland can be proud of!
    Sincerely,
    G. B.

     

    ORV Comment           "To whom it may concern,
     I am a very active off road enthusiast and travel all over the country to go 4wheeling.  I am local to MD but go as far as California every year just to spend some time outside.  I would definitely be interested in more trails in MD.  I spend countless dollars and hours to do this sport and do my best to give back as much as possible.  I’d be willing to pay a yearly fee for a permit, pay daily, whatever it takes to off-road closer to home.  My club and family are also willing to donate time and effort to help create a solution or develop more areas for us to experience.  I would much rather keep my dollars in my home state than take them elsewhere for recreation.  Please allow us as enthusiasts to help and open new trails. 
    Thanks
    C. K.

     

    ORV Comment           "I would like to provide my comments on the proposed closure of ORV trails within the State Parks.  Rather than close any of the trails, I would support an increased yearly fee to maintain the trails.  My family and I use the trails on a regular basis, traveling 2-3 hours from our home.  The use of the trails encourages family outings and provides a place for young adults to ride rather than using illegal trails.  If these trails are not available, I am certain that people will find other places to ride that are not regulated and not permitted, resulting in the destruction of private and/or public land and possibly injuries from unmaintained trails.  
    Thank you.
    D. M.

     

    Poplar Lick ORV Status        
    Hello,
     
    I have fished and hiked in the Davage River Forest for over 25 years and I can honestly tell you that the ORV trails have been a huge deterrent to the watershed both here and in West Vriginia. Erosion, trash and inappropriate behavior abounds on Poplar Lick ORV trail with little to NO enforcement of laws or regulations.
     
    I love this place! Close it up so we can still enjoy this resource. I'm older now but I will still hike or bike up the river road to get in there.
    Respectfully,
    D. H.

     

    ORV comments          "Dear Sir,
     I have frequently used the ORV trails in Maryland, and was very disappointed to hear they may soon be shut down. I am currently building another Jeep for my new born son, so he could have the great memories that I had growing up and going camping and wheeling with my father. Please do not shut the trails down. I am sure that there are still people like myself that would be willing to work with you to ensure they stay open, and limit the impact on the enviroment that seems to be the main reason for the shut downs.
    S. K.

     

    ORV Comment           "Personally I use my ORV ""JEEP"" at a minimum monthly year round and more frequently during warmer months.  Due to the lack of legal land to use I am forced to seek areas outside of the state which is not very convenient nor cheap as I tow my vehicle to most places.  On top of excursions my 4x4 club also spends several weekends a year on trail maintenance so that we may all enjoy the trails and not let them be destroyed. 

    Allowing more legal places in MD for ORV enthusiasts to enjoy would not only mean a savings to Marylanders but also keep more money in state.  I for one wouldn't mind paying a nominal fee for trail use and would also get involved in organized trail maintenance thus aiding in keeping costs down.

    Most folks are responsible adults who are only looking to enjoy their recreation.  Please help us to enjoy that closer to home and not boost other states economies. 
    T. B.

     

    ORV Comment           I just wanted to take the time to let the DNR now how much my family and I love the outdoors.  We have atv’s and an off-road jeep that we take out as a family as often as we can weather permitting.  Having places to ride the atv’s in Maryland is great.    It would be a shame to lose areas to ride safety and legally.  Please work on keeping these off road areas open.    Thank you.
     A. & C.  P.

     

    ORV Comment           "To whom it may concern,
    I am an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and most of all, rock crawling in my Jeep.  I travel out of Maryland one to two times every month to participate in the activity of trail riding my Jeep on off-road trails.  I would be very pleased if I could spend my time and money closer to home.  Thank you for working in opening new ORV areas within the state. 
    B. R.

     

    John: Here is my idea for a motocross park. Please direct it to whomever needs to read it. Thanks for the fantastic meeting tonight! Let me know how I can help further.

    Considerations for a Motocross Track

    Motocross Demographics - Types of Motocross Riders classified by amount of track usage

    Rider A will use practice tracks frequently, become a member, and use only a small portion of the day riding, testing, and training to maintain their abilities. They need to get back home as soon as possible to clean their bikes.

    Rider B is the mainstay of the sport, spending lots of time on the track, and on the trails. He enjoys all daylight hours, but usually favor either earlier or later in the day and will return to the same track somewhat frequently.

    Rider C types are not predictable as they may take a small amount of time or a long day of riding, however they only patronize a particular track rarely. They are still novices and tend to drive to far flung areas more to sample different tracks.

    My point in splitting up Motocross Riders into track usage is to illustrate that there will be riders of varying levels of commitment to the sport at any given Practice Day. The result is perhaps that only 6 to 12 riders may be utilizing the track at one time. A certain amount of time is spent resting, and oft-times some riders will ride early and others will ride only later.

     Motocross Terrain - Type of Recreation Unique to MX

    Since 1974 when ORV trails were first authorized in Maryland (and when I began racing Motocross, or MX), the (already outdated) trails gave no benefit to Motocross Riders. The types of ""FEATURES"" offered did not equate to the specialized needs of this evolving and growing sport. Each year the Motocross bikes evolved. Each year the Motocross Riders evolved. Each year the Motocross tracks evolved.

     One FEATURE that has remained constant is the value placed on natural terrain. To a Motocross Rider this means elevation changes. It also means that a cold wet day is as valued as a warm dry day. Today, however, part of the landscape of Motocross Riding includes obstacles. Most notably, jumps have gotten bigger as Motocross bikes have become more robust, capable of achieving great height and distance through the air. Suspensions have been designed to accept more punishing moguls, or bumps, without detriment to the rider. The Motocross Rider, which now includes women, has to invest more time in training as well, since the skills that are called upon have grown more specialized. To learn to jump properly can take months or years, for instance.

    Thus, a trail system bears no resemblance to the type of specialized training a Motocross Rider requires to become proficient at the various obstacles encountered on a natural terrain Motocross course. An expertly designed, closed-course loop of approximately 1-to-2 miles in length is ideal to simulate the experience of practicing on a real race track. For the Cross-country enthusiasts who use the same equipment and skills as the Motocross enthusiast, a longer trail system (of about 5 miles) is usually added to the Motocross track. Therefore, many times, a woods trail is located adjacent to an existing MX track.

    Motocross Equipment - Types of Bikes Used

    There are 3 main disciplines in Motocross: MX or Cross-country ""off-road"" motorcycles; Enduro or Dual Sport ""dual purpose"" licensed motorcycles equipped with headlights and brake lights; and ATVs or ""Quads"". These typically cost at least $6000. Riding gear, or clothing, is typically $400. Protective gear costs another $400 or more. Fuel costs and other consumables start at $50 per ride. A trailer has associated costs due to toll roads and licensing & registration requirements. And usually a practice ride at a sanctioned race track involves a $50 membership and a $25 ride fee. Membership no longer involves an extra labor requirement, usually.

     There should be some discussion of the Permit. I see it more as a license, a condition of which is some form of track certification. This is no legal riding certification, but more of an intent to educate the rider on the rules of the track. Some tracks run clockwise, some counterclockwise. All participants must know the unique rules of a given track. At races, this is called the Rider's Meeting and it is the norm. Also a ""track walk"" is normal operating procedure. This gives the rider every opportunity to back out, turn around, and not ride. Children 12 and older would be required to have a parent present, or a notarized letter by a parent allowing a specific guardian to be present.

     A well-equipped motocross track has bathroom facilities, watering trucks, flagging personnel, a decent road to get in and out, etc. A more primitive riding area instead has porta-potties, water hoses, a gate-keeper to the track, and possibly a gravel road. Personnel is the best resource to have because it would be most desirable to have a core group of riders volunteering on work days and be allowed track time on off days. This has worked well in the past. Cutting grass, ""discing"" the riding surface, and heavy machinery operating are other jobs. I think the track would have to be closed on rainy days though to leave the dirt in place on the track and not carried off - stuck to the bikes. A web site could be used to communicate weather conditions.

    The Motocross Council Plan

     My recommendation for the DNR is to explore a new recreation opportunity called Motocross in several locations in Maryland. As with the trail blazers, we have our own field of experts to design practice tracks that follow the natural terrain. We have our own volunteers to maintain the tracks. And we have our own volunteers to operate the flow of day to day practices. I personally do not believe that an increase in fees is warranted due to the overwhelming costs associated with this sport to begin with. However, I do believe that day to day flow should be orderly and participants should own their responsibility as stakeholders and help to self-police the tracks to protect landscape ecology as well as human safety.

     In a similar fashion to the New Jersey model, I would recommend that 3 Motocross tracks be developed in 3 difference parts of the State. One for Western Maryland, one for Central Maryland, and one for Southern Maryland. A simple permit is all that should be required. Education is key to an awareness of environmental stewardship and some form of education, the one-time viewing of a brief video for instance, is reasonable upon entering a Motocross facility whether state- or privately-owned. Every track has rules. I have used the term Motocross Park to describe this type of riding area. It has the potential to be a beautiful place.

     I see each Motocross Park as having a core group of volunteers who perform specific tasks such as watering portions of the track to keep dust down, park entry personnel to administer the video, safety coordinator to make sure all riders go in the right direction and to segregate little riders from big riders (this is typical at all tracks - there is a class system for this already). Refueling would only be allowed on specific fueling pads. Noise levels would be limited by a 94 dB maximum requirement and tested by a sound-level meter using the industry standard technique. Tracks would be open one day a week, alternating between the 3, possibly.

     Finally, I recommend that the DNR use a volunteer advisory group such as The Motocross Council to organize the dirt bike riders (of both track and trail) and begin the process of addressing overcrowding by designating new motocross riding areas while educating each rider on how to be a good steward of the land.

    Sincerely,
    W. O.

     

    ORV Comment           "Any chance of keeping the roads that make the ORV @ greenridge as just roads.  Only for use by tagged registered vehicles just as the rest of the roads in the park.

    Thanks
    T. B.

     

    ORV Comment           As a flyfisher that has visited the Savage State Forest to fish for brook trout several times each year for many years I have observed the damage first hand that these ORV have done to Poplar Lick. I strongly encourage closing the Poplar Lick Trail to ORV activity.
    W. T.

     

    Thanks For the opportunity to comment on this important issue.
    Do all you can, with what you have, where you are.
    T.R.

     

    ORV Comment      My name is R. B. I live in Morgantown, WV and fish the Savage River watershed every year. I read the Poplar Lick study and it is very clear that the ORV access has a very negative impact on Poplar Lick. These two statements stuck out to me:
     
    The historical data indicate a gradual, long term decline in population density for Poplar Lick, coincident with an inverse increase in the use of the ORV trail over the same time period.""

     However the most striking finding is the difference between turbidity levels in Poplar Lick compared to the other streams in the study.""

     I support closing ORV access to Poplar Lick. To me, this would be a logical step that would support other restrictions that are currently in place to protect the Savage drainage's brook trout.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
     R. B.

     

    Comment        Are Green Ridge ORV trails going to be closed to atv use? If so, When are Green Ridge ORV trails going to be closed to atv use? What new trails in Maryland will be open to atv use?

    Thank you for responding,
    D. B.

     

    ORV Comment           "If the green ridge trail will be closed for good, we all know opening a new trail to please everyone will be a very difficult and lengthy process. 1 possible solution would be to use an existing hiking or biking trail, and open it for use with two wheeled motorized vehicles.  This would obviously not please everyone but would at least show that you are trying. Dual sport and dirt bikes don't need a wide trail so an existing one would be perfect. Even though without extensive work, a hiking trail could not be open to 4 wheelers and suv drivers. But I feel both communities will still support this idea which shows that your trying to help us each."   
    T.B.

     

    ORV Comment           "While I am in favor of having recreational opportunities for folks to ride orv's, the damage to Poplar Lick is undeniable and orv use of this trail should be stopped immediately.  I have fished, hiked, and cross country skied this trail many, many times.  I never have used this trail for orv'ing and don't understand why it should even be considered a good place for this activity.  The study shows the facts, and the pictures are ugly to look at.  If the trail is rightfully closed, the orv'ers will have nobody to blame but themselves.  The pictures show the damages done when taking the orv's off of the designated trails as well as damages through proper usage of the trail.  I'm sure most of the users do it responsibly, but it's the same old ""a few bad apples......."".  This is not a place for mud bogging.  Create new trails somewhere for orv users, just keep them off of trails along everybodys water resources.  It's time to put the damage in check. 
    P. D.

     

    ORV Comment           "Reading the assessment of the report it is nice to see a sensible outlook regarding OHV use in Maryland. I am the Vice President of one of the largest OHV clubs in the state we usually take our vehicles out of state to recreate unless we stay within the state on private ground. We teach responsible offroading and in many cases have worked with out of state entities to enable OHV lands open for all to use, not just motorized vehicles. I routinely travel to California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia to take my modified rockcrawler to recreate with my family. The average weekend between hotel stays, eating, gas and entertainment usually runs about a $1000.00 a weekend. We are usually out recreating every weekend in the summer months and many times over the spring and winter months as well. If possible I would like to keep that money within the state of Maryland. As evident from the report we have tons of OHV users. Many are using the land in irresponsible ways on lands not designated for OHV use. If more land was opened up for OHV use, the proper amount of education and the proper amount of maintenance fees were assessed I believe the state of Maryland could be a very attractive venue for all to recreated responsibly with our OHV’s. Please let me be the first to volunteer for the DNR ORV Stakeholder Workgroup. I know with my offroading and travel experience to other OHV lands I would be an asset.
    D. C. B.

     

    ORV Comment           "I live in Washington County and have used the Green Ridge trail because it is so close to home. It is nice to have a place close to HOME to go off road with my Jeep. I'm 51 years old and enjoy going off road on a mild trail with my family. But like anything good in Maryland, Someone wants to put a end to it. I hope it stays open or you get one JUST LIKE IT (18 mile) this close to us. With Gas prices going up all the time its nice to have a trail  with in reach of my few spare dollars. PLEASE DON""T CLOSE GREEN RIDGE.
    D. E.

     

    ORV Comment           "There is a lot to consider when discussing off road vehicles. My experience is from both an instructor view point and as law enforcement. I have not had an opportunity to visit our state lands that provide riding for the public. I have had plenty of contacts at state parks and lands with riders and the destruction that is caused ie., broken gates, trash, trees that have been cut down. The idea of opening the lands should be discussed with our neighboring property owners (civilian). The public utilities (Amtrak, CSX, Pepco, Smeco, Constellation Energy, Allegany) should have input as well.
    G. R.

     

    ORV comment            "I'll keep it short. I live in Pennsylvania and my son and I have been going to Greenridge ORV for years.We appreciate the availabilities provided by your state.
     
    I support the increase in ORV user fees as an additional funding source. I support higher fines, even seizing vehicles from illegal riders. I feel that closing the ORV would result in illegal riding in various locations.
     
    For all users ORV trails are important as is preserving nature. Please find a way to accomplish both.
    B. K.

     

    ORV Comment           Thank you for allowing me to provide comments on the 2011 ORV Trail Assessment Reports.

    I would like to tell you that I personally enjoy visiting the DNR forest and experiencing all that it has to offer.  I have personally visited Green Ridge State Forest and Potomac State Forest.  I am a software engineer that works in the Washington metro area.  I am very busy with work.  So, I enjoy getting out for a weekend and experiencing probably the only ORV trails that the state of Maryland has to offer.  I feel that both the Green Ridge State Forest and Potomac State Forest are very special areas with many outdoor opportunities for professional families such as me to get away from the hustle and bustle of metro life. 

    I really enjoy the ORV trail system and camping opportunities offered at Green Ridge State Forest.  My family and friends enjoy going out accessing the trails in our four wheel drive vehicles and relaxing outdoors in the park.  We are members of the Washington metro area CORE (www.core4x4.org) club and the Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Association (www.mafwda.org).  We all believe in responsible four wheeling and fully support the Tread Lightly program.  We are responsible four wheelers.  We try and cleanup the trash and litter we find along the way and leave the trail system in better shape than we found it.  As a matter of fact our club, CORE, has team with the Chesapeake Paddlers Association; Greater Baltimore Canoe Club; Patuxent Greenways LLC; and the Patuxent Riverkeeper to cleanup and an illegal dumpsite on the banks of the Patuxent River in Harwood MD.  See our write-ups in these events at: 
    http://www.core4x4.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=120
    http://www.core4x4.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=105

    Please do what you can to keep four wheeling opportunities, such as Green Ridge, open to the public.  Many of us truly care about the forests in the great state of Maryland and try to represent and promote responsible four wheeling.
    M. V.

     

    ORV Comment           "If you want to disturb any soil for construction the state requires you to put up all kinds of silt fences and sediment ponds as should be . These trails look worse than most construction sites and all of the are in proximity to waterways we are struggling to restore. Just because its poplar and people want to do dose not mean it should be allowed.
    D. G.    

     

    ORV Comment           "These things are a muddy mess everyone you look at . Silt and erosion is horrible especially in  Green Ridge not to mention the noise. Our state lands are no place for this type of activity . They all need to go.
    D. G.

    To whom it may concern:
    I am a OHV business owner in Maryland specializing in Jeeps and trucks. With the amount of business we do with local vehicle owners, it is a shame that we have to see these guys travel out of state to use their vehicle. Opening more OHV trails in MD would allow these guys to stay local which can only benefit the state! We see revenue lost daily from guys headed out of state to privately owned parks. There is lost revenue in the hotels, fuel stations, diners, and parts store as well. By opening trails in MD the money stays in the state.
    On another note, my OHV club has a private piece of property for members to use their OHV. In the last 2 years we have opened the land a couple weekends a year and had 100s of vehicles from btoh in MD and out of state come to use the trail systems. This only proves that if the trails are there, people will come. We hold monthly trail weekends to clean and maintain the trails as well which bring t he community together.
    It is my honest opinion that with more trails available the state would benefit greatly!
    Sincerely,
    M. F.

    To whom it may concern:
    Please accept this letter as a plea for more trails in Maryland.
    I feel that a dedicated trail system in Maryland will not only reduce the amount of illegal and unsafe OHV activity, but can also open up new recreational areas to the public. Providing the opportunity for additional revenue and increased tourism within the state, rather than sending it to our neighboring states. I have to venture to other states to enjoy what trails they have to offer due to there being none in the area. I am writing to ask that we develop a real OHV trail system in Maryland and keep our tourism dollars here.
    As a resident of the state of Maryland, I sincerely hope the state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy, respect, and maintain the great environment of the state of Maryland.
    Sincerely,
    D. P.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Happy to hear that someone is going to help us open thing instaed of always closing the down.
    Sincerely,
    J. O.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I belong to the Twotrackers 4wd club in Grand Rapids MI. We have around 80 membership families. We are always looking for new and exciting places to wheel in the USA. We are a very environmentally conscience group and believe in Tread Lightly and respect of our public lands.
    Please build this trail system and give us an excuse to come and visit your beautiful state!
    Sincerely,
    J.B.

     
    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid OHV user in Indiana, who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.
    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.
    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.
    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    B. M.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I have recently heard about this possible opening of trail system in maryland. I personally along with thousands of others think this is a great idea! There are few places to enjoy the great outdoors anymore with many more places closing rapidly for retarded reasons. Keeping places open for us fellow wheelers to play allows us to continue enjoying mother nature at its finest. With all these places closing down and developers taking over we are running out of places to go. Not everyone, in fact most of the people i have encountered are responsible wheelers who actually care for and protect the land around us. Its sad that the media and idiots point out the people that destroy it and give the rest of us a bad reputation. I currently live in missouri but have family in west virginia and plan in the near future of bringing my rig to the east coast to see as much as i can. Along with me would be thousands of fellow respectful wheelers following suite. I personally urge these trails to be open! You can bet ill be out any chance i can to help maintain and keep clean as i do around here.
    Sincerely,
    D. H.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    As an avid OHV user in NM,NV,CA,UT,AZ who travels around the country in search of challenging public OHV parks to recreate on/in, I cannot thank you enough for considering the possibility of opening more land for OHV use.
    We have relatively little legal lands to recreate on in the US, and the number of users is rising dramatically every year.
    For example, your own state of Maryland has only 86 miles of legally accessible OHV trails, but over 14.4% of Maryland's population over the age of 16 participate in OHV use. That works out to 577,600 people trapped into 86 miles of trails.
    Imagine if that were one of your highways on your daily commute. You would find an alternate route. And in this case, alternate routes equal illegal routes.
    I strongly urge you to add to the legal areas for OHV users to recreate on.
    Sincerely,
    S. M.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Creating a OHV Trail in Maryland will be a great way to keep people who are currently going off road illegally. It will also help draw off road clubs to the state of Maryland and create buzz in the off road community about Maryland.
    Sincerely,
    K. B.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    C. K.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for your consideration into opening up more trails for legal and responsible OHV users. OHV programs have the ability to encourage our children to spend more time in the great outdoors and it also encourages people to take a close look at the true impact they can have on their environment. OHV enthusiasts and their families, are generally just as enthusiastic about building and maintaining trail systems, as they are about driving and enjoying their OHV's. With the support or available organizations and local clubs, a trail system in Maryland could be a great success both financially and environmentally.
    While not a resident of the state of Maryland, I do sincerely hope that your fine state chooses to open up a trail system for enthusiasts like myself to enjoy. My family and I normally vacation out of state, and available OHV trails are definitely a part of the draw to particular areas. I hope to one day be able to enjoy an OH V area in Maryland with my family.
    I live in Tennessee and we are currently working on a similar program for OHV use through state operated, income generating OHV parks. The largest considerations is offering a wide variety of obstacles for all users (bikes, atvs, trucks, jeeps, 4x4s). Parks that are simple dirt roads will not generate much interest and parks that are all extreme obstacles will only cater to a select few, although they will draw spectators. A good mix of easy, moderate, and high challenge areas leads to a VERY successful ohv area.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    N. C.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I would love for to see an OHV park in the state of Maryland. I am a lifelong resident of 34 years and love what our state has to offer. We have mountains on one end, Atlantic Ocean beaches on the other, the prosperous Chesapeake Bay in between. We have open farmlands, convenient suburban neighborhoods and two major U.S. cities to enjoy (Baltimore and Washington D.C.). I would love to see a real OHV trail system in Maryland. I am a Jeep enthusiast and find it very inconvenient to have to go to Pennsylvania or Virginia to enjoy my Jeep to its fullest. I have several friends and family members in the same boat. We all would rather stay closer to home, support our state and its businesses and enjoy and help take care of our states beauty.
    Sincerely,
    B. B.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    I am writing to support off-roading parks. I know in our area we also lack a legal place to enjoy the sport. Everyone I've met are environment friendly, even to the extent of picking up others trash that was left by others. I know there are a few bad apples that will abuse the privilege, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. The lack of places and things to occupy "free time" creates crime, and stupidity. The parks would also encourage people to raise money to support community events, like having "runs" for sick children, families who lost their homes and belongings in natural disasters, etc.
    Thank you for taking the time to hear our opinions (my wife and I).
    R. & L. R.

     

    To whom it may concern:
    Thank you for considering opening more trails for responsible OHV users. Off Highway Vehicle programs are a great opportunity for friends and families to get together and share an outdoor experience. It also encourages responsible land use, because if anyone knows the importance of having and maintaining public land, it's the people who use it.
    Although I am not a Maryland resident, I often travel the country to drive and experience various OHV areas and terrains. I've traveled as far West as California, as for South as Georgia, and as far North as Massachusetts to experience OHV trails. I look forward to driving to Maryland to experience and enjoy new OHV land.
    Thank you for your time and consideration!
    Sincerely,
    R. W.

    To whom it may concern:
    I think that OHV trails are a great way to bring families to the area. Also OHV trails can generate revenue by way of licenses and permits and will generally increase the cash flow of any towns or businesses in the area. The types of folks who usually participate in this type of hobby are responsible and care for the environment. thanks for the consideration,
    sincerely,
    GAP