GETTING SICK AND TIRED OF SHARED USE TRAILS

Dear Motorhead:

Just caught your season finale and was mildly impressed with what I saw, now don’t take that as an insult it’s just that I’m not an armchair outdoor enthusiest and rarly watch outdoors shows due to the fact that I am in the outdoors.

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I am a Trapper and actively manage two trap lines in Central Ontario. We often encounter the arm chair outdoor enthusiests as well as the weekend warriors who think they’re NASCAR trained. Would it be possible for you folks to include in next season’s episodes a warning for the weekend warriors to slow the **** down ?

Another pet peve of mine is the garbage that these citiots throw in the woods, every turn in the trail has a collection of empty beverage containers that we pick up each spring.

I have a few more pet peves and I figure that you’ll file this email under G and ban me from future contact so I’m gonna get a few more off my chest while I have the opportunity.

It should be mandatory that every rider be equipped to remove fallen trees from public trails. All too often a group of citiots will encounter a fallen tree then make their way around it. This makes a mess of the trail.

ATV clubs that charge memberships fees and organize group runs, then they plaster the woods with signs nailed to trees think they own the trails and can dictate who can use a trail and when. Well, these weekend trails are my office through the week when everyone is back in the city.

It really gets my blood boiling when they try to close a trail early in the spring due to muddy conditions. Well let me tell you, a hard working trapper on a 300 cc ATV tavelling in first gear ain’t gonna wreck the trail. However, organized poker runs of 100 plus riders travelling at 70 km/hr does.

I could go on and on but have to keep my blood pressure down because I have beaver to pelt.

Thanks for listening.

Bill

Dear Bill:

Thanks for your email!

You make a number of good, if not slightly intolerant points in your letter.

Here’s what we think. You don’t own those trails any more than anyone else does. I’m a Canadian citizen and anyone else who is and acts according to the laws which govern Crown Land use is entitled to use those trails.

I know, that upsets you – here’s what upsets me more. Bunny Huggers with an attitude which is almost exactly the same as yours. They think they’re right, we’re wrong (especially you guys who kill Bambi, Billy Beaver and Ollie Otter and their friends!) and no one but nature nuts should be able to walk in bare feet through the bush.

If your attitude and wishes are followed we end up in the same place as the Tree Hugger extremists. Here’s another one. I am regularly annoyed by hunters who think snowmobile and ATV trail signs are for target practice.

These signs save lives and are integral to a quality recreational motorized trail system. This is irresponsible and shows no concern for shared use or tolerance. Just an example.

So, you’re making a living from the bush and from the trails? I respect that. I do too and tens of thousands of summer and winter motorized recreationists using those same trails make it possible to have a tourism business in the communities adjacent to recreational motorized trails.

We all have to make a living from them and thus, you and I and the Bunny Huggers can’t always have it our way. I think you should re-visit your intolerance for other motorized users and focus some attention on the “antis” who work hard every single day in an attempt to get you and me off of our trails and out of the bush.

It’s called shared use and like it or not it’s the only answer to keeping access open for motorized recreation.

Thanks,

Motorhead Mark

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