Illegal ATV riding destroying state parks


STAFFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It is a beautiful day to be out in one of Connecticut’s 32 forests. But illegal cutting has marred state land and it is so common, no park has been left untouched.

Budget and staff cutting have reduced the amount of EnCON officers and Foresters on state land. There are only a half a dozen Foresters, and less than 50 EnCON officers to patrol the 170,000 acres of forest land in Connecticut.

They work hard, issuing riders 3-4 summons a week, every week, for the past year and a half. Will Hochholzer is one of the Foresters in charge of managing the land.

“They establish bank turns and they make ramps and jumps and platforms to land on, race platforms and when we find those we try and destroy them,” he said.

Hochholzer says riders cut long swaths of land then riddle them with gullies and grooves and troughs as they tear through on their ATVs and dirt bikes.

The illegal trails are dangerous to hikers, and disturb the peace as well. Hochholzer says it is very difficult to catch someone in the act of illegal cutting, so they’re asking for people on the trails to be their eyes and ears.

“If they see something that is going on, and they are concerned about the activity, please give us a call at the division of forestry and let us know the location where you see the activity, and we will certainly follow up,” he adds.

For more information, click here.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s