AUGUSTA, Maine – Two northern Maine men were charged Wednesday (6/27/12) by Maine Forest Service (MFS) Forest Rangers in connection with damage done to an ATV trail by their motor vehicles.
Ryan O’Neal, 29, of Fort Fairfield and Kyle Sirois, 20, of Fort Kent have each been charged with operating a passenger vehicle on an ATV trail, a Class E crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
MFS Forest Rangers, in addition, often ask for court-ordered restitution for the cost of repairing the damage caused by this type of activity. Both men will appear in July Maine District Court in Fort Kent.
MFS Forest Ranger Craig Caron was on patrol Tuesday when he found truck tracks on an ATV trail in Township 17, Range 3, west of Van Buren, according to MFS Sgt. Lance Martin of the Portage office.
On further investigation, Caron discovered two pickup trucks that became stuck as they drove down the ATV trail. He interviewed the drivers and determined that they were out “mudding”, or intentionally operating their vehicles on the trail. They had traveled about 150 yards on the trail before getting stuck.
The land on which Caron discovered the alleged “mudders” is owned by Irving Woodlands Ltd., the state’s largest landowner.
“The forest management staff at Irving was very concerned when I notified them about this issue, as there is a stream nearby and they did not want any siltation to enter the water,” Caron said. He later determined that no siltation had in fact reached the stream. Siltation can damage water sources and fish habitats.
Investigation of and enforcement regarding such incidents is part of the responsibility of the Maine Forest Service Forest Rangers. To report instances of mudding, call the Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777.
An ATV Safety Course taught by Jay Police Department’s Cpl Jeffrey Fournier and Det. Richard Caton on June 16, 2012 at the Jay Community Building. 26 students attended the course and are now state certified ATV operators. State Law require children between the ages of 10-16 to have the course completed before operating their own ATV and anyone to operate on their own after the ages of 16 on the trails in the State of Maine. The department holds the class each year and is part of the Jay Police Department's safety program help keep our trail ways safe.
April 16, 2011
Five local ATV Clubs were honored at the ATV Maine Annual Banquet on April 16, for their cooperation and community service.
Western Maine ATV Club is the original sponsor of the Whistle Stop ATV Toy Run, held every year on the last Saturday in September. This toy run, which provides toys that are distributed locally, is the longest running ATV event in Maine, 12 years! On Saturday, they were honored with a plaque from ATV Maine, as were Mountain View (Mt. Vernon), Canton Trail Riders, Brettuns Wheelers (Livermore) and Webb River (Weld) Riders ATV Clubs.
As the toy run got bigger and better, it required more and more volunteers. The other four ATV clubs pitched in to help with the logistics of gathering anywhere from 300 to 600 ATVs in an organized ride from Farmington to Canton and back to Jay.
“We all help out, and we are glad to help, but this is really Western Maine’s baby,” said Brian Jordan, president of Canton Trail Riders ATV Club. “They were the ones that really deserved this plaque.”
Four of the honored clubs work together all year long. Western Maine, Brettuns Wheelers, Canton Trail Riders and Mountain View gather once each year in March to plan rides, events, and work details. Photo's courtesy of Sandi Grondin