The State of New
Hampshire recently acquired 7,200 acres in Berlin, New Hampshire for
development of a state owned and operated ATV park. Prior to this the
White Mountain Nation Forest WMNF) and the Trust for Public Lands were in
negotiations with the land owners to purchase this land for inclusion in
the WMNF. Two million dollars of
federal money had already been secured
for the acquisition. The inclusion of this land in the WMNF would have
included the largest lake in the Forest and provided the potential for
development of a campground within the Forest.
The State of New
Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED)
forfeited this opportunity and instead chose to develop a state owned
and operated ATV park. It should be noted that DRED receives dedicated
funding directly from ATV registration fees.
Prior to the purchase
DRED repeatedly assured the citizens, Governor and Executive Council
that no general funds would be required for the park purchase,
development or operation.
released a plan for the park which indicates that the full build out of
ATV trails cannot be accomplished without changing the state
environmental laws relative to ATV trail development (RSA 215-A:43).
The plan went on to say that “specific items in the Statute need to be
revised so as not to hinder the success of the Park.” Decreasing the
number of miles of ATV trails - not revising the statutes would
“negatively impact the financial viability of the park, particularly its
ability to be self supporting.”
Now DRED is taking
the position that we may need to sacrifice the environment for the park
to be “self supporting.” Put more simply, we now have a choice, relax
the environmental laws or the money to support development and operation
of a state owned and operated all terrain vehicle park may come
from your tax dollars or from the operating budget of other parks.
Timber Owner Pitches 10,000 Acre ATV Park
01-14-05 Manchester Union Leader
State Looking at Land for New Trails in Berlin - This is not an ATV park
State Bureau Looking to Purchase Jericho Land
10-02-04 Berlin Daily Sun
Bureau Considers Purchasing 4,000 Acres
10-04-04 Manchester Union Leader
Storm Water Plan