nb-all-terrain-vehicle

An N.B. Trails volunteer says all-terrain vehicles are destroying walking trails in the Riverview area. ((CBC))

All-terrain vehicle riders are threatening parts of the Dobson Trail and the Fundy Footpath in southeastern New Brunswick, according to an N.B. Trails volunteer.

The walking trails run from Riverview through Fundy National Park to Big Salmon River.

With the damage brought on by the ATVs lately, Alonzo Legere, the volunteer in charge of maintaining the Dobson Trail, said going for a walk these days is bringing him down.

"I'm beyond angry. And I'm beyond frustrated. I'm entering a depressive phase," Legere said.

"Sometimes you go in the woods for a walk on the trail and then you come home and you're not up, you're down."

Legere said all-terrain vehicle riders aren't maintaining their own trails and when they get too damaged, they start using hiking trails instead.

Legere said the off-road vehicles are tearing up the walking trails and making them impassable for the people for whom they were created.

He said N.B. Trails doesn't have the money to fix the damage the machines are doing on the paths designed for walkers and hikers.

"ATVers should be responsible for building their own trails, maintaining their own trails and staying on their own trails.  It's very simple," he said.

Rogue riders blamed 

Tammi Steeves, president of the Albert County Trail Blazers, said she understands Legere's frustration with the damage being done to the walking trails.

Steeves said her 440 members follow the rules and maintain their trails but she said there are thousands of other rogue ATV riders for whom she cannot answer.

"Within our membership and with all ATVers, we do not condone the use of ATVs on any walking trail," Steeves said.

"Unfortunately, we don't have any control over anybody who is not a member."

Steeves said she'd like to work with the trails organization to help find solutions and improve the relationship between hikers and ATV riders.

She said off-road enforcement officers might be able to help to control the problem areas.