nb-all-terrain-vehicle

The New Brunswick Trails Council is calling for a moratorium on the use of ATVs on some provincial trails. ((CBC))

The New Brunswick Trails Council is calling for a moratorium on all-terrain vehicle use on some trails until a provincial trail strategy has been worked out.

Poul Jorgensen, the executive director of the trails council, said off-road vehicle riders are ruining walking trails across the province and won't help pay for repairs to the damage inflicted on the paths.

Jorgensen said ATV users have more than 4,000 kilometres worth of trails in the province compared to 850 kilometres for non-motorized users.

"Stay off the walking trails," Jorgensen said.

"And … stop applying for non-motorized trails until the trails strategy is complete."

Jorgensen and Daniel Boucher, president of the ATV Federation, debated the contentious issue of trail use on CBC News on Monday morning.

Boucher said he's willing to meet with representatives from the the trails association to discuss how to avoid future problems between the two groups.

But Boucher said there is no chance his group will support any moratorium to keep its members off of the trails.

"We're in need of trails," Boucher said.

"And if we've got trails and the landowner agrees to give us permission, then I think no one has the authority to stop us."

The federation is applying for permission to allow all-terrain vehicles to use parts of the Dobson Trail and the Fundy Footpath.

However, members of the trails association in southeastern New Brunswick have complained that those walking trails that stretch from Riverview through Fundy National Park to Big Salmon River have been damaged by ATV riders.

Alonzo Leger, a volunteer with the Dobson Trail, said earlier in November that off-road vehicles are tearing up the walking trails and making them impassable for the people for whom they were created.