PEI

Confederation Trail damage hurts other ATV users reputation, says federation president

The president of the P.E.I. ATV Federation Paul Wilbert says when damage is caused to the Confederation Trail by ATVs, it hurts the reputation of other ATV users.

P.E.I. ATV Federation not pursuing user agreement with province for Confederation Trail

The P.E.I. ATV Federation is approaching landowners to develop its own private trail system instead of continuing the lobby to use the Confederation Trail. (CBC)

The president of the P.E.I. ATV Federation Paul Wilbert says when damage is caused to the Confederation Trail by ATVs, it hurts the reputation of other ATV users.

Paul Wilbert was reacting to news that the RCMP and province are increasing enforcement to keep ATVs off the Confederation Trail.

It is estimated over $7,500 in damage was caused to gates. It is estimated that it costs about $1,000 per kilometre to repair damage to the trail bed.

Wilbert said other provinces allow access to the Trans Canada Trail and it works. He added if the sport is legalized and ATVs are allowed access to the Confederation Trail, then the mentality will change.

"They go from this is an illegal activity that we've got to get out of here before someone takes a picture to they'll slow down, take off their helmets and talk to the cyclists and walkers."

Lack of support

Wilbert said instead of trying to get access to the Confederation Trail, the ATV Federation's is working to develop a priate trail system across P.E.I.

"The ATV users want a place to ride. They pay big dollars and taxes buying these units, they're buying fuel, they're buying trucks and trailers to transport them and they want a place to ride," said Wilbert.

"It's millions of dollars the ATV industry can bring to the Island and we need to start and provide a trail. The province has to start working with the federation to get trails built."

Wilbert said they are not continuing their lobbying efforts to gain access to the Confederation Trail at this time.

"We are starting with landowners first. Trails are everywhere so we need to step back and talk to landowners first, ask them if we can be on their property."