Weber Forest in Derry shows signs of damage from ATV riders
DERRY — Two years ago, the Conservation Commission sent out a letter to the town’s registered all-terrain vehicle owners reminding them that ATVs are not allowed on the Weber Forest conservation property.
According to the commission’s chairman, Margaret Ives, it might be time to send another letter.
“Unfortunately, we have some ATVs twirling around and making a big pit,” said Ives. “They get off the trails, and every time they get off the trails, they make ruts.”
Although ATVs are not allowed on the Weber property, Ives said some users illegally cut through property to get to legal ATV trails in the area.
“The last time we sent a letter to the ATV users was in 2011 when we got hold of the list of registered vehicles in town,” said Ives. “It was a nice, good letter, and I’m thinking we need to do something again.”
Ives also suggested placing boulders in certain spots along the trail to discourage ATV use.
Conservation Commission member Dennis Wiley said the commission would have to be careful about blocking trails along the forest.
“Blocking trails might not allow snowmobilers in, and that is allowed, so we have to be careful when putting in the boulders,” he said.
Another option could be using more gates and giving some snowmobile users keys to the gates.
“The gates would be a preferred option because it would not block (the trails) for snowmobile use,” said Wiley.
He said the local snowmobile club has keys to the gates, and in fact installed many of them.
The previous letter referenced a pamphlet ATV owners get when they register their vehicles stating they are not allowed to use ATVs unless a property is marked allowing the vehicles.
“Our land is posted to say no ATVs, and the land is abused,” said Ives.
She also suggested inviting members of the local ATV club to meet with the commission to discuss the issue.