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Maryland Maryland and your Right to Ride

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I found this on another forum;

"As many of you know, across the country trail systems are being closed down. While my state had nothing more than an 18 mile hard core minivan trail I never thought my state was in danger of loosing the single loop, but I was wrong. A couple of months ago all ORV public trails were closed and have no intention of reopening. The decision to close these trails is largely contributed (by some) to the environmentalist and political motivation of left-wing politicians in office. The truth is that the 18 mile green-ridge loop was not meant to handle the traffic it was receiving and was getting beat up. The fact that something needed to be done was obvious, but the permanent closure instead of repairing and modifying the trail was the work of environmentalists and politicians alike.

So where does this leave MD ORV participants? Not in a good situation. Where does this leave the state? Even worse. While no money was being brought into the state for trail riding, money now will be spent by the state to catch those who simply want to ride, but make the poor decision to do it illegally. We all know the riding bug, and eventually we all give in. While I am not supporting illegal riding, it is bringing about a positive reaction. This positive reaction is that the state and MD DNR are now having their feet held to the fire and are being forced to deal with those of us who would rather ride a dirt bike or atv, then go to the mall for a day.

So how does MD plan to deal with us riding "outlaws"? The truth is no one knows for sure, but we are doing what we can to ensure a future for this sport in this state. Local riding groups within the state of MD have stood together, organized, and have representatives fighting for actual riding land, and as of now it would appear we are winning the fight. MD is looking for reclaimed strip mines for future riding lands, this way environmentalists won't argue because the land is no longer worth saving due to previous land "alterations".

Our concerns with the government keeping us in the dark about the future of riding on public lands are pretty simple; its the government. As time goes on the government seems to be the center of problems and short term solutions, and this sport can neither afford more negative publicity nor a band aid. We need sustainable riding land. The prior riding land the state gave us was a one-size fits all fix, and it didn't work.

What we really want is simple (or so it seems to me), a place where all skill levels can ride trails (not to be confused with a single boring loop) that fit their riding levels. This requires a large bit of land to be purchased by the state, but ultimately all parties will be happy. We will have a place to continue to ride, and DNR will have another way to make money... The larger goal is a "Hatfield and McCoy" type trail system, requiring little to no land purchasing and giving access to hundreds of thousands more acres to ride on. But with either scenarios I would be happy.

If you live in Maryland please join a local riding group that is fighting for our rights, or take charge in a group that is sitting by idly as events unfold. All too often I hear from people that "my opinion doesn't matter", the sad truth is by yourself it doesn't, but in unison with other people it becomes a very large deal. I hope I have shed some light onto those in and around the MD area who have not heard much, if anything about this issue. It is all too often our sport is over looked.

If you would like to get involved i would suggest joining DAMN riders or get in contact with the Washington area trail riders (formally the northern Virginia trail riders). "

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if you are on facebook, look up motocross council. covers almost every motorsport that is discussed on this forum

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Wind O'Neil of the MX Council is doing a fabulous job on the DNR stakeholders group representing the MX riders. As the WATR and DAMN Riders representative, I (along with Mike Twigg of Twigg Cycles and Randy Beeman of Western MD Trail Riders) are pushing for much larger riding areas--the Hatfield/McCoy type of areas. Although we are all pushing for more riding, we are not all focused on the same type of riding as a goal.

I like and support Wind but I encourage you to join a club or association affiliated with your type of riding. Your (and our) voice is much stronger that way.

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