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Pennsylvania Struggles With ATV Trespassers

Most ATV riders work hard to have fun, be safe, and ride responsibly, but unfortunately, it only takes a few irresponsible off-road enthusiasts to negatively impact the community's image. While researching current ATV events, I came across an article from The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Let's discuss the implications of irresponsible ATV Riding. 

The Situation

While I usually talk about public trail systems, this happened on private property. In May, on Montage Mountain near Scranton, PA, public officials held a press conference to bring to light abuse to private property, lighting illegal campfires and littering. These actions are unacceptable to other outdoorsmen, even on public property.

Officials are going to start a crackdown on this kind of disrespect. Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola is pursuing criminal charges against trespassing. Imagine being a resident of Montage Mountain inundated with unwelcome guests in your yard. Would you appreciate this behavior? I have been an OHV rider for nearly thirty years; I would not appreciate four-wheelers coming through my yard uninvited. But trespassing isn't the worst of it.

Remains of illegal campfires have been found along the ATV trails near Scranton. Nicholas Lylo, District Forester for the State Bureau of Forestry’s Lackawanna Forest District, reminded the public that a devastating fire scorched 350 acres of land and threatened many homes in this area in 2010. Lylo’s concern is that illegal campfires could cause another conflagration.

Found with the illegal campfires were piles of litter containing several beer cans.This violates the "Pack It In, Pack It Out" rule understood throughout the outdoor community. Respect for the environment is of utmost priority, and many adventurers are mindful and vigilant in abiding by it.

The Remedy

As a community, it is our duty to report the illegal and irresponsible behavior to authorities. Moving forward, the best we can do is lead by example: follow rules, observe etiquette, and educate each other so that the ATV community doesn't get a bad rep for the few who cannot be respectful. Let's not let these guys navigate the course of our sport. 

This article was published in the local Scranton, PA newspaper; the information was presented at a news conference by local authorities.

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