CONTACT: Liza Poinier: (603) 271-3211
Capt. Tim Acerno: (603) 271-3127
January 9, 2003

Snowmobile Trail Link Reopens on Trial Basis
Situation Shows Importance of Strong Landowner Relations

CONCORD, N.H. - Snowmobilers were reminded of an important lesson with the recent closing and reopening of Snowmobile Corridor 15: Respect for landowners is key to keeping trails open.

The corridor, an important connector for the snowmobile trails in Gilford and Laconia, was temporarily closed off by property owner Dick Persons because some snowmobilers were repeatedly ignoring trail markers, riding off-trail, creating damage to the property and showing a general lack of concern for Persons' land and for the safety of other riders.

Sgt. Robert Bryant and conservation officer James Juneau approached Persons after they heard about the trail closure from local users. The landowner described the snowmobilers' repeated disregard for the law and their lack of common courtesy.

Bryant and Juneau's efforts, plus conversations with representatives from the Belknap Snowmobilers Club and the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation's Trails Bureau, resulted in an agreement whereby all concerned parties will increase efforts to improve the relationship between landowners and trail users. Corridor 15 will remain open on a trial basis, and a greater effort will be made to patrol the area and enforce the relevant laws.

Bryant says that the landowners in the Corridor 15 situation are "wonderful people" who work hard to be able to share the use of their property and provide recreational opportunities to the public. However, Bryant reminds trail users, "Landowners are not obligated to keep trails open."

"It's your privilege to ride, not your right," Bryant says, noting that the privilege is extended to those who stick to the trails, abide by the rules and show respect and courtesy for those who enable their snowmobiling experience. He hopes that snowmobilers will read and obey trail signs and slow down and quiet down while near residences. He also requests that snowmobilers increase self-policing efforts. "If you see someone doing something wrong, try to get their decal number and report it to Fish and Game," Bryant advises. The Fish and Game Department's dispatch center telephone number is 603-271-3361.

Snowmobilers are encouraged to participate in trail maintenance and other activities with their local snowmobile clubs. Snowmobile safety education classes are offered through Fish and Game's Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Program; click here for information, club links and a course schedule.

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