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Thousands Head North to Jericho ATV Festival

Major John Wimsatt: (603) 271-3129
Lt. Wayne Saunders: (603) 271-3361

August 3, 2016

CONCORD, NH -- Fish and Game Law Enforcement is preparing for the much anticipated surge of Off Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) enthusiasts coming to Coos County for the Jericho ATV festival this weekend (August 5-7, 2016). Thousands will gather at Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin, NH, for the event, which is organized by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Androscoggin ATV Club and the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Parks & Recreation’s Park Operations Bureau and Trails Bureau.


In addition to hundreds of miles of scenic trails and riding opportunities throughout the region, Jericho Mountain State Park boasts 80 miles of managed OHRV trails open to traditional All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), motorized trail bikes and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs). In the event area, festival activities include NH Fish and Game’s OHRV Safety booth, representatives from the NH Bureau of Trails, numerous OHRV competitions, food vendors and demo rides.


The event is expected to draw over 6,000 to the Berlin/Gorham area, and Fish and Game Conservation Officers have coordinated planning efforts with Berlin and Gorham Police, NH State Police, NH Division of Forest and Lands Forest Rangers, the Coos County Sheriff’s Office and local fire and emergency personnel. Officers will be patrolling throughout the state park, Coos County trail networks and public roadways, enforcing speed limits, conducting DWI patrols, and safeguarding against the illegal use of wetlands by OHRVs.


Conservation officer enforcement efforts have been augmented, in part, through a grant from the New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety with federal funds provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “These funds have significantly supported our efforts to provide increased road-based OHRV patrols on a growing network of approved state and local roadways in Coos County,” stated Major John Wimsatt, who coordinates OHRV enforcement and safety education for Fish and Game.


"Our enforcement efforts will be focused on three primary objectives," said Wimsatt. "First we want to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants. Second, we have a responsibility to protect the environment and our invaluable natural resources. And third, we will be working to help provide riders with a positive experience and visit to the North Country."


OHRV riders are advised to become familiar with the area, because not all roads are open for riding. "Please stay on designated trails and roads and obey laws and rules for area roadways and OHRV trails," cautioned Wimsatt. "Be courteous to other user groups on the roads and trails. Ride safe, ride sober." Trails and roads in the area typically close 1/2 hour after sunset, but Friday and Saturday nights only, riding can occur until 10 p.m.


Fish and Game reminds all riders that a New Hampshire OHRV registration certificate, with decals affixed to the machine, are required to operate off your own property. Always wear a helmet and proper riding gear, pay attention to signs posted along the trail and roads. Stay on designated trails, many of which exist due to the generosity of private landowners.  "The vast majority of riders follow the rules and have a great time on the trails," said Wimsatt. "But those who do ride irresponsibly put themselves, the public and the environment at risk. We have no tolerance for this type of behavior." New Hampshire's maximum OHRV trail speed limit is 35 MPH, or lower, depending upon conditions or postings.


The Jericho ATV Festival is a family-oriented, signature event for OHRV riding opportunities in New Hampshire. We welcome our local riders and dedicated clubs as well as the thousands of visitors that will be traveling to the Festival. The OHRV community provides a significant economic boost to dozens of North Country businesses that are grateful for their support.


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