State Rep. Seeks Creation of ATV Trails in CT

With no legal ATV trails in Connecticut, State Rep. Anthony D'Amelio proposed bills pertaining to the recreational vehicles and how to generate funds for trail maintenance.


Ten years ago, State Rep. Anthony D'Amelio, R-74, bought two all-terrain vehicles for himself and his son. But in order to legally ride them, they had to go to Massachusetts.

"There are no legal ATV trails in the state of Connecticut," he said. "We were forced to register our ATVs in Massachusetts because there's lots of trails there, but you have to register."

Eventually, D'Amelio, who represents Middlebury and Waterbury in the Connecticut House of Representatives, bought dirt bikes.

"It was too hard to go to Massachusetts whenever we wanted to ride," he said. "There are a lot of trails in Connecticut for dirt bikes, but not ATVs.

D'Amelio recently introduced two bills to the Connecticut General Assembly:

On Jan. 10, the bills were referred to the Joint Committee on Environment. Both proposed bills are attached to this article as PDFs.

This isn't the first time D'Amelio proposed bills pertaining to ATVs in Connecticut. He said in the past, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection didn't support the bill due to not having the funds to maintain the trails.

"That's where the registration comes in," he said.

Requiring Connecticut residents to register their ATVs for $30 means those fees can go toward trail maintenance, said D'Amelio. Trails already exist in the state that could be suitable for ATV-riding, he said.

'It's high time the state of Connecticut recognizes that a lot of ATVs out there are driven illegally because there's no legal place to drive them," he said. "I'd like to stop that."

Woodbury resident February 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Why should the general public have to put up with the noise and disruption that ATVs would cause just because a handful of ATV owners don't want to go to where it's already legal to ride them. Do we really, really need ATVs racing through the woods, kicking up dirt, scaring the wildlife, and disturbing the peace? Why?
Sean M February 15, 2013 at 01:12 PM
How about the Assembly stop putting the money for conservation and the like in the general fund (because the Democrats cannot balance a budget and take every dime they can)? The money can come from there. This state is broke and has no money. This is irresponsible to propose.
frankf February 15, 2013 at 04:05 PM
I would not want the noise of an ATV in my area and trails used by ATV's are too dangerous for others to use. Last year I visited Kodiak in A;aska and learned that maintenance of the ATV trails is a major problem with large number of volonteers reqiured to keep costs down. These destructive machines do not belong in crowded Connecticut
Pam February 15, 2013 at 06:14 PM
So...because this guy likes this activity, the State of Connecticut should facilitate it????????
Charlie Cash February 16, 2013 at 01:01 AM
When this is developed there will be a lot of revenue that comes from registering the atvs and you can also charge for trail use it is a win win. For the state and atv riders, right now the law is you need to register your atv to ride on your neighbors property and pay sales tax just like a car. Why should I do that if there is no place to ride ????
Sean M February 16, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Charlie, you are welcomed to invest your money in a private venture for this. This is not something government needs to spend money we do not have on it.
Charlie Cash February 16, 2013 at 03:32 AM
Sean. The government stands to gain revenue from this and ease tax payer burden, but when it's time for you to buy your atv I'm sure you will not want to pay taxes on it what the benefits but not the program
Kyle February 16, 2013 at 09:50 PM
ATV riding is a great, wholesome activity that many people in Connecticut enjoy. Unfortunately there is nowhere to go that is legal. There is tons of land in Connecticut that could be opened to ATVs and it would bring in lots of revenue for the state of Connecticut rather than going to other states. Registration fees, taxes, and even daily charges for land use would add up quickly and more than cover necessary costs associated with maintaining ATV trails. This would keep some people from trespassing on unapproved land and invite others to the sport. Furthermore, unless you live in a treehouse surrounded by several acres of trail covered land I don't see noise from small engines being an issue.
Jamie Debicella February 16, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Since 1986, DEP, now DEEP, has been obligated to create sanctioned trails in CT and there has been 0 progress. Illegal ATV riding in CT is a major problem, and every other state in the NE makes BANK off our largely out-of-touch liberal state...responsible atv owners/operators like myself even have to pay SALES TAX out of state to register to ride legally in trails sanctioned such as those in Mass. For those of you who post "ATV's are damaging to the land, are loud and obnoxious, and are just to be associated with youth culture," you ignore the fact that there are in fact RESPONSIBLE and MATURE owners such as this State Rep and myself, the founder of the ConnecticutATV.com, a forum which engages the community and seeks organization of atv owners towards the creation of public trails in CT. The arrogance needs to stop!!! Our state misses out on so much revenue that instead fuels the growing economies of our neighboring NE states.
Jamie Debicella February 16, 2013 at 09:54 PM
We have a tremendous problem with ATV riding in densely populated cities such as New Haven and Waterbury where stunt crews have nowhere besides the roads to ride. We have more ATV and ORV related deaths in CT than in any other surrounding state. I applaud the Representative's D'Amelio's initiative towards this, and I hope to help in working with him to facilitate that legislature is INDEED proposed. I also hope that the naysayers please take a moment to reflect on the issue at hand, and that they realize how sanctioned trails can benefit everyone.
Emily K. February 17, 2013 at 12:47 AM
This is a big revenue for the state. My husband and I happen to be responsible ATV riders and we registered in New Hampshire. We pay $70 for each ATV. I would be willing to pay even more to be able to enjoy the CT trails.
joe_m February 17, 2013 at 02:13 PM
The law on the books required the DEP (now DEEP) to create trails for ATV's. They have ignored or stalled on this for well over 20 years. Noise? What about boaters, don't they create noise on lakes? But boaters are OK and AVT'ers are not? There are over 75K ATV owners in this state. As part of the "public" they deserve the same treatment from the DEEP as hikers, boaters, horse rider, people who fish and / or hunt. Public land for public uses. Amazing that the state wants ATV owners to register and pay personal property tax but refuses to let them use public land in violation of the law. The motorized recreation community has offered the state many solutions, all at no cost to the state. This state receives over $1 million dollars per year from the Recreational Trails Program. Money from motorized recreation and it is used only for passive recreation in this state. It is time the DEEP complied with the law.
James February 17, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Then we should close the trails to any public use.
James February 17, 2013 at 03:45 PM
And we should stop accepting Pittman-Robertson funds until they placed in a safe account and used only for the designated purpose.
James February 17, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Yes. The same way I am forced to pay for tennis courts. These are recreational activities.


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