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."

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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