Philly Inquirer Article = Bad News For Woods Ridin

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#1
Call her on the carpet for this hack job gang. Like it or not, the media plays an important role in forming public opinion. Negative reporting on ATVs is negative reporting for dirt bikers too since the non-riding public lumps us all together. The eco's know this and this is why they spend a lot of time and effort spreading scare stories in press releases that get turned into hack job stories like this one.


My response;

Dear Ms. Moroz,

I found your article on damage done by ATVs to parklands particularly biased and distasteful. As a former journalist I believe that my writing professors, and any editor worth his paycheck, would have chewed you out for such a one-sided story. However, I don't fully blame you. This type of fuzzy-headed thinking is regrettably common at news institutions these days. More and more the media is becoming a schill for every leftist/statist/environmental crusade to come down the pike.

Did you even analyze your own data?

You wrote: "In Pennsylvania, where there are 188 miles of legal ATV trails in the state forests, officials have reported similar devastation by riders who have taken to the backwoods." and "In New Jersey, the number of registered vehicles has gone from 800 in 1989 to 3,017 this year, with as many as 100,000 unregistered. In Pennsylvania, the number has jumped 145 percent to 67,700 in the last five years, not including an estimated 200,000 unregistered vehicles."
By my calculations that's 1423 ATV's per mile of trail in Pennsylvania. Do you still think that the state of Pennsylvania is doing an effective job of providing riding opportunities for ATVs? How about Jersey? I come up with 2575 ATVs per mile of legal trail. If they all went riding on legal trail on the same day you would be able to walk from ATV to ATV and never touch the ground!

Population densities that high of ANYTHING is going to cause damage.

Furthermore you quote representatives of 4 different environmental groups, many of them radical environmental groups opposed to any form of off highway recreation including ATVs, snowmobiles and mountain bikes etc. Many of these groups are also strongly opposed to private property rights and are committed to the re-settlement and "re-wilding" of 50% of the US. These groups have consistently abused the legal system to prevent or close off highway recreation.

You also quoted three representatives of government bodies concerned with public lands. But only one quote from a member of an ATV club that represented 40 people. Why did you not contact the American Motorcyclist Association, the Blue Ribbon Coalition or the East Coast Enduro Riders Association? What about all the local ORV groups that give tons of volunteer time to the forestry system? Many states collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from ATV registration programs and very few of those dollars ever go back to help ATV riders or the trail systems. In general if it were not for active ORV clubs there would be no trail systems since the clubs provide all of the manpower for trail construction and maintenance. In fact these clubs frequently volunteer their time to help on non-ORV related projects at the forests that are hosts to trail systems or races.

In the interest of the journalistic ideal of impartiality and personal integrity I believe you owe it to your readers and yourself to spend some time with an active ORV club and do a story on the positive aspects of ORV recreation.

Sincerely,

Dave Kennel
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With both barrels blazing.

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RM_guy

Scared of DirtWeek<BR>Club *********
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#2
Dave, That was an excellent response.


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Did I do the double?
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#3
Michaux is literally in my backyard. I have been riding there (mtn. bikes, no cycles allowed) for years. ATV damage is the LEAST of the extremist worries for that place. For example a friend who cuts the courses for the mtn. bike races wanted to put a new single-track section thru an area where there was a stream. The stream in question was dry 9 months out of the year. PA DCNR told him to be very careful around the stream as not to disturb it, almost re-negging on authorizing the trail. My friend who is very environmentally conscious was very obliging to them. So about a year later we come to find that a logging permit was issued for that area and you know what? That stream is under about 2 feet of cinder so the dozers can drag the trees at. There are many logging areas on steep grades above reservoirs, even places that have been clear cut. All of this sanctioned by the powers that be. It is incredibly arrogant to single out one group for the devastation of this area. What about the equestrians effects on the trails? No mention of that. These places are so mismanaged!! That's half the reason were losing riding areas. We pay taxes, lots of taxes for these areas to be managed and it does not happen. Looks like the old "trying to polish a turd" to me.

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#4
Bluzer,

Write the reporter and tell her! Copy her editor too while you're at it!

Denny,

Great letter thanks for sharing it and thanks for standing up and being counted.

Everybody,

Write these people. Every time an article like this gets published we lose ground with non-riders. The enviros are winning the war for public opinion and it must stop. Drown Ms. Moroz in mail! Send the label off your Camelback back to the company! Make yourself a pain in your local and national Reps and Senators (_|_)! We have the numbers, we have the money, but we've been too busy riding instead of fighting for our rights! Ms. Moroz estimates in her article that there are 267,000+ ATVs in PA. Imagine the impact if every one of those ATVers sent her and her editors an email. Imagine if they all sent their reps a letter.
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Ask not what your dirtbike can do for you, ask what you can do for your dirtbike.

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#5
Bluzer let me guess your friend is Jes. Small world isn't it. Last year I let Jes use one of South Penn Enduro Riders bridges. Last year I faught Michaux District Forester, Mike Kusco, tooth and nail just to have our event. Now this year they want us to pay the wages of the Rangers working during our even. Ask Jes if he is doing the same for his Mountain bike events in Michaux. We need help on this one!!!

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#6
Dave,
Great letter and great job!!!
I've been firing off letters and faxes back here in IL. Because it's mostly private property, it's not a huge impact, but it should help.

So Lori got you hooked, huh??
 
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#7
Well you know. . .

Actually I had been kinda avoiding it because I knew I would get hooked. Just trying to keep things simple you know. But now . . . in for a penny, in for a pound.
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Illinois - flat farm fields separating flat farm fields from flat farm fields.

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