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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 (ATV) 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."

Social worker March 11, 2013 at 04:19 AM
As long as you keep them out of Enfield i will be happy. Bad enough we have to deal with these bums doing illegal riding in our back yards.
christian soto July 08, 2013 at 09:41 AM
maybe we wouldn't annoy you and others if we had a legal place to ride. but until that day you will continue to hear me up and down your road. you complaint about noises but what about the damn choppers with their loud ass exhaust and yet again legal. we have the same right as everyone else. is like they complaint on street racing but then again thay close ct drags so what other choice we have illegal street race. Seems all you people support is the drunks which kill more and do more damage and yet again more bars are open constantly. you are all sick no wonder the youth is the way it is.
Eric Djamjian April 05, 2014 at 03:04 PM
We need some legal trails or at least let us ride on open space now I don't know about everyone else but my group and I are respectable and tread light whatever we bring in we carry out soda cans ciggarette butts etc are always brought out with us when we see people walking on the trail we slow down and give them right away instead of way. We should be able to use the same trails people use to walk but keeping in mind the tread lightly rule. I shouldn't have to load up my quad and drive either out of or halfway across the state to enjoy some riding its not fair to me or others in the ATV community we are humans to not lepars that have to be stuffed into a trail way out in the sticks I understand that there residential properties around and at certian hours the noise is unacceptable but on a Saturday or Sunday in the late morning to the afternoon we should be able to ride. I know there are bad apples in the bunch that litter and leave garbage everywhere but not my group we also pickup whatever trash that we find that is not ours. Its time to end the feud and let us ride in peace we spent thousands of dollars on are machines and we are not going anywhere. We are just trying to enjoy are hobby in peace with our family and freinds just like you are trying to enjoy yours
Sean Goulart April 07, 2014 at 09:53 AM
This article should never have appeared here for a few reasons: 1) There is NO WAY anyone would propose a riding area in Ridgefield or anywhere even close. Everyone knows it's too small, houses too close together, etc. to make sense for that. So why post it here where people get all wound up about it? 2) It's the state's responsibility to provide the trails to taxpaying citizens and should be paid for with the registration fees for the ATV's. But Ct wants that $$$ for other things, and the ATV population is small, so they get shut out. 3) This so called "State Representative" has done a completely ineffectual job on this effort. In fact, I have contacted his office and left messages on 2 occasions with no call back. He doesn't represent the off-road community at all. This was doomed form the start.

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