SLC trail policing to heighten

The St. Lawrence County Multi-Use Trail System will have heightened policing by the sheriff’s office this year. Provided photo

CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Multi-Use Trail System has begun its second season with heightened policing by the sheriff’s office.

County attorney Stephen D. Button said the sheriff’s office had received reports of people “engaging in riding activities off trail and not designated for use by ATVs.”

“In certain circumstances, they were going on roads not opened or trespassing on private or state properties which were also not open for utilization,” he said.

A press release from the county attorney’s office said these violations gave rise to the announcement of enhanced enforcement measures by the sheriff’s office.

“We are extremely fortunate to have several recreational opportunities in our beautiful county,” Sheriff Brooks J. Bigwarfe said in the press release. “The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office encourages recreational use of the St. Lawrence County multi-use trail system. However, we ask that the ATV/OHV operators that utilize the multi-use trail system use caution to help make this opportunity beneficial to everyone on the trails and the surrounding communities.”

“In an attempt to make the St. Lawrence County trail system a safe environment for everyone,” he added, “the sheriff’s office will be patrolling the trails.”

The press release notes how, in 2021, the sheriff’s office was awarded a grant to purchase an off-highway vehicle to be used for both on-trail and off-trail law enforcement.

Mr. Button said the sheriff’s office already has one UTV-sized patrol vehicle, and others that are ATVs, but “we’ve now acquired a specific OHV dedicated to that trail.”

“We want to be good stewards of the land so we can keep the trail open,” he said. “And we want to protect the trail by ensuring everybody follows the rules. We would hate to have the behavior of a few who don’t respect their neighbors’ or landowners’ rights ruin the good work done by so many people to keep this trail open.”

According to the press release, in the trail’s first season, the county sold 1,326 permits for ATVs. All of the revenue from those permits goes toward trail expenses.

To purchase a permit, visit stlawco.org/MultiUseTrails.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(2) comments

rdsouth

Maybe licenses should be required for driving these vehicles on public property. Licenses that can be revoked.

SLCLS

Increased enforcement on the legal trail system is pushing trespassers who do not want to pay for a permit out to other County forests. It seems that you cannot drive River Road or Lenny Road in Pierrepont or hike the trails without encountering an unregistered, uninsured UTV or ATV.

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