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Next steps, responsible riding

Aug 19, 2013

In response to Okanogan County ordinances allowing ATVs on high speed highways, Conservation Northwest and the Methow Valley Citizens Council have filed a lawsuit.

Next steps, responsible riding

ATV riders have the right to use public lands but not abuse public lands.

Conservation Northwest and the Methow Valley Citizens Council have filed suit against two sweeping ordinances passed last month by Okanogan County commissioners. The county action allows all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on most roads in the county, including high speed highways.

Okanogan County commissioners adopted the ordinances without thoughtful deliberation and despite the majority of local public comment, giving ATV access on every road that might possibly qualify under a new law.

“We had high hopes that the collaborative spirit would continue into county implementation,” said Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest. “The commissioners instead snapped our olive branch with these extreme actions, far exceeding any thoughtful balance and their legal authority.”
Press release on the lawsuit

The Okanogan commissioners proposal to dramatically expand ATV use violates the collaborative spirit and balanced approach of a new law, passed with bipartisan support and advanced by a partnership of ATV and conservation interests including Conservation Northwest and Trout Unlimited.

The law requires visible license plates on ATVs and gives recreationists the privilege to ride on certain types of low-speed roads.

Our blog on the new law

ATV riders have the right to use public lands but not abuse public lands. There is a place for ATVs on the landscape but they need to be managed responsibly in a way that keeps people safe, respects private property, and protects sensitive wildlife habitat. The commissioners proposal runs counter to that.

In a video, responsible riders support visible IDs on all ATVs

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