Order Creating the Maine Task Force on All-Terrain Vehicle Operation 5/29/03
May 29, 2003
18 FY 02/03
WHEREAS, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) registrations in Maine have increased ninety percent in five years to more than 55,000 registrations, and increased operation of ATVs rapidly grows due, in part, to the year-round use of ATVs; and
WHEREAS, although there are many responsible ATV users, there also are irresponsible ATV operators who, among other acts, trespass on private land, disobey State laws, cause environmental damage, and upset landowners; and
WHEREAS, some landowners who are frustrated by such irresponsible ATV operation, are posting their land and trails against all public use; and
WHEREAS, there have been 1,854 reported ATV accidents, including thirty-four fatalities, during the past decade; and
WHEREAS, community-supported solutions have a greater chance of successfully addressing the problems of irresponsible ATV operation than a unilateral state-governmental approach;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John E. Baldacci, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby establish the MAINE TASK FORCE ON ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE OPERATION (hereinafter “Task Force”).
The purpose of the Task Force is to recommend how best to address the social, legal, and environmental problems caused by irresponsible ATV operation.
To that end, the Task Force shall:
Develop guidelines for a grant program(s) to increase support of the efforts of local clubs, municipalities, and landowners in addressing matters of law enforcement, landowner relations, public awareness, safety education, trail development, damage mitigation, and other strategies to solve problems caused by irresponsible ATV operation;
Form a subcommittee and work with representatives of local, county, and state law enforcement agencies to determine what training, equipment, funding, changes in law, and other resources or actions are needed by Maine’s law enforcement agencies to more effectively enforce ATV laws; and
Recommend solutions to the problems identified by the Task Force, including, but not limited to, strategies to (a) improve enforcement of laws governing ATV use, (b) increase interagency cooperation and coordination to deal with ATV issues, and (c) ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of programs designed to increase the awareness among ATV operators about safe and responsible ATV use.
Organization of the Task Force
The Task Force shall be composed of thirteen (13) members, who will be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. One member must be chosen from each of the following agencies and organizations:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Conservation
- Department of Environmental Protection
- Department of Public Safety
- ATV Maine
- Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
- Maine Farm Bureau
- Forest Products Council
- Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine
- Maine Coast Heritage Trust
- Nature Conservancy
- The chair or president of a local ATV club
The Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife also shall be a member of the Task Force and serve as its Chair. The Chair shall preside at, set the agenda for, and schedule Task Force meetings.
Upon demonstration of need, public members may be compensated for reasonable travel expenses by their departments.
Deadline for Recommendations
The Task Force shall submit its recommendations, along with any legislation needed to implement the recommendations, to the Governor on or before January 1, 2004, after which submission the Task Force, and the authority of this Executive Order, will dissolve.
The Task Force shall meet as often as necessary to complete the assigned duties. All meetings shall be open to the public and held in locations determined by the Task Force
The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Conservation shall provide staff to the Task Force and may employ additional staff if resources permit.
The effective date of this Executive Order is May 29, 2003.