image description

Off-Road Vehicle Group Tries to Make Case for Mount Greylock Trails

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Advisory Council sees no way it can allow legal off-road vehicle access to the mountain.
 
The council had one agenda item Thursday during a remote meeting and only discussed ways to resolve illegal ORV use on the state reservation, including designated areas where it would be legal.
 
"I don't have any opening remarks but I think we should just listen to what everybody has to say and ask questions," Chairman Cosmo Catalano said.
 
Eric Fox, president of the Patriot All Terrain Club, shared a lot of the same concerns of the council and felt if there were designated areas to ride on the mountain there would be less illegal riding in protected areas. 
 
"We would like to share these experiences with families who like motorized recreation and inspire them as well so we are asking to explore providing access and designated areas," Fox said. "This would avoid user conflict and alleviate unauthorized riding in sensitive areas."
 
Fox said his riders to follow the rules and properly register their vehicles. That is why they created the group — to help police the community and encourage compliance.
 
He added that it would add another user group that can help maintain the trails and support the mountain. This would draw more people to the mountain, he thought, and the trails would be accessible to other user groups. 
 
Scott Morill, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs' off-highway vehicle coordinator, said there are state resources available to ORV and cited the Recreational Trails Program in which 30 percent goes toward motorized recreation groups to improve trails. He said the lion's share of this goes to snowmobile groups and that the state wants to bring more all-terrain vehicle groups into the fold.
 
"We are trying to find ways to create opportunities for these people so they have places to go," he said. "... It is hard to tell people not to use a trail when they have nowhere else to go."
 
Council member Gary Trudeau said has been speaking to ORV riders in the area and noted many say they ride on the reservation even though it is illegal.
 
"They all said they ride on Greylock ... they knew it was illegal but knew we would never catch them so stopping the problem is not going to stop it," he said. "Enforcement is not going to work. You might catch a few but you won't stop the majority of them."
 
Trudeau said he saw an opportunity for a fruitful partnership with the OTV groups and felt they could easily develop a trail network around the base of the mountain.  
 
Fox said this would be optimal and that they have no intention riding toward the summit of the state's tallest mountain.
 
"There are just some spots that are too dangerous for a wheeled machine heading up towards the peak," he said. "That would not be on the table it's not safe for the riders." 
 
Council member Heather Linscott agreed that it was impossible to police the illegal riding but felt allowing it at all would only further the problem. 
 
"They do what they want. A lot of them are kids ... You go to the north part of the [Greylock] Glen and it is no man's land," she said. "I feel like what you are doing is inviting a bunch of people to come here with ATVs and as soon as you establish a trail, it will be a conduit for people to come in and do what they want."
 
She added that she felt ATVs were too destructive for some of the trails.
 
Council member Joe Rogge said there are a few "bad apples" but that is enough to destroy a trail. He thought any trail development would have to be discussed in great detail.
 
"If all riders followed the rules they could ride just about anywhere but the problem is they don't follow the common-sense rules," he said. "I have seen it in the winter. Our snowmobile club will groom a trail and some yahoo, and it is only 10 percent, will tear that trail up."
 
Becky Barnes of the Department of Conservation and Recreation added that 80 percent of the reservation is protected and there are very strict guidelines that would certainly outlaw motorized vehicles. She said these guidelines ensure that a natural process takes place on many of the trails. She noted they often cannot even trim the trails during certain parts of the year.
 
Reaching the end of the discussion, Catalano asked for a motion.
 
Trudeau motioned that they give the ORV clubs permission to develop a trail network at the base of the mountain for the council to consider.
 
Catalano said no one needs the council's permission to develop a trail network. The council only would step in to discuss implementation.
 
Committee member Edward Carman said he really didn't think the council had any say in the matter.
 
"I don't think there is anything before us that requires a motion," he said. "I don't think there is anything that is in our purview and not DCR's. There is not anything for us here to opine on." 
 
The motion was not seconded.

Tags: ATVs,   Mount Greylock,   

2 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

How Can You Prepare for the 'New Retirement'?

Submitted by Edward Jones

A generation or so ago, people didn't just retire from work – many of them also withdrew from a whole range of social and communal activities. But now, it's different: The large Baby Boom cohort, and no doubt future ones, are insisting on an active lifestyle and continued involvement in their communities and world. 

So, what should you know about this "new retirement"? And how can you prepare for it?

For starters, consider what it means to be a retiree today. The 2020 Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study has identified these four interrelated, key ingredients, along with the connected statistics, for living well in the new retirement:

Health: While physical health may decline with age, emotional intelligence – the ability to use emotions in positive ways – actually improves, according to a well-known study from the University of California, among others. However, not surprisingly, retirees fear Alzheimer's and other types of dementia more than any physical ailment, including cancer or infectious diseases, according to the "Four Pillars" study.

Family: Retirees get their greatest emotional nourishment from family relationships – and they will do anything it takes to help support those family members, even if it means sacrificing their own financial security. Conversely, retirees lacking close connections with family and friends are at risk for all the negative consequences resulting from physical and social isolation.

Purpose: Nearly 90 percent of Americans feel that there should be more ways for retirees to use their talents and knowledge for the benefit of their communities and society at large. Retirees want to spend their time in useful, rewarding ways – and they are capable of doing so, given their decades of life experience. Retirees with a strong sense of purpose have happier, healthier lives and report a higher quality of life.

Finances: Retirees are less interested in accumulating more wealth than they are in having sufficient resources to achieve the freedom to live their lives as they choose. Yet, retirees frequently find that managing money in retirement can be even more challenging than saving for it. And the "unknowns" can be scary: Almost 70 percent of those who plan to retire in the next 10 years say they have no idea what their healthcare and long-term care costs will be in retirement.

View Full Story

More North Adams Stories