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  • IMQ Reports That Vermont Repealing Public Access Rule For ATVs

    (EMAILWIRE.COM, November 30, 2011 ) Asheville, NC -- The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) is working with the Vermont Secretary of State and the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) to repeal a 2009 rule that allowed ATVs access to public lands.

    ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz said '' After weighing the substance of comments and concerns about the legality of the original rule we decided to move ahead on the repeal.'' As a way to separate powers in state government, a state agency may only adopt a rule if it has been given the power to do so by the legislature. All rules go to the Legislative Rules Committee (LCAR) before they become effective.
    According to Markowitz, ''in 2009, LCAR voted unanimously to object to the ATV rule. They strongly believed that ANR did not have the power to adopt the regulation. Because we cannot point to clear authority to adopt this rule, the regulation is vulnerable to legal attack, with little likelihood of prevailing in court.''

    The repeal comes despite 2,000 members of the public supporting the current rules, while only 1,000 supported the repeal. Many were concerned with the economic impact of discouraging ATV riders from coming to Vermont. Those who objected were mainly environmentalist worried about the impact of ATVs on the ecology.

    Even though the rule is being repealed, the ANR is working to allow ATVs on public land in limited situations. This is most likely going to be in the form of licensing agreements. The hope is that licensing agreements can be more easily controlled and above legal challenge.

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