Crocker Pond group seeks solutions to...

Crocker Pond group seeks solutions to keep ATVs off trails - Sentinel & Enterprise

There are 19 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Jan 6, 2011, titled Crocker Pond group seeks solutions to keep ATVs off trails - Sentinel & Enterprise. In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

It was just after the Crocker Pond recreational area's season had closed in October when Joe Macchia was walking through the trails behind the pond.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sentinel & Enterprise.

Ron

Princeton, MA

#1 Jan 6, 2011
I have seen even worse damage done to trails by horses which weigh 3 times as much as an ATV, neither is good for trails though.
MaMa Monkey

Charlestown, MA

#2 Jan 6, 2011
solicit private donations to put up gates and be done with it. Make it too hard to get in and they'll just go someplace else.
Westminster Resident

Worcester, MA

#3 Jan 6, 2011
People buy these things knowing that there is NO PLACE to ride them so they go where they please. The town can set the fine for violations. Set the fine at $1000.00 and watch it stop.
Kabul Khan

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#4 Jan 7, 2011
... Give them an inch, they want a yard ... give them that yard, and then they want to put a swimming pool in their new yard ...

What didn't Joe Macchia, and his band of merry friends, understand when Gordon Brownell told them this would happen?

The door is now open and we'll soon have monster truck competitions in this place.

We'll call it the Joe Macchia Off Road Challenge to commemorate his betrayal of the conservationists he swore to support and give the citizens of Westminster an annual opportunity to see the property they invested in get destroyed by people who think conservationists are fanatics when they say, "I wouldn't do that ..."
Biker

Lee, MA

#5 Jan 7, 2011
Kabul Khan wrote:
... Give them an inch, they want a yard ... give them that yard, and then they want to put a swimming pool in their new yard ...
What didn't Joe Macchia, and his band of merry friends, understand when Gordon Brownell told them this would happen?
The door is now open and we'll soon have monster truck competitions in this place.
We'll call it the Joe Macchia Off Road Challenge to commemorate his betrayal of the conservationists he swore to support and give the citizens of Westminster an annual opportunity to see the property they invested in get destroyed by people who think conservationists are fanatics when they say, "I wouldn't do that ..."
Ever actually been in the woods? What exactly did Mr Brownell tell people would happen? ATV's have been riding through there for years and years before the town purchased the land; you saying he predicted something that's benn happening for ages? Wow, that's tough to do.

Just to clear up any further confusion, an ATV is NOT a bicycle. Anybody that can't make that distinction can't possible have a valid opinion on the matter.
Biker

Lee, MA

#6 Jan 7, 2011
Kabul Khan wrote:
...betrayal of the conservationists he swore to support "
What? The property was purchased for RECREATION and the rules specifically including mt biking were voted on and approved by the taxpayers in town prior to it's purchase. Letting a single radical environmentalist change the rules based on nothing but his own extreme opinions would be the real betrayal.

Let's say it together: "RECREATION AREA".

Not 'wilderness'. Not 'Audobon land'. Not 'conservation'. Not 'preserve'. Not 'WMA'.

RECREATION AREA
Hug a rainbow

Leominster, MA

#7 Jan 7, 2011
Those darn kids on their ATV's having fun on the miles of trails. It's got to stop! Nobody should be allowed to use these trails except the commitee and a few Berkinstock wearing friends.
Fizbo

Leominster, MA

#8 Jan 7, 2011
As it was mentioned, fence off the area, and put in gates with people manning the gates. The sacred earth must not be violated...
Joe Crocker

Gardner, MA

#9 Jan 7, 2011
Kids have been riding quads there for years. Most of the trails were quad trails to start with then they started calling them hiking trails and putting up keep out signs, but anybody knows hikers don't make trails 8 feet wide with 2 tire tracks worn into them. Really whats the big deal if a few kids pass thru once in awhile if don't rip the place up?
INS

Fitchburg, MA

#10 Jan 8, 2011
Fizbo wrote:
As it was mentioned, fence off the area, and put in gates with people manning the gates. The sacred earth must not be violated...
They cant even run the swimming facility.The kids are having fun riding atvs in the woods and are not hurting anyone or anything.Im an adult and i also have fun riding atvs and dirtbikes.These kids you are talking about are the children of the prominant people that purchased all those big houses on the pond.Waterfronthome,swimming,a tving,fishing,and hunting sounds like vacation.Macchia and Brownell should go worry about their own backyards.I dare you to have a tow wide vote to see if atving should be allowed at crocker pond.I wish Jeff Crowley owned this land,he knows how to keep people like Brownell and his know whats good for everyone attitude in line.See you in the trails because in this economy you cant afford to put up a fence..........
Don

Gardner, MA

#12 Jan 9, 2011
Below is a link to another article with many comments on this subject: http://www.topix.com/forum/source/sentinel-an...

Not sure it was necessary to go to the paper again. I guess it’s a proactive way to send a message to the public that it’s not going to be tolerated. I’m not a fan of ATV’s, but I also don’t think it’s a major issue at Crocker.

ATV traffic has decreased there in recent years, even though you hear more about it now. As someone commented before, there are ways to deter ATV riders… more signs, making it less accessible, better trail design etc…, but stopping it completely will probably never happen especially due to the close proximity to the railroad and the fact that these particular ‘hiking’ trails are so accommodating for ATV’s. It’s a situation the Crocker Committee will probably always have to deal with. With that said, I think the most effective and realistic way to at least reduce the traffic:

1. Get more legal users on the trails: Most ATV riders know where they’re not allowed (basically that’s everywhere in the state unless it’s your own property or you have been granted permission) so if the likelihood of seeing someone on a trail is high they will try to avoid the situation and go somewhere else. The designated bicycle trail on the property is frequently traveled and will help in this regard as well.

2. Redesigning some of the ‘hiking’ trails: Meaning closing some existing hiking trails that have tempting railroad access points (not just blocking the trailhead, but closing a good portion of the trail) and then redesign and build hiking trails that ATVers will not have an interest to ride. There's oppurtunity for this on the pond side.

3. Keeping one trail open: Preferable the least desirable and/or the most direct trail. This may sound risky, but really it’s no different than how it’s been for years. If the committee can’t stop it why not try to unofficially control it. Crocker land does not have much to offer for ATV’s. I’m pretty sure many of them go on the property because they (or their parents) have done it for years, or it’s the only access to/from the railroad and their home. I’m not suggesting allowing ATV’s on the property per say, but more of a strategic measure to protect some of the nicer trails by sacrificing one trail for the longevity of the rest.

ATV riders usually follow the path of least resistance to get to point A to point B. If you block all access points they’ll eventually find a way in and it might be on a nice trail you spent hours building.

My 2cents
INS

Fitchburg, MA

#13 Jan 9, 2011
I've lived in westminster since i was a kid and my parents moved us here because it was away from the city.Westminster was a town full of recreation like waterskiing on wymans pond and skiing at wachusett,riding dirtbikes on our dirt roads and in and around hagarpark where the old rambler racetrack was.The riding trails went everywhere from wachusett mtn to the paperpits on fifthmass turnpike to the motocross track behind montytech to the leominster stateforest to the railroad bed all the way to ashburnham and winchendon where they took a trail that was kept in operation for years by off road riders and paved it for bicycles with our tax money.My point being the trails were occupied by us before any of you activist were ever out there,then years later when you showed up you try kicking us out claiming we ruin the land.Have you seen the beaver damage across from the brewery that you activist caused with you animal loving ways or do you not take responsibility for that.This is an arguement that you will not win because ultimately you can only control you're actions,also in this economy you are wasting time and taxpayer money over people having fun doing what they love.Alva Crocker created this site for recreation not to give you crybabies something to whine about and tell people what they can and can't do.Myself and my 2 children will continue to ride on the trails that we created and that you are claiming are yours,you hike on our riding trails remember that.
Biker

Gardner, MA

#14 Jan 9, 2011
Good comments by both the above posters. I agree that the trails adopted as 'hiking only' trails on the Crocker land were primarily ATV trails long before the property was purchased, and they haven't really gotten any more beat up in years of use. There is one route or 2 used as a pass thru to get to the tracks and ATVs usually stick to those, though a couple years ago, someone did decide to drop a bunch of live trees and build a large bridge across the river and tear up a whole bunch of adjoining wetlands on private property.(The bridge washed away in pretty short order, but occasionally people still rip through there - not pretty).

I did a lot of work on the biking trail through the property, and as stated above, we put care into designing the trail so as to be non-inviting to ATVs, making it as narrow and winding as possible with choke points that larger vehicles can't pass through. It's the one trail on the property that doesn't see any ATV traffic. I've had polite conversation with a few quad riders on the property and respectfully asked that they avoid trying to ride the biking trail, as we built it looking for a certain experience and it simply isn't constructed in a way that will stand up to motorized use, and for a number of years now, there have been no problems at all. What I don't try to do is be the person that tells someone they can't do exactly what they've been doing for years. In my experience, most bikers would generally have no problem sharing riding areas with motorized users, as long as narrow hiking/biking trails are left alone. I spent many years twisting throttles and I understand the fun in it, these days I just don't want to be the one having to try to keep up with the trail wear they cause. Which is pretty much the situation the Crocker Pond committee is in: they have a duty to enforce the rules, and if there's a problem, they're the ones it falls back on. I don't think any of them (with one exception) got into this thinking "great, now I can make people stop enjoying what they're doing in the woods", but they're in a tough spot.
Justin D

Worcester, MA

#15 Mar 9, 2015
MaMa Monkey wrote:
solicit private donations to put up gates and be done with it. Make it too hard to get in and they'll just go someplace else.
Kids and adults buy and ride atvs for fun and adventure, let it happen. It will never stop I have literally winched down $1000 gates you will not stop riding ever. It's like saying you can drive your car on the road. This shit pisses me off. How do you think ripping up the woods is hurting anything, look at the roads there putting in and all the highways and buildings. You think a trail will do anything. Haha if u you so u need a check up from your neck up.
Melissa1972

Maynard, MA

#16 Mar 9, 2015
Justin D wrote:
<quoted text>
Kids and adults buy and ride atvs for fun and adventure, let it happen. It will never stop I have literally winched down $1000 gates you will not stop riding ever. It's like saying you can drive your car on the road. This shit pisses me off. How do you think ripping up the woods is hurting anything, look at the roads there putting in and all the highways and buildings. You think a trail will do anything. Haha if u you so u need a check up from your neck up.
You sound intelligent.
Tammy

Concord, MA

#17 Mar 11, 2015
Jtn is the man!
kim

Fitchburg, MA

#18 Mar 11, 2015
Melissa1972 wrote:
<quoted text>
You sound intelligent.
Does Jtn/Tammy sound intelligent?
Melissa1972

Maynard, MA

#19 Mar 11, 2015
kim wrote:
<quoted text>
Does Jtn/Tammy sound intelligent?
(S)he sounds needy in an emotional way.
Tammy

Leominster, MA

#20 Mar 11, 2015
Melissa1972 wrote:
<quoted text>
(S)he sounds needy in an emotional way.
Hey Mel, how do you feel about girl on girl action? I'm a little bit butch but I can re tune your valves.... hubba hubba! Then we can go save the forest!

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