State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today applauded the state Department of Conservation for its decision to open sections of the Hassel and Wart truck trails to all-terrain vehicle traffic in the Winona State Forest Preserve in Jefferson County.
“Opening these trails gives ATV riders much needed links to existing trails that will help create a unified trail system,” Sen. Aubertine said. “I want to thank the DEC for listening to my concerns on this issue and moving forward with its decision to re-open these truck trails to ATV traffic.”
Sen. Aubertine in April asked the DEC to reconsider its decision to close Region 6 truck trails to ATV traffic saying that closing these trails would negatively impact the region’s economy and adversely affect efforts to create a safe and well-maintained trail system stretching from Oswego, through the Winona State Forest and into Barnes Comers in Lewis County. The Senator has been working with the DEC to make sure that trails would be re-opened.
“Creating a safe, well-maintained trail system is important because it gives people a place to ride,” Sen. Aubertine said. “ATV tourism brings in revenue and creates jobs. Opening these critical connector trails is an important step toward building up our tourism economy as a destination for ATVs.”
An economic analysis done several years ago by Camoin Associates of Saratoga Springs found that non-resident ATV use has directly contributed $23 million to the region’s economy per year, including $7.9 million in wages. When factoring indirect and induced economic impacts, the numbers jump to $35.2 million and almost $11.4 million in wages.