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Letter: Keep the woods quiet; keep ATVs off Becker County trails

I would like to know what happened to the basic rights of the ordinary citizen. The residents of Minnesota and their neighborhoods are being attacked by a very well organized group of people. The group is riders of ATVs and the companies/dealers who profit from their sales of ATVs.

For those of you who do not know what an ATV is, I will explain. Many years ago, a company manufactured a three-wheeled motorized tricycle, most popular was the three-wheeled Honda machine. It was mounted on three large wheels and proved to be popular, although very deadly. So deadly it was declared illegal to sell. This was the first ATV, quickly followed by four-wheeled motorized units, naturally more stable than the three-wheeler.

The four-wheel units have grown into a public property disaster, and with that have also become the nightmare of cabin owners in the woods of Minnesota. The ATV owners and clubs have assumed that all pubic property is theirs to roam at will, roaring through the state's woods and untitled land. If you happen to have a cabin or property in the route of these ATVs, you can expect the serenity of your weekends and holidays to be rudely interrupted by ATV riders. Most times these riders have coolers full of booze, and with alcohol comes outrageous behavior. Loud engines roaring through your cabin area on a weekday morning is not the reason I decided to purchase a lakeside cabin. Nor is picking up debris following their passage.

The ATV riders love to find a place to make a mud hole, climb a steep incline, and generally treat our Minnesota woods and vacant land in a very destructive manner. The legislature of Minnesota, the DNR, each county and every township are presently being asked for their opinions on rules for ATVs.

Please let them know you like the woods and parks of Minnesota to be available for a bike ride, a morning walk, a noontime picnic, or just a time to bird watch without having any ATVs roaring by, scattering wildlife as well as destroying your day .

No other motorized vehicle has damaged our Minnesota lands as much as the careless use of the ATV.