Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Off-Road Vehicles at Hawksnest

"Illegal off-road vehicle activity is damaging sensitive lands, including wetlands and rare species habitats, all across the state,” said E. Heidi Ricci, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Audubon Society and a member of DCR's working group on the problem.


Rare spotted turtle killed by ORV (source)

Off road vehicles (ORVs) have been a serious problem at Hawksnest for many years:
  • ORVs started the gully at the Round Cove Rd. parking lot
  • Lack of limits to the parking area allow 4x4 vehicles to drive nearly to the beach, worsening the erosion.
  • ORVs have enlarged and damaged some of the trails
  • When the pond level drops, ORVs ride around the pond on the beach, threatening the Plymouth gentian flowers.  Water levels are now nearly low enough to allow this.
  • Concerns about conflict with equestrians led to posting of "no motorized vehicle" signs on horse trails

At Hawksnest, vehicles drive off-road to the beach, causing serious erosion.

Report ORV's!
ORVs are not allowed at Hawksnest State Park.  And especially, they ae not allowed on the beach.  Click here for regulations.  Call 1-866-PK-WATCH (866-759-2824).  DCR Rangers answer the hotline 24/7. The dispatcher will contact the appropriate agency AND keep a record of every call, which will help in enforcement planning.  Next, call Harwich Police, to increase their awareness. 

Watch for a pattern that might assist the police.  Where are they coming from?  Do they appear at the same time of day?

The "Friends Network" has a campaign against ORVs.  Click here to f ind out more.

Support the bill regulating ORVs
On Jan. 14, 2009, Representative Smizik submitted a bill, House No. 3330, that increases fines and enforcement of regulations.  This bill is based on the recommendations of a DCR study group, and we believe it has the best chance of passing.

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