Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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ATV LAW ENFORCEMENT GRANTS

In 2006 the York Police Department began applying for All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Law Enforcement Grants through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. These grants became available in 2003 after Gov. John Baldacci announced that he would form a task force to study the issues surrounding ATV use in Maine.

In his executive order the Governor asked the task force to:

1. Develop guidelines for a grant program(s) to increase support of the
efforts of local
clubs, municipalities, and landowners in addressing matters
of law enforcement,
landowner relations, public awareness, safety education,
trail development, damage
mitigation and other strategies to solve problems
caused by irresponsible ATV 
operation;

2. Form a subcommittee and work with representatives of local, county,
and state law
enforcement agencies to determine what training, equipment,
funding, changes in law,
and other resources or actions are needed by
Maine’s law enforcement agencies to 
more effectively enforce ATV
laws; and

3. Recommend solutions to the problems identified by the Task Force,
including, but not
limited to, strategies to: (a) improve enforcement of laws
governing ATV use, (b) 
increase interagency cooperation and coordination
to deal with ATV issues, and (c) 
ensure the most effective and efficient
delivery of programs designed to increase the 
awareness among ATV
operators about safe and responsible ATV use.


There are two Grant Periods available each year; a Spring round begins the end of March and ends on July 31st and the Fall round begins early in August and ends December 1st. Since 2006, the York Police Department has used these grants together with contributions from both Water Districts to fund the purchase of 3 ATV’s. The ATV’s are used to patrol this area, to train Police Officers in their safe operation, and about the laws governing ATV use in the State of Maine. Most importantly, these grants pay for additional patrols of the area.

Multiple Officers in the York Police Department and several Wardens from the Maine Warden Service have become very familiar with the many miles of trails managed by the two districts. In addition to the Districts trails, other trails in the Mount Agamenticus Region which are not normally patrolled by the Watershed Patrol Officer are able to be patrolled using these grants. From 2006 to 2010 over $50,000 in ATV Law Enforcement Grants have been awarded to the York Police Department and used for training equipment and enforcement!

IMPACTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PATROLS

The District is pleased to report that ATV Law Enforcement Grants coupled with the year round Watershed Patrols have had a huge impact on the reduction of illegal and unwanted activities (based on data generated from 10 years of detailed patrol reports) that were plaguing the Districts Watershed properties and the entire Mount Agamenticus Region. Activities such as ATV use, alcohol use, underage drinking, drug use, fires, camping, trash and swimming have all been on the decline. During this time the number of contacts the watershed patrol officer encountered each year has varied very little. This means that people have either been educated in the acceptable use of this area and changed their ways or have moved on and more responsible people who tend to enjoy more passive recreation have taken their place. The District believes it is a combination of the two.

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York Water District 86 Woodbridge Road PO Box 447 York Maine 03909 207-363-2265