Donald Furler may not condone the assault on Frank Sutliff by the ATV riders, but he seems to condone breaking trespassing laws just because he spent several thousands of dollars on an ATV and accessories. (ATV rider speaks… Letters: Feb. 21, 2002)
Farmers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for our land and our chosen profession and lifestyle. We do not owe some bored, city dwelling ATV rider a place to pursue his hobby.
It is very generous of Mr. Furler to “tolerate” the farmers that have to go out on a public road with their equipment as they go about the business of feeding this country.
The flaw in his logic is this: He does not own that road. I own my farm. I pay taxes to maintain that road the same as he does. The last I checked he is not helping me to make my farm payment.
There are already public areas that ATV riders can use. We do not need to spend more tax dollars to make more of them so it is more convenient for the riders.
My suggestion would be for the ATV riders to form clubs, do some fund raising and purchase some land (less expensive stripped land would be ideal) to ride on.
In my area we have a few ATV riders. They ask permission of the landowners to cross their land. It is almost always given as long as the riders do not abuse the privilege.
Mr. Furler needs to understand that a lot of us moved to a farm to get away from the noise and hustle and bustle of the city. We do not want to have to listen to the roar of an ATV from daylight to dark all weekend.
And then there is the damage that an ATV does to the land over time and the litter that some riders would leave behind.
Also of great concern is the question of liability should a rider get injured or killed while on my land. All of these concerns lead most farmers to prohibit recreational ATV riding on their property.
I would urge all the ATV riders out there to do the right thing and ask permission before riding on private property. Unfortunately, the incident with Frank Sutliff may make that harder to come by.
If, as an ATV rider, you think you have it tough because you have no place to ride your $3,000 machine, consider the hardship that Frank Sutliff has trying to pay his bills and feed his family with a broken leg and head injuries. And he doesn’t have a desk job.
Kenneth and Judy Brown
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