ATV Maine is made up of 103 ATV Clubs with more than 8000 individual members from all across the State. We are excited to announce our collaboration with the High Peaks Alliance, Sandy River Land Trust and all of the other back country enthusiasts that are working together to develop a recreational economy in Franklin County through conservation, preservation and the development of a multi use trail system.
An economic impact study of ATVing done by the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith center in 2004 demonstrated an annual impact of two hundred and twenty million and the number of registered ATV’s have grown every year since. When you combine this with the three hundred million contribution made by snowmobiling it becomes very apparent what motorized recreation means to the greatest state in our nation.
Back Country hikers, cross country skiers, geo cache’rs and equestrians also add a significant contribution to this leg of our economy. The manufacturing of forest products has been the backbone of Maine’s economy for many generations and a working forest is still paramount. That said a significant portion of this economy has disappeared over the last twenty years and most residents of Maine have experienced the effects of this unfortunate trend.
I personally believe that outdoor recreation on our superior landscape can replace most of the loss that has occurred in the forest products industry. It won’t happen overnight and it will take every one who has a stake in our future to create a recreational industry in the State of Maine that will become a model of what can happen when the synergy of diverse groups come together to achieve our goals.
Sure conflicts exist between some groups, but it has been our experience that if mutual respect is the norm those conflicts have been overcome. Real change can only come when those with different values and ideas come together, share their respective positions and forge an understanding and respect of each others ideals. Once this has happened any goal can be achieved. ATV Maine is committed to work with all of the groups that are involved with this effort in the high peaks area of Franklin County.
Daniel m. Mitchell President ATV Maine