John Mercier

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Everything posted by John Mercier

  1. Off Trail Idiots get another trail closed

    Technically, that is what signing your registration is about. We used to require an OHRV Safety Course be taken after getting a ticket... it didn't seem to make any difference.
  2. Off Trail Idiots get another trail closed

    That is probably the off road community. For years, whenever something has happened negatively on a trail system... it has always been vocalized to be the younger set, non-local riders, etc. I generally find that they are middle aged, live nearby, and just not thinking they will get caught.
  3. Off Trail Idiots get another trail closed

    The only fact they have, to my knowledge, is someone rode off trail. The landowner didn't like it... so we can presume that the rider did not have written permission from the landowner.
  4. ATVs on public roads issues

    I was more focused on the town hiring someone to basically act as a trail administrator. I don't think that I have ever seen that approach before.
  5. ATVs on public roads issues

    Seems a bit over the top...
  6. Off Trail Idiots get another trail closed

    It is a problem because landowners that have not granted permission either written to an individual, or verbal to a club trail administrator or the BoT, isn't going to waste a lot of breath complaining on a repeated basis. Many times before they complain the first time, it is because the off-trail has happened repeatedly. They may never even bother to contact the club, the local PD will point them to F&G, and F&G always has the excuse that they don't have enough resources. The landowner gets frustrated and simply closes the property.
  7. Off Trail Idiots get another trail closed

    You mean the NHSA committee?
  8. Off Trail Idiots get another trail closed

    There is already a bill in the Legislature that it could be amended to. The bill is to increase fines for violations. The NH Auto Dealers would be involved with snowmobile registrations how? As for the manufacturers... they supply the grants that support the lobbying efforts of the Associations.
  9. How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH

    I would say the statement ''most landowners are not'' is fair. But unless a group forms and asks them, we will never know which and how many would. It is quite a bit of work to find out, and not really something the Bureau of Trails is tasked with.
  10. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    Down here on State land along Parade Rd (106) the Belknap Snowmobilers have stakes that are placed apart just a little wider than the groomer. And I would guess the chance of losing a state-owned access would be much lower than on a privately held property. They put them up every fall and take them down every spring. It may be that the local club needs a bit more volunteer help. Someone that knows the current legal system willing to make a small circuit and carry some extra stakes with signage and a mallet.
  11. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    DRED, now the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, only comes into play should the ticket be issued by an officer in the Division of Parks and Recreation. They would supply the prosecuting officer, and if the fine was upheld by the judge, would receive the proceeds from the fine, minus a court administration fee. RSA 251-C:33 covers that. The lack of signage is reasonable cause to believe that you are not on a legal trail. We, motorized users, have not been on permitted unless restricted since around 2004. A non-motorized user can state, I didn't see a sign, so I thought I can be here. We have to state, I saw a sign, so I thought I could be here.
  12. 2019 legislative session

    It appears to be still in Executive Session; and still would be in play if it was not tabled. Sometimes they reignite support on the floor by removing it from the CC for an individual vote.
  13. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    It is the responsibility of every rider to know the laws and regulations. Which is why we had to sign the registration, and why the law makes provisions for when someone else operates our equipment. Remember the old ''I can travel from my land down the road 500 feet because the law says so''; but anyone that read the law realized that the 500 feet was down the road from a designated trailhead. They simply read it the way that wanted. My other favorite was ''I can change my exhaust system to make it louder... as long as I stay on the lake... because the law does not apply out there.'' It isn't just done in the motorized trail user community; but because of the scope of access and how critical each landowner is to what can be large parts of a system... it just cost too much to move the trail again and again, even if a reroute can be found. I even saw a comment on the local club page that someone suggested those wanting to ride ''off trail'' should go up north. It is just moving the problem around and making it worse rather than facing it head on. It was a huge issue for me with the quads. There illegal access would spoil a landowner's willingness not only toward a future legal OHRV trail, but could also jeopardize the existing snowmobile access. I couldn't wrap my head around why anyone would want to destroy all their future options. Criminal trespass is different than a tort trespass. It is a violation of RSA 215-C:49 XIII, which is why you only get a ticket for the first offense and not get arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.
  14. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    Hard to say... I let snowmobiles on my land. But imagine that they did what I had problems with a few year's back... they lost their way and ended up in my front yard. The First call goes to the club... signage needs to be better. The Second call goes to law enforcement... rider, and community, need to pay attention to the signs. The Third call, which we didn't get to, goes to BoT... done, land is closed. The local club is dealing with that issue right now. Rider followed what they thought was legal trail... don't know the outcome other than the trail is currently closed. It might seem strange that it has to be that strict... but I had a woodlot that I let rider use. It was not near home, in another town; and I was stunned to get a call from the town threatening a lawsuit because I was building a non-permitted ''race track''. When I checked into it, they had cut a decent size parking lot, and were building ramps. It took a long time and quite few headaches to get everyone to realize that they were no longer permitted to be on that property. The excuse always seems to be that someone else did it before them, that they didn't know, that they saw it on-line, etc, etc. It got to the point that I sold the woodlot to house lot.
  15. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    Technically, no. I've experienced that ''it is not an officially marked trail... but *wink*wink*'' a lot. Laconia had the issue with the Weirs' Bridge were it was determined that the club never had permission for a legal trail... and that statute had been on the books since the 80s. After the fact, the club was going to seek approval... but it was determined that they did not have landowner permission for other parcels for the intersections to that bridge... so the point was moot on getting the bridge legal. We currently have so many sled tracks from the State School property back to O'shea Industrial park to get to the gas station, that it would appear to most to be an official trail... possibly even groomed, though tracked up... and it goes past at least three signs that state ''Private Property, No Tresspassing''. There are no orange diamonds because the landowner did not permit snowmobiling there... but they put up the signs thinking it would stop further use of the unauthorized section... It isn't working. Trail admins, and other, go to a class on trail marking... it is very exacting to the point that we under mark most trails and had to work with the BoT because it felt like we were creating view litter on these properties. Those ''Stay on the trail or Stay home'' signs are almost always on an official trail and used to deter thoughts of just a ''small'' violation.
  16. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    Polaris may put a GPS on their machines... but the trail route embedded in the GPS may be inaccurate... and would not be a good excuse in a court of law. I am sure that a backwoods rider can find GPS routes for NH on some website and download them. But that would not make the routes legal. Even last year's trail routes taken directly from a club are not guaranteed to be accurate for this year. F&G didn't pull ''off-trail riding'' out of a hat... it is now one of the biggest landowner issues. Other than safety, landowner issue for any recreational aspect overseen by F&G quickly rises to the top... they know that the loss of access is tangible.
  17. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    We aren't suppose to use a GPS for guidance... and we would not see any signage if we were off-trail. I am sure that I can find a GPS of some back country route that was an old trail... and even one that was never a trail. And landowners were supposedly free from having to sign against motorized access. The reason F&G chose to focus on off-trail this year, even though the law has been active for about fifteen years, is that the landowners prioritized this behavior as being problematic.
  18. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    How would you tell the liars from the non-liars?
  19. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    But then everyone could use the excuse that they simply lost their way...
  20. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    Then I guess they should be ticketed. GPS is not a good excuse... we are to be following the diamonds and know where we are legally allowed to be.
  21. F&G CO's help stuck snowmobilers in Colebrook

    According to the article... they were on a trail. Legal trails are not required to be groomed, and this one was not.
  22. How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH

    Pretty sure that the NHSA fields questions on the subject. As for the guides and outfitter establishments, those are the private individuals that have contacted the landowners and gotten the permission... which is what we have already suggested.
  23. How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH

    It gets worse. The Forest Society proposal to keep lands in timber production was to provide a false market for softwood pulp through biomass plants. Now a proposal to legalize industrial hemp at the federal level - thus being protected by the interstate commerce clause - may result in a new less expensive competitor to hardwood pulp used in pellet fuel.
  24. How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH

    Then you are not paying attention to what is being stated. I had a lot of people in their early 20s on sleds... but they are now suffering the result of financial planning. It is very sad to find a 50-60 year old with retirement savings that will not suffice their retirement... to watch them sell the things they loved... and know that even after it is all gone, there will not be enough. The numbers in the first post are nationwide. US registrations... not new or used sled sales... have fallen approximately 450,000. Canadian registrations... not new or used sled sales, but actual users... have fallen approximately 165,000. The average age of snowmobile owners has gone up 2 years... even with all those inexpensive used sled available to the younger generation. And the amount spend snowmobiling per capita has gone down from an estimated $4000 annually to $2000 annually. Sales... new or used... is not the issue. Registrations falling, registrants being older, and what each registrant is spending annually... those are the issues. Landowners that can no longer afford to hold large parcels... they need the money for retirement... that is an issue. How did that happen? When they were young they didn't care about gross income. Now they are old... they are selling things to live off what income they can muster. Since the median according to the stats is 45 years old... it probably weighs on them more than it does a 20 year old. Polaris and Bombardier realized in their study that the days of the garage full of toys would result in the days of focus on one toy. What will that ''toy'' be in the end? I think it will vary... but it means the community of support will be lower.
  25. How to keep snowmobiling alive in NH

    The chain I believe was the presented to keep full size vehicles that did not have an OHRV registration from using the trail. The original concept was to staff the area... but the Master Plan was flawed in its financial conception and had to be changed on the fly.