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Class 6 roads

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Over the years there's been no lack of disputes over NH Class 6 roads,. Many times the dispute is triggered by a landowner who wants to build a house that abuts the road and wants to limit public access by motorized OHRV/sleds. Sleds and OHRVs need town permission to use a Class 6 road as a trail, so that opens up a political side.

Today the Union Leader carried a story  (front page!) about a pending trial of a lawsuit filed by the town of Lemster, NH against a  landowner who owns 100 acres of land that is split by a Class 6 road. He wants to build a house but doesn't want the OHRV traffic, but the Town granted permission for an OHRV trail. There was an agreement between the town and landowner, but they now differ on what the agreement means and the landowner gated both ends of the road, then the town sued him to get the gates removed. This summer the OHRV club came back to get permission for some other Class 6 roads so the selectboard had a public meeting to get town opinion..The public advisory vote was 50-24 against allowing OHRV access to the new Class 6 roads. The selectboard declined to speak about the dispute because in was in litigation, and that they would announce their decision on OHRV access on the new requests at a later date.

During the meeting the landowner who is being sued by the town said  that if he has to pay to stop the ATV club using Bean Mountain Road he will refuse letting the snowmobile club use his property.The snowmobile club involved here is Hidden Valley Snowmobile Club.

Here are the minutes of that selectboard public meeting in Lemster.  Sure sounds like a real mess.



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ICG    5

Selectman need to get some assertion!

Town Property / Town Road . .   neighbors actions are a hostile land use violation taking town rights. . 

1st hand seen a town send in road crew and equipment  and move obstructions 

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It is big new locally, but not the main issue to be dealt with.

Trails are expensive. Money to fund them is limited. If a municipality is not willing to support access, it just allows the limited funding to flow toward municipalities that do support access.

I remember sitting in a meeting on SB5, as the State of NH was seeking input from the various recreational groups on how to fund the park system. The Chief announced that only one group had excess funding. Everyone was looking around to guess who that was... I wasn't... I knew that it was OHRV. After the Chief told everyone, they all seemed stunned.

We went on to address how to manage areas to meet the funding need... but many groups were less focused on funding, and more focused on improving their access.

After the representatives of the NH Horse Council placed out that they wanted better parking at certain locations, the Chief explained that no money existed for that... that we were there to look for financing, not ways to spend what we didn't have. The President of the NH Mushers in an attempt to calm the situation suggested that the NHHC do what they did to improve a parking lot at a previous location. He didn't realize that what they had done is let the OHRVs pay for and make the improvements, then petition for their removal of access. One of the representatives looked at me, and then left the room crying. I hadn't made any unusual gestures, she just realized that I am not someone to forgive and forget.

When asked about it, I explained that access was something we could afford to lose... money was not. The funding for that parking lot improvement was a costly enterprise. We had others like it. And I took the position that expenditures should occur where a municipality has shown its longstanding support.

Trying to support a trail system that is too large and has to be battled for everyday is much too costly. I always felt it was more beneficial to the OHRV community to keep the cost of registration and management down.


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