Maine Off-Roaders Propose $30 Million Trail Upkeep Bond

Prominent off-road groups in Maine suggested that the bond be on the November ballot.

The $30 million trail bond will need to pass through Maine’s house and senate before appearing on the November ballot.Jackson Cooper

Prominent off-road groups in Maine are pushing for a $30 million trail bond for upkeep and development. Maine ATV president John Raymond says that Maine’s trails are “96 percent private land,” and that if trail users damage those trails, the landowners have to pay out of pocket for repairs. While those repairs are usually covered by the entrance fees of the trail systems, damage from recent winter storms have pushed the upkeep cost past the budget of the landowners.

The groups argued that the local trails are a part of Maine’s $3 billion outdoor economy, and letting them fall into disrepair would be detrimental to local off-roaders’ way of life. Among people who oppose the bill is Patricia Barber, a former ATV club president. “Between the shooting in Lewiston, and mental health and homelessness and people who are on the verge of losing their livelihoods,” Barber said, “those are important to be funded first.”

Because of the opposition to the bill, the off-road clubs suggested the bill be placed on Maine’s November ballot and let the citizens decide whether or not the bond is funded. The bill will need to pass through Maine’s house and senate before being added to the ballot.

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