Wayne National Forest Cracks Down on Illegal ATV Trail Riding

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Nelsonville, OH (April 23, 2008) – More than 60 citations were written by eight U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement officers from three national forests over the weekend on the Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio. It was the first weekend trails were open for the 2008 season.

The law enforcement officers split up their resources to focus on the Ironton Ranger District in Pedro and Athens Ranger District near Nelsonville. A total of 62 violations were written by the officers. The Ironton Ranger District netted 36 citations, while the Athens Ranger District total amounted to 26 cases.

In the Hanging Rock area of the Ironton district, officers wrote eight citations for the possession of controlled substances. Six tickets were written for riders not having Wayne National Forest trail permits. Two citations were given for riders traveling off trail and or on closed Forest roads. Several were issued for not having state registration or a valid driver’s license.

The bulk of the violations near the Monday Creek Trail System near Nelsonville included riders not having Ohio state registration and failure to have a Forest Service 2008 trail permit. While the citations are pending judicial review, the cost of the tickets range from $125.00 to as high as $5,000.00. Violators issued a ticket have 30 days to settle their fine or be summoned to Federal Court in Columbus or Cincinnati.

In several cases, officers noted offenders attempted to flee from law enforcement. In all cases, the violators were apprehended without incident.

The 238,000 acre Wayne National Forest is home to the longest motorized trail system in the state of Ohio. The Forest has 121 miles of all-terrain vehicle trails. Last year, approximately 21,000 recreational trail permits were sold.