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NEWS RELEASE

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Gretchen Leslie
DCNR Press Secretary
(717) 772-9101

ATV SURVEY TO GAUGE USER NEEDS, INTERESTS

HARRISBURG (September 10, 2003) — With recreational use of all-terrain vehicles continuing to expand in the Commonwealth, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is looking for ways to guide the future of the activity.

Beginning this week, 3,000 surveys will be mailed to a random sample of registered ATV users across the state to determine user interests and needs.

“This is a chance for ATV users to shape the future of their sport by telling us what kinds of riding experiences they want,” DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “We expect ATV interest will continue to grow, as should riding opportunities. Information from these surveys will help us work with communities, organizations, and new businesses in developing new ATV areas off state-owned land, where the pressures have gotten too great.”

The questionnaire was developed jointly by the Pennsylvania State University and DCNR’s Snowmobile/ATV Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC is comprised of ATV and snowmobile interest groups who are looking for ways to increase riding opportunities and improve safety for their sports.

One goal of the research study is to collect information that will help SAAC, DCNR and others better plan for ATV facilities. This study also will help to document the economic impact ATVs are having in Pennsylvania.

Secretary DiBerardinis encouraged those receiving surveys to fill them out completely and return them as quickly as possible so the data can be included in the analysis.

DCNR is the state agency charged with the registration and titling of ATVs and snowmobiles. Currently, about 180,000 ATVs are registered in the state. The fees collected from registration, titling and fines are deposited into a Snowmobile/ATV Fund, which helps to fund trail maintenance and development, safety information and classes, and grants.

DCNR is currently undergoing an analysis of the location of trails both on public and private lands, registrations by county, and liability issues of ATV parks. Over the last two years, DCNR has invested $3.3 million from the ATV fund for land acquisition and grants for ATV projects as a way to shift trail development away from state forest lands.

Questions on the survey can be directed to Dr. Bill Elmendorf, Penn State School of Forest Resources, (814) 863-7941, wfe1@psu.edu.

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