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Reiter Foothills

Lawful riders seek reasonable access

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Regarding the Tuesday letter about Reiter Foothills, "Off-roaders do a lot of damage": Some of the assertions made deserve clarification or correction. The author stated that off-roaders started showing up 10 years ago, but in reality off-road motorcycles have been present at Reiter for at least three or four decades, demonstrating that their impact was so low that even long-time residents didn't pay much notice.
Unfortunately, with the closure of other areas, more people went to Reiter and as with any segment of society, a small minority behaving badly were ruining it for everybody. In an attempt to address this, the Northwest Motorcycle Association approached the Department of Natural Resources, advocating converting the area from unmanaged DNR land to an official ORV area where proper management and law enforcement methods could be applied.
The author incorrectly claims that there is a bill in the Legislature right now to allow ATV use of county roads. That legislation died when the 2012 session ended this spring and even if something similar is passed in the future, language that allows counties to opt-out was included.
Another incorrect claim is that much lobbying was done by motorcycle companies. No off-road motorcycle companies participate or fund any lobbying for ATV use of roads in the state of Washington.
Please keep in mind that we are not advocating limitless off-road vehicle use. There are pristine and special places where that is not an appropriate activity. Currently motorized use is prohibited on about 85 percent of the trail mileage in Washington and we are merely seeking to assure that responsible ORV users continue to have reasonable access to some of the rest of the trails.
Tod Petersen
Legislative/Land Use Coordinator -- Northwest Motorcycle Association
Political Action Committee Chairman -- Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance

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