The Liberal Patriot Blog
 The Liberal Patriot Blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information about National and State [New Hampshire] Political Action, News, and Events.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

SB 121 - ATV's and drinking water

Last year, the proposal to allow ATVs to use Bear Brook State Park in the non-winter months was stalled when SB343 and SB349 were defeated in the Senate. SB343 and SB349 both proposed to reduce the size of the ATV-exclusion area around drinking water wells. There are several large drinking water wells in the northern section of Bear Brook State Park, which is why this proposal was important.

Unfortunately, the same legislation was reintroduced in this session as SB121. This bill proposes to reduce the size of the protection areas around drinking water wells. In addition, SB121 would take away the authority of town planning boards to approve new ATV trails in private property.

The full text of the bill is available at:

If passed, SB121 would effectively shrink the radius of protection around a drinking water well from 4000 to 400 feet. This is a ten fold decrease in radius size and a 100 fold decrease in area protected. With drinking water scarcity becoming an issue throughout the state and the State filing lawsuits over groundwater contamination by MTBE (a component of gasoline), weakening protection for drinking water is not a prudent measure. A small percentage of the population rides ATVs for recreation while every person needs clean drinking water. Moreover, New Hampshire has a long history of "local control" governance. The authority to review and approve new ATV trails should remain with the town planning boards.

Please take a moment to call or write your elected representatives and urge them to oppose SB121.
You can find your representatives at:

You can also contact the Senators who are on the Senate Environment and Wildlife Committee:

Carl Johnson (Meredith) 603-279-6492
John Gallus (Berlin) 603-752-1066
Jack Barnes (Raymond) 603-895-9352
Ted Gatsas (Manchester) 603-668-1233
Margaret Hassan (Exeter) 603-772-4187

This is a post I found by Phil Trowbridge of the Allenstown Conservation Commission reposted on a PRO-ATV [and anti-SB121] forum at

Here is more information about issue on another Pro-ATV webpage.
Anybody know any Pro-Enviroment pages relating to this issue?

Lucy Wyman originally brought this issue to my attention. Particularly she is concern with this provision of the bill,
"The local legislative body of a municipality shall not by ordinance or resolution authorize the planning board to review and approve or disapprove site plans for the developement, siting, maintenance, or use of trails on private property for off highway vehicles as define in RSA 215-A:l."
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