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  • 8 Dec 2017 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    JP Gallant, president of the Evangeline ATV Club, drives his ATV to a bridge the club has built near its clubhouse in Mont Carmel. The club is building bridges and extending its trail system.

    JP Gallant, president of the Evangeline ATV Club, drives his ATV to a bridge the club has built near its clubhouse in Mont Carmel. The club is building bridges and extending its trail system. - Millicent McKay

    Clubs hoping to link their trails

    MONT CARMEL

    The Prince Edward Island ATV Federation is building bridges both figuratively and literally. It’s all part of an effort to eventually develop a trail system across the province.

    Federation president Peter Mellish said both the federation and its member clubs have been meeting with landowners seeking to establish trails through woodland and farmers fields and have received widespread acceptance. “We’ve put up fences, we’ve put in ditches and put in culverts, and have been able to keep our ATV traffic to a designated area,” he said in describing their progress.

    Landowners, Mellish said, are happy when the machines stick to one established track.

    With 50 kilometers of newly established year-round trail and approximately 150 kilometers of winter trails, the Evangeline ATV Club has the largest network of trails in P.E.I. Club president JP Gallant said they are hoping to continue to grow that network and have them eventually extend west to O’Leary and east to Sherbrooke, and subsequently link up with trails established by other clubs.

    Federal funding through ACOA helped with the creation of a new loop which extends from Richmond to Enmore, down to Tyne Valley and back to Richmond.

    “It was quite a task,” Gallant said, involving meeting with landowners to obtain permission and then stepping off areas to determine the appropriate route. If they came across an impassable area, they’d have to change their course and meet with other landowners.

    Barry Phillips, owner of Arlington-based West Country Farms estimates there are about three to four kilometers of trail though parts of his fields.

    “I think it is every bit a positive sport as snowmobiling, except that it got off on a bad footing and hence they don’t have anywhere to go,” Phillips said. He said a lot of farmers and woodlot owners have granted trail access.

    “It could make the sport viable,” he suggested.

    “There’s quite a bit of traffic but no damage, really,” he said. He’s giving benefit of the doubt to the one errant track he discovered this year.

    “They have signs up,” Phillips noted. “I think 99 per cent or better are adhering to the rules.”

    He even established a bridge over a gully for the ATVs to cross.

    “It kind of makes it a little bit scenic for them; they can drive down around and across this gully, down along the sides of the field.”

    Mellish said the federation has an open house planned for January in Pownal to see about establishing a new ATV club there, and they are hoping to set up meetings in other communities, too, suggesting having more clubs would make it easier to expand the network.

    Before establishing the summer loop, Gallant said he visited 76 property owners and received permission from 73 of them for a trail to be established on their properties. A lot of physical labour then went into cutting out trails. Decommissioned utility poles and abandoned platform scales have been repurposed as bridge structures.

    While both Mellish and Gallant said they prefer the trails be established through private property, they agree that it would be helpful to have access to short sections of the Confederation Trail and abandoned or rarely used dirt roads for getting around wet areas, such as the Portage and Miscouche swamps. “It would make our life a lot easier,” said Gallant.

    Mellish said over 600 trail passes were sold this year in P.E.I. Those passes are accepted in New Brunswick and will be accepted in NS and Ont. by next year and they’re reciprocal, he said.

    “We’re going to grow this and we’re going to build this. Right now it is a $19 million a year industry,” said Mellish. “We’re going to put it on the map so that we have a place to ride. We’re going to develop a tourism product.”

    Journal Pioneer Story

     

  • 27 Nov 2017 6:19 PM | Anonymous

    Volunteers build a bridge over a tributary of the West River in Brookvale, P.E.I. for all-terrain vehicles to drive over. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

    Chainsaws slice through planks and four-by-four posts as members of the P.E.I. ATV Federation try to prevent further destruction to a watercourse damaged by off-road vehicles earlier this year. 

    Almost two kilometres from the nearest road, about 20 volunteers were building a bridge across a tributary of the West River in Brookvale on Saturday morning.

    It's the same spot where two women drove through with off-road vehicles in July and were fined for violating the Environmental Protection Act.

    Chainsaws slice through planks and four-by-four posts as members of the P.E.I. ATV Federation try to prevent further destruction to a watercourse damaged by off-road vehicles earlier this year. 

    Almost two kilometres from the nearest road, about 20 volunteers were building a bridge across a tributary of the West River in Brookvale on Saturday morning.

    It's the same spot where two women drove through with off-road vehicles in July and were fined for violating the Environmental Protection Act.

    Preventing environmental damage

    President of the P.E.I. ATV Federation, Peter Mellish, said he's trying to keep that from happening again.

    Two women had caused damage to the stream bed and river banks in Brookvale, said Wade MacKinnon with the P.E.I. Department of Justice and Public Safety. They were later fined and placed on probation.(Submitted by Wade MacKinnon)

    "As ATV drivers we want to be good stewards of the land so we took it upon ourselves, the problem that was here," he said.

    In order to do that, volunteers are building a bridge almost 20 meters long and 2.5 meters wide that will cross above the watercourse.

    "This will give us permanent access to the area without going near the watercourse, and letting the stream do what it needs to do," said Mellish.

    Creating a private trail system


    "As ATV drivers we want to be good stewards of the land so we took it upon ourselves, the problem that was here," he said.

    In order to do that, volunteers are building a bridge almost 20 meters long and 2.5 meters wide that will cross above the watercourse.

    "This will give us permanent access to the area without going near the watercourse, and letting the stream do what it needs to do," said Mellish.

    Creating a private trail system

    They've had to haul about 150 pieces of lumber, telephone polls, nails and building equipment through the woods in order to build the bridge.

    "It's quite a task, we had to be well organized. It took us probably about 120 hours so far just to get to this point," said Mellish.

    P.E.I. ATV Federation President Peter Mellish said the bridge will give ATV drivers permanent access to the trail without cause further damage to the waterway. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

    The Federation has been working with local watershed groups to create a private trail system across the Island. 

    Mellish said this project alone has cost around $3,000. Part of the funding was granted by the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, with the rest being raised by the Federation.

    Trying to grow the industry

    Building this bridge is part of an effort to bridge the gap between concerned landowners and ATV drivers. 

    P.E.I. ATV Federation President Peter Mellish said the bridge will give ATV drivers permanent access to the trail without cause further damage to the waterway. (Nicole Williams/CBC)


    The Federation has been working with local watershed groups to create a private trail system across the Island. 

    Mellish said this project alone has cost around $3,000. Part of the funding was granted by the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, with the rest being raised by the Federation.

    Trying to grow the industry

    Building this bridge is part of an effort to bridge the gap between concerned landowners and ATV drivers. 

    "We're trying to do this professionally, so that's it's long-term and sustainable so we can grow the industry," Mellish said. 

    The project is expected to be finished by the end of Saturday, but the group plans to return in the spring to place more rocks around the bridge and plant grass seed.

    Mellish said he hopes to be the first one to drive across.

    Nicole Williams · CBC News ·Orginal Story here

    Audio Interview here


  • 26 May 2017 6:17 AM | Anonymous



    PEI ATV Federation president Peter Mellish and Conservation Officer Wade MacKinnon stand outside beside an All Terrain Vehicle

    Peter Mellish understands better than most the importance of following the rules when riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Prince Edward Island.

    The PEI ATV Federation president says spring is the time of year when riders return to the outdoors and support local businesses in rural areas along the way. The ATV federation has teamed with rural landowners to build private trails to help riders stay off farmland and the Confederation Trail; ATVs are prohibited from the trail and from private property without permission.

    Using these designated ATV trails also helps keep riders safe and protects the Island’s valuable agriculture and sensitive areas like wetlands, shores, and dunes. Spring is nesting time for migratory and non-migratory birds, and furbearers with young are also in the den this time of year and easily disturbed by ATVs.


    “As an ATV rider, you are an ambassador for ATV enthusiasts everywhere, so we are fully committed to ensuring that all ATV riders abide by the rules,” Mellish said. “We encourage all riders to use sanctioned trails, get the proper safety training, carry a valid plate and registration, and wear the proper safety gear.”

    A helmet is the most important piece of protective gear for safe riding because it can prevent a serious head injury. Goggles or a face shield helps protect eyes from dust and/or debris and also helps with visibility.

    Minors under age 16 should never use an ATV designed for adults, and all riders should ride at speeds appropriate for the terrain.

    The Off-Highway Vehicle Operation Booklet provides information for riders and landowners on the rules for operating off-highway vehicles in Prince Edward Island. Download a copy of the free booklet or pick up a copy at Access PEI, PEI Federation of Agriculture in Charlottetown or the PEI ATV Federation.

    “Trespassing can have costly consequences to farms and to the environment,” Conservation Officer Wade MacKinnon said. “ATV laws keep riders, pedestrians and other motorists safe, and following the rules protects our agricultural and natural areas.

    ”As well, proper protective equipment, training, knowledge, and common sense go a long way to ensure the safe and fun use of ATVs in Prince Edward Island.”

    Some other rules for operating an ATV include:

    • drivers must be at least 14 years of age;
    • drivers between 14 and 19 years of age must have completed an off-highway vehicle safety training course;
    • all 14 and 15 year olds must be supervised by an adult;
    • anyone riding over the age of 16 must have valid driver’s license and have held that license for at least 24 months; and
    • all operators must carry a government-issued registration for the OHV and must have a valid license plate attached to the OHV which must be visible anytime the OHV is off the owner’s property.


  • 8 May 2017 6:26 AM | Anonymous

    Member clubs are the foundation of the PEI ATV Federation and without them it would just be an organization. The PEI ATV Federation would like to extend a warm welcome the fifth club - Red Isle ATV Club. 

    This new club will be building and maintaining trails in and around Harrington, Brackley, Friston and surrounding areas. Their goal is to meet up with East Prince Quad Trax trails into Brookvale, Kinkora and areas and to Mt.Stewart to meet with Eastern Kings ATV Club Trails and in the future hoping to go to Souris.

    The president of the Red Isle ATV Club is Leo Doucette, vice presidents are Steven Jackson and Earl Stewart, secretary is Jason Lamont and treasurer is Kirby Eldershaw. There was an overwhelming amount of support received at the first meeting where they sold approximately 25 club memberships and received a Corporate Sponsorship from Gary Dunning of Toy Master Motor Sports and Red Rock Harley Davidson.


    In the two weeks they have been established they have contacted landowners and are starting to build working relationships with most. They have also held a couple trail clearing groups and have started mapping out more trail routes.

    I would encourage anyone in the Charlottetown area interested in joining this new club to reach out to them on Facebook where all the club details are provided.

    Federation President
    Peter Mellish

  • 5 May 2017 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was a sold out event for the Tignish Sportsman Riders ATV Club Elimination Draw held at the Tignish Legion on April 28.

    All 800 tickets were sold for the club’s annual fundraiser where ticket holders had the opportunity to win the first prize of a 2017 750 brute force Kawasaki ATV donated by Kawasaki Canada through Danny Christopher Sales and Services, second prize of a Echo Chainsaw donated by Gaudet’s Small Engine Repair, third prize of $500 Home Heat and Fuel donated by the Tignish Co-op Members Relations or the fourth prize of a Kitchen Aid Mixer donated by F.J. Sheas and Sons Ltd.

    This year the draw raised $20,000 for the club with $70,000 being raised in the five years since the club has been organizing the event. The proceeds from the draw go towards maintenance of the clubhouse in DeBlois, groomer upgrades and trail maintenance. Club president Larry Waite would like to thank their sponsors, club members and anybody who bought a ticket for the draw.

    The winner of the 2017 Kawasaki 750 Brute Force was Duane Arsenault.


    Read the Original Story Here

  • 20 Apr 2017 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    A new 47-kilometre ATV trail is expected to be ready for the summer because of funding help from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the P.E.I. government.

    ATV trail  

    "This grant that we got from ACOA is basically going to be used to make bridges, signage to put through the trails and we're going to get a mulcher to come and take the stumps out and stuff like that, just to make it a little bit smoother for people to drive in," said Evangeline ATV Club president J.P. Gallant.

    ACOA provided $29,607 for work on the new trail — a loop from Richmond to Tyne Valley — and to build an addition to the group's clubhouse. The province also provided $11,860 for the project.

    Read the Original Story Here


  • 19 Apr 2017 8:20 PM | Anonymous

    pe-hi-atv

    The Evangeline ATV Club received funding to expand on the trail system and build an additional clubhouse. (CBC)

    The federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced a $382,774 investment for 11 infrastructure projects in western P.E.I.

    Evangeline ATV Club will be in charge of expanding the trail system and building a second clubhouse. The provincial government is contributing $11,860 for the work at the ATV club.


    Read the orginal story here


  • 18 Apr 2017 2:29 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PEI All-Terrain Vehicle Federation Announces
    Changing of the Guard

    April 18, 2017

    The PEI ATV Federation announces a change in presidency for the young
    organization. Paul Wilbert saw the club through its first year and has
    moved on from the federation following a meeting on April 17th. Incoming president, Peter Mellish, has expressed his gratitude for Wilbert’s dedication during the federation’s inaugural year and his assistance in beginning the many of their projects.

    He stated that “Mr. Wilbert had helped the club through this trying year as major initiatives were begun: integration of volunteers, creation of
    working methods, planning and building of new trails. We are thankful for
    Paul’s time and wish him well in the future.”

    Currently there are 5 recognized PEI ATV Clubs that have been or are
    working towards a fully signed, insured and clearly marked trail system
    under development with the support of many landowners government officials, ATV dealers and the public. These are the only legal places to ride on PEI, so the federation asks all ATV users to support their local club and purchase a PEI ATV Trail Membership Permit. A full list of clubs and
    activities can be found at www.peiatvfederation.ca and you can follow the
    federation on facebook at PEI ATV Federation News. Mellish continued, “We are looking forward to another productive year on the trails and we welcome new local club members and clubs with an interest in riding and
    trail making.”


  • 7 Apr 2017 6:45 PM | Anonymous

    Conservation officers say a resident reported seeing up to 20 ATVs on the Confederation Trail in recent days. Use of the trail by ATVs is against the law.

    Conservation officers say a resident reported seeing up to 20 ATVs on the Confederation Trail in recent days. Use of the trail by ATVs is against the law. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

    Conservation officers are investigating damage to the Confederation Trail, allegedly caused by ATVs in recent days.

    Conservation officers say charges are pending against one individual. They're reminding the public that use of ATVs on the Confederation Trail is against the law.

    Damage was discovered in two locations, according to conservation officials, where the trail crosses Clyde Road in Queens County, and a few kilometres away near Hunter River.

    ATV cross

    The P.E.I. ATV Federation hopes to increase the number of legal crossing points on the Confederation Trail. (CBC)

    Conservation officers said they received a complaint from a local resident this week who reported seeing up to 20 ATVs on the Confederation Trail last weekend, and on local roads. ATVs are not permitted to travel along public roadways.

    Conservation officers said they apprehended a lone rider on the trail Wednesday, while investigating the resident's complaint.

    'They know themselves it is an illegal act'

    The P.E.I. ATV Federation said it's working to keep ATVs off the Confederation Trail, by building more private trails in cooperation with farmers and rural land owners. The federation said ATV riders enjoy the outdoors and support local businesses in rural areas.

    trail sign

    Snowmobiles are the only motorized vehicles allowed on the trail. No other uses are permitted in winter. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

    "People that are riding the Confederation Trail right now, they know themselves it is an illegal act," said Paul Wilbert, president of the P.E.I. ATV Federation.

    "But at the same time … they want to explore the Island and in some cases they're forced to use the Confederation Trail, even though they know it's wrong, to get to that restaurant or that business."

    The P.E.I. ATV Federation hopes to establish more legal crossing points for ATVs in the year ahead. Right now, there's only one place in the province where ATVs on the private trail system can legally cross the Confederation Trail.

    Conservation officers are on patrol

    The federation said it would also like to talk to the province about incorporating select portions of some public roads into the private ATV trail network, mainly along remote or seldom-used sections of dirt roads.

    Conservation officers said they will be patrolling the Confederation Trail in coming weeks, in an attempt to crack down on ATVs and other illegal users.

    The only motorized vehicles allowed on the trail are snowmobiles, during winter months. All other uses of the trail are prohibited in winter.

    By Brian Higgins CBC News

    Original Story Here

  • 1 Apr 2017 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    It’s been just over a year since the Prince Edward Island ATV Federation (PEIATVF) held its first official meeting. Since then, it has brought together five off-highway vehicle (OHV) clubs, created 100 kilometers (62 miles) of signed trails, and by the end of this year will add another 100 kilometers.

     

    Prince Edward Island OHV Trail Permit“For a small Province, that’s monumental,” said Paul Wilbert, Federation President. “All of our trails are developed on private land. Ninety percent of it is agricultural. So we’re getting bikes out of farmers’ fields, and getting them on a new trail through the woods. And we’re trimming hedgerows so we can get bikes closer to the hedgerows, and in some cases the farmers gain 4 to 6 feet of their fields to put crop in again.”

     

    Prince Edward Island is just over 2,000 square miles in size. It has no national forests or crown land, and is best known for its red-sand beaches, lighthouses and fertile farmland. To build trails on private property, the Federation must get written permission from landowners, as well as have liability insurance to protect them. Clubs must also install signs and markers to make sure riders stay on trails. Raising necessary funds required the Federation to create a trail pass. “The clubs all had different membership amounts,” said Wilbert. “We agreed to a single trail pass that’s been adopted by all of them. It’s a $50 trail pass; $23 stays with the club of your choice, just like other Provinces and States; $20 goes back to the Federation for insurance; $7 goes to the Province for taxes. Our trails are multi-use, so hikers, snowshoers, dog sleds and skiers can use them. The only people that get charged for a trail sticker are motorized users, on ATVs, dirt bikes and side-by-sides.”

     

    The island’s sandy soils make building trails easy, Wilbert adds. The clubs’ major challenge is acquiring permits for stream crossings. “We had 150 telephone poles donated,” he said. “We use three poles per bridge, crossing small streams. We just have to deck them with 2-by-6’s. You can build a bridge in 2 hours and cross it. But every time we come to water, it’s $100 to get an environmental permit. We have to respect the environment, so we spent $1,000 on printed maps that show watershed layers and wetland buffers. All that is on there, so the government can see it before they approve our trail. To get across the stream, you pay the $100 fee, you build it and you go.”

     

    Retired from the Navy as a Boatswain, with leg and lower back injuries, Wilbert, 41, has been the prime organizer of the Federation and its progress. “The passion for me was to be able to drive legally on Prince Edward Island, and not have to go to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia on their trail systems. The biggest goal I have this year is to get more rural businesses online. Yesterday, we found out we have two more restaurants that have signed off on the trails. If we can give bikes a destination, that’s the key. If people can go ride for 5 or 6 hours, they’re spending money on food and fuel, and that’s your rural economic stimulus.

     

    “Right now, PEI is the talk all across Canada for what we’re doing, because this has never been done here before, and we’re getting it all legal.”

     

    Here is more of what the PEI ATV Federation has accomplishedBuilding a bridge over a trail in its first year, from a recent newsletter to members:

    • Adopted a single Provincial federation trail pass that is recognized in New Brunswick. Their pass is recognized in PEI as well. Local ATV Dealers now sell trail passes.
    • All clubs belonging to PEIATVF have complete insurance coverage.
    • All landowners that sign a land-use form will be protected with trail insurance.
    • Received the first grant monies from COHV (Canadian OHV Distributors Council) in over 6 years. (A previous Federation had dissolved.)
    • Has re-established membership with AQCC (All Terrain Quad Council of Canada).
    • Working with various Provincial Government Departments, including the Departments of Justice & Public Safety, Agriculture, Enforcement, Highway Safety, PEI Federation of Agriculture and the PEI Snowmobile Association, a first for PEI.
    • Each of the Island’s clubs received approximately $2,000 worth of trail signs and stakes to distribute on their trails.
    • Received Government approval to cross the Confederation Trail, and permits for building bridges over streams.
    • Attendance at the Quad Council’s Annual General Meeting in Nova Scotia.
    • Successfully held a charity run for a local family, raising over $7,500.
    • Launched the new PEIATVF website.

     

    ATV clubs on PEI include the Tignish Sportsman Riders, the Evangeline ATV Club, the Queens County Trail Blazers, the Eastern Kings ATV Club, and the East Prince Quad Tracks ATV Club


    by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

    Original Story Here

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