Environmental groups praised Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s decision to veto a bill that would have allowed all-terrain vehicles to be used on state-owned land.
In his veto message, Malloy acknowledged the balance that the state must strike between encouraging outdoor recreation and “our fundamental mission of protecting our natural resources for future generations.”
ATV use brings “greater potential for degradation or destruction of our unique and delicate natural resources” Malloy wrote in his fifth veto message of the 2013 legislative session.
“I urge those interested in changing policies concerning ATV usage on state land to work together with DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) and other stakeholders to craft a more thoughtful legislative proposal that would support the creation of sustainable ATV trails,” Malloy said.
The Connecticut Forest and Park Association and other environmental groups praised the veto saying the bill was a “threat to the physical well-being of your blue-blazed hiking trails.”
But Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, who supported the bill, wondered if Connecticut will ever implement the policy it adopted in 2002. He said all the legislation would have done is push the DEEP to implement the policy it adopted 11 years ago.
He said the legislation complimented the bill increasing fines for ATV and dirt bike riders.
“We complain these kids are on the street, but then we give them no place to ride. It doesn’t make sense,” Kane said.
Malloy said he wants the two sides to continue working on a solution.
“I urge those interested in changing policies concerning ATV usage on state land to work together with DEEP and other stakeholders to craft a more thoughtful legislative proposal that would support the creation of sustainable ATV trails,” Malloy said.
But Malloy didn’t object to the entire bill. He said he supported an unrelated portion that would have eliminated a rule that requires a competitor in the moving business to approve the license of a competitor who wants to set up shop.
“That provision deserves to become law and I look forward to seeing such a provision reintroduced in the next legislative session,” Malloy wrote.
Malloy has signed 265 bills, and has vetoed five.