By the Pricking of My Thumbs, Something Wicked This Way Comes

The 2021 session of the West Virginia Legislature provided a lot of indications of the enthusiasm in the body for allowing off-road vehicles on public lands in West Virginia.  There were eight bills introduced that would allow or encourage such activity.  In addition there were two resolutions.

       None of the bills passed.  That there were so many introduced indicates the enthusiasm for off-road vehicles on public lands.

       The two resolutions did pass, although they have no direct impact.  The first was supporting an all terrain vehicle trail parallel to the western edge of the Appalachian Trail.  

       As a resolution it doesn’t order anybody to actually build a trail, appropriate any money, or require anybody to do anything that would result in an ATV trail being constructed.  It has value as a portent but otherwise has little to no effect.

       The second resolution urges the United States Congress to open public lands in West Virginia to all terrain vehicles.  The public lands in West Virginia which Congress could have any power over are managed by the National Park Service or the United States Forest Service.  Each of these has its own plans for managing land within its jurisdiction.  While each would no doubt give a resolution by the West Virginia Legislature the appropriate weight, they would not be bound by it.

       While none of these actions by the Legislature have any immediate effect, they do tell us that something is afoot and that we should be vigilant.