To the Editor: Thank you supporters of HB 1316, the Hoit Road Marsh OHRV compromise.
On March 3rd, the House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development voted unanimously 20 to nil, not to kill our amendment and send it to a study committee. Representative Jack Flanagan filed the amendment on behalf of the Merrimack Valley Trail Riders, a Concord OHRV club. Committee Chairman Suzanne Smith said that this amendment has produced more testimony, emails, and discussion than any other issue in a long time.
We wish to thank Representative Flanagan, and those who supported our amendment: The NH Off Highway Vehicle Association, The American Motorcyclist Association, NH Fish and Game Dept., and OHRV clubs across the state and nation.
The compromise allows OHRVs back on the ice at the Hoit Road Marsh State Wildlife Management Area, permitting recreational OHRV use from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. three days per week, and hunter and fisherman use at anytime. The marsh is located in one square mile of public land away from houses. This marsh is the first and only NH public body of water with a winter OHRV ban.
In 2019, the ban was implemented by a very unusual process. There were no public hearings in the city of Concord or in the state Legislature. The ban was one sentence slipped into the middle of the 300+ page state budget by the six-member Senate Finance Committee just before it was sent to the governor. The property manager, New Hampshire Fish and Game, was not consulted.