Leave The Woods Alone - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1718706

Leave The Woods Alone

Words are inadequate to express how despicable is the act of booby-trapping a trail in our local forest [“Teen On Quad Injured On Booby-Trapped Trail,” 27east.com, August 12]. I hope the cruel person or persons are located and prosecuted promptly.

I am pleased to know that the injured young man is recovering and was not injured more seriously, as he easily could have been.

I also hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Riding ATVs through our delicate, treasured ecosystems must have legal consequences or it will never be curtailed. Laws are only as good as their enforcement.

Our preserves are intended for conservation above all. Use of them by humans must never be permitted to damage their ecological balance. Taxpayers have paid millions for preservation to protect these beautiful parcels for future generations and as critical habitat for the invaluable species that reside in and migrate through them.

Riding ATVS in nature sanctuaries crushes turtles and their eggs, threatens endangered salamanders and other amphibians, tears up rare flowering native plants, and imperils numerous other species. ATV noise pollution disrupts successful songbird and raptor breeding and nesting, as well as harming our mammal populations.

Selfish riders cut new, damaging trails and erode existing ones. They also rob community members of the nourishing peace of walking in the woods, especially in these troubled times. This boy and his father clearly care nothing of these shared community values nor of the vulnerable ecosystems that surround their second home.

According to your paper, both he and his father show no remorse for this illegal riding. The father’s entitled remarks indicate a grave ignorance of the fragile ecology their family is fine with damaging. It is obvious from both of their comments that they intend for the illegal behavior to resume.

The ATV should be impounded, sold to a facility where their use is legal and the proceeds applied to trail maintenance. Any fines resulting from the criminal case against the boy should also be applied to protect our natural world, such as for the salary of a ranger.

The juvenile young man at the very least, should do significant and appropriate community service. After that, they should go home to Farmingville and leave our beloved woods alone.

Mary Ann Mulvihill-Decker

Sag Harbor

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