We read with complete disgust and horror that 17-year-old James Edler was severely injured while riding his ATV on what was most likely the Anna and Daniel Mulvihill Preserve [“Teen On Quad Injured On Booby-Trapped Trail,” August 12].
Whoever “clotheslined” him should be arrested for attempted murder.
We would like to point out, however, that James was not supposed to be anywhere near the Mulvihill Preserve on his ATV.
There are many, many signs warning ATVs to keep out. According to the Peconic Land Trust, the land straddles the Ronkonkoma Moraine and serves as a significant groundwater recharge area. Sixty-five percent of the land is forest; the other 35 percent contains numerous ponds, swamps and vernal pools. Over 160 different varieties of birds have been identified on the property, along with over three dozen types of butterflies. And then we have the reptiles — salamanders, box turtles, snakes — and our huge collection of deer, rabbits, squirrels and more.
The damage done by ATVs on the trails of this fragile ecosystem has been well documented. Gentle use by hikers and birdwatchers is encouraged; noisy ATVs are not.
We regret that James’s parents are aware that his trail riding is illegal but likened it to “mischief caused by teenagers on a summer weekend in the village.” Seriously? It is not wise or helpful to condone in any way behavior that is illegal and call it “mischief.” James is not a little child.
Perhaps his parents could be fined or given community service hours working on the trails of the preserve?
Bottom line: We need to send a message that preserved land is preserved land.
We wish James a speedy recovery and hope that he will ride his ATV more responsibly in the future.
Carol Mulvihill Ahlers
Mary Mulvihill Pecoraro
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One fine body…