Author Topic: Coy Hill (  (Read 7312 times)

Offline tiggertj

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Coy Hill (
« on: January 10, 2008, 05:39:46 PM »
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-170724377.html


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Stopping traffic; Off-roaders unwelcome at Coy Hill.(LOCAL NEWS)
From: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)  |  Date: 11/4/2007
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Byline: Bradford L. Miner

WARE - With its sheer rock faces, rock-strewn access roads beneath power lines, and trails cut into the mixed hardwood forest, the Coy Hill Wildlife Management Area, abutting Palmer Wildlife Management Area and private parcels, has become something of a mecca for Jeep owners from across the state and beyond.

Until recently, if one were to search Google for "Coy Hill" and "Jeep," a host of forums of Jeep owners and clubs would come up, along with photos of Jeeps climbing rock faces and negotiating trails.

Now much of the wildlife management area boundary has been posted by the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, and the state Environmental Police has spread the word as officers encounter violators and trespassers that Coy Hill is off limits as a four-wheeling destination.

Lt. John Pajak of the Environmental Police said those who ignore the signs may be subject to arrest, stiff fines and forfeiture of their vehicles - whether they are driving Jeeps, dirt bikes or all-terrain vehicles.

William J. Davis, Central District manager for the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, said he has walked the site with Environmental Police officers and characterized the damage as extraordinary.

"The damage that Jeeps have done to the Coy Hill Wildlife Management Area is as bad as I've seen on any of the 35,000 acres of wildlife management land here in Worcester County," Mr. Davis said.

He said there has been significant intrusion on wetlands, substantial soil erosion and an overall impact on wooded upland wildlife habitat, where new trails for Jeeps have been illegally cut.

Mr. Davis said all-terrain vehicle damage has been a recurring problem at many wildlife management areas in Central Massachusetts, and the damage at Coy Hill is primarily the work of full-sized off-road vehicles.

He said the Environmental Police told him that Coy Hill had been identified as a popular destination for off-road Jeep riding on several Internet forums and video Web sites.

"Those sites are now reporting that Coy Hill has been closed to riding. In fact it was never open. Motorized off-road vehicles of any size are banned from any wildlife management area in the state," the district manager said.

Mr. Davis said wetland species in particular have borne the brunt of the Jeep intrusion.

"There was one wetland we looked at, a former beaver impoundment that was a quarter- to a half-acre in size, that had been literally turned to mud soup by Jeep activity," he said, adding that at the edge of that wetland there was a great blue heron nest - "no doubt an active nest when the beaver were present."

Mr. Davis said he was unsure whether any of the state's endangered, threatened or "special concern" species live on the 550-acre parcel that abuts the 1,017-acre Palmer Wildlife Management Area to the west.

"Illegal riding of off-road motorized vehicles on WMAs statewide has been identified by the Fisheries & Wildlife Board as a priority issue, and a working group has been put together with representatives of our agency, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the state environmental police. What we've found works best so far is a combination of education and enforcement at the local level, following trails to the source, knocking on doors, talking with abutting landowners. And then if our education efforts fall short, we follow up with enforcement," he said.

Lt. Pajak said in light of the extensive environmental damage and the level of activity in the Coy Hill and Palmer wildlife management areas, the area would remain a priority for enforcement efforts.

"I have a written order from Maj. Bruce Bennett, inland enforcement bureau chief, that we're to enforce all relevant laws, and if anyone is seen wantonly damaging wildlife habitat they are to be arrested, their vehicles seized, and the responsible parties pursued in court for restitution," he said.

Lt. Pajak said that while working closely with area town police departments, he was also working closely with the state police, and the state police Air Wing helicopter would be one of the assets he would call upon if needed.

"If they are in the area, I can call them directly for spotting where vehicles are, and where they are headed," he said.

Lt. Pajak said vehicle violators within a wildlife management area are subject to arrest, and the offenses carry penalties of a $100 fine or 30 days in jail.

"If there are wetlands violations, then Department of Environmental Protection regulations apply and the fines are considerably higher," he added.

Mr. Davis said it doesn't help when railroad tracks or power lines abut or bisect a wildlife management area.

"Both over time have proven to be major arteries for off-road vehicles of all sizes to get from point A to point B. Additionally, there seems to be a perception among many that it's legal to ride on power company right-of-ways. In fact, 90 percent of those rights of way are over private property, and it's up to the individual landowner," he said.

While some private property owners do allow organized groups and clubs permission to ride on power company rights of way if they do it responsibly, Mr. Davis said it's prominently noted in the wildlife management area regulations that all off-road vehicles are prohibited.

Lt. Pajak said the environmental police were made aware of the severity of the problem about a week or so before the Ware River News published an article headlined "The Battle for Coy Hill."

"Among ourselves we talked about the extent of the problem, how many vehicles might be involved and how we would deal with it," Lt. Pajak said.

At that point, he said, Environmental Police were unaware of the extent of the environmental damage.

An officer was assigned to that area on the weekend to assess the type and number of vehicles so that police could come up with an enforcement plan.

"After that first weekend, when I learned that groups of 30 or more - many from out of state - were riding in the area, I decided to assign several environmental police officers and worked as well with Ware (Police) Chief Dennis Healey," he said.

"Chief Healey and I decided that Ware officers would patrol the parking areas along Route 9 and dissuade riders from any unlawful access or activity," the lieutenant said.

"It wasn't just Prendiville Road. Some were parking near Janine's and crossing private property to get to the top of the hill. In fact there's a brook there and some were going right up the brook to get to the road," Lt. Pajak said.

The lieutenant said he had received a similar number of complaints about illegal riding in the abutting Palmer Wildlife Management Area and, as a result, officers were deployed there as well.

"We were essentially covering an area from Coy Hill Road west to Rondeau Road," he said.

Lt. Pajak said enforcement efforts to date have included citing drivers, towing vehicles, and, in a couple of cases, arresting drivers.

He said there had been discussion of riding in the area with representatives of Underground Jeeps, a local riding club that has used the area in the past, but he's not certain of the value of informing one club of the fact that the area is off limits and riders need the permission of private landowners for any four-wheeling - other than on Prendiville Road itself.

Joseph Kaminski of Oxford, president of Underground Jeeps, said he and the club members were fully aware of the restrictions.

He said his club had obtained the permission of several landowners in the area to ride on private property. He said the chairman of the club's board of directors works for National Grid, another board member works for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and one of the club members is a state trooper.

"As a club, we follow all of the pertinent regulations and if we see violations, we take down plate numbers and pass them along to the Environmental Police," Mr. Kaminski said.

Lt. Pajak said as long as Prendiville remains a public road, it can be used by Jeep drivers, as well as by hunters going into the wildlife management area for game birds and deer.

"If at some point the road is legally abandoned by the town of Ware, the ownership of the road reverts to the property owners, and then it will be up to them as to whether or not they allow access," he said.

It the road were to be improved with help from the utility company that uses the road to access the power lines, eventually it could be gated and keys given to those who require access, and opened from Nov. 1 to Jan. 1 for hunting season.

ART: PHOTOS; MAP

CUTLINE: (1) Illegal dumping is apparent as "No Motorized Vehicles" signs are posted at Coy Hill Wildlife Management Area in Ware. (2) Although no motorized vehicles are allowed, the area is open to hunting, fishing and trapping. (3) Damage from motor vehicles is apparent in this wildlife management spot in Warren. (4) Bridgette McAlice and Bob Chapin hang "No Motorized Vehicles" signs at Coy Hill Wildlife Management Area. The property has sustained extensive damage from off-road vehicles. (MAP) Coy Hill Wildlife Management Area

PHOTOG: (PHOTOS) T&G Staff Photos/DAN GOULD

COPYRIGHT 2007 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group.
For permission to reuse this article, contact Copyright Clearance Center.



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Offline JeepMM2

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 06:14:51 PM »
The death knell for our sport is getting louder.
"I'M THE 82nd AIRBORNE, AND THIS IS AS FAR AS THE BASTARDS ARE GOING."
PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment  Dec. 23, 1944

Offline JeepinMaxx

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 06:46:35 PM »
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Offline Rubi Rick

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 06:57:00 PM »
I can't stand video games.  I always wanted to auctually be outside, directly involved, not playing a video fantasy.  I feel like I'm being forced to Hunt, fish, wheeling, mt biking, ect on video. All outdoor activities are slowly being smothered by "No trespassing"    >:(   
Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter. -Ernest Hemingway

Offline katrinka63

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2008, 07:44:38 PM »
Maybe we should all take up hiking  :rolleyes:

Offline JeepMM2

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2008, 08:02:53 PM »
Hiking?! You're kidding, right?
"I'M THE 82nd AIRBORNE, AND THIS IS AS FAR AS THE BASTARDS ARE GOING."
PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment  Dec. 23, 1944

Offline cjshloman

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 08:21:00 PM »
Screw hiking, did enough in the army....I say we take up sharpshooting.....greeny style.
My girlfriend can't fight, but you should see her box.....


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Offline JeepMM2

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2008, 11:43:39 AM »
Are there PACs available for our sport? Or 527s?
"I'M THE 82nd AIRBORNE, AND THIS IS AS FAR AS THE BASTARDS ARE GOING."
PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment  Dec. 23, 1944

toyworx

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2008, 12:15:09 PM »
Face it folks. This is a pay to play sport. Pubilc wheeling will be 100% gone within 5 years in the Northeast, and probably within 10-15 nation wide.

We'll end up wheeling in parks like Rausch (or the old Paragon) only. May want to get out of this sport now while you can and save yourself some money.

Offline Abrasion Sleeve

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2008, 12:18:12 PM »
Screw hiking, did enough in the army....I say we take up sharpshooting.....greeny style.

Just found you the perfect rifle. :mrgreen:



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Offline JeepMM2

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2008, 12:25:57 PM »
Army Puke?
"I'M THE 82nd AIRBORNE, AND THIS IS AS FAR AS THE BASTARDS ARE GOING."
PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment  Dec. 23, 1944

Offline sean_cj7

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 12:31:30 PM »
 :cry:
If you break/blow a tire/set your rig on fire and can't get yourself off the trail, the rest of us will do our best to help you and then mock you after the fact.

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 12:41:35 PM »
We'll end up wheeling in parks like Rausch (or the old Paragon) only.

 Speaking of.   Anyone know how that Lady who was trying to start a park in NY or the one in the works in NH have progressed or are they dead deals?

 Anyone want to move to Canada with me?




 
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toyworx

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 12:42:56 PM »
I was thinking the same thing Draz. Haven't heard anything come out of that yet.

There's an opportunity here BIG time for someone to start a Park.

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 12:45:28 PM »

 Yeah if they have the  :bling: to pull it off...  and can get past the Enviro police and local bureaucrats to be able to run one...


 I play powerball with JUST such a thing in mind...    :mrgreen:
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aafish

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2008, 12:46:14 PM »
Face it folks. This is a pay to play sport. Pubilc wheeling will be 100% gone within 5 years in the Northeast, and probably within 10-15 nation wide.

We'll end up wheeling in parks like Rausch (or the old Paragon) only. May want to get out of this sport now while you can and save yourself some money.

If you plan on the public to support a hobby that most of them don't like you need a reality check in a big way. The growth of the club/legal wheeling thing is its own worst enemy,double edged sword. I agree with Mike,private parks and private land are the only hope for the future.

aafish

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 12:51:27 PM »
I screwed up,the second have of that quote is what I wanted to say,don't know how to fix it though.

toyworx

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 12:53:46 PM »
fixed

Offline Abrasion Sleeve

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2008, 02:12:28 PM »
Draz, Canada is no picnic either. :rolleyes:

You think there are tree hugging liberals in CT, wait till you take a ride to Canada!  Every last one of them is a liberal pu$$y! :mad:

I can say that because most of my relatives live in Canada.  Goin back home I always end up in a fight with one of my uncles over the war or how bad the US is.  I usually answer back and say, "Where did you get your bypass sugury?  Oh Yeah, Boston MA!  Why?  Because the wonderful Canadian health care system said you could wait 2 or 3 months! :eek:"  He even paid for it out of his own pocket!  Yeah Canada is GREAT!
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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 03:59:30 PM »

 I've heard/experienced the exact opposite in Canada regarding health care.  Don't WANT to say it, but I am: In my opinion that's Republican drivel...

 I DO know the Tree hugers are in full effect there, but the areas west of Quebec and north/northeast in Newfoundland are so VAST there's PLENTY of places to go for just about ANY form of outdoor recreation...

 Google some Canadian 4x4 videos...  My brother-in-law and I are planning a group trip to the Saskatchewan region where we will be at LEAST a week away from ANY civilization in any direction on foot...

.
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Offline Greenhorn

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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2008, 06:04:31 PM »
To make things worse, all the "ex -coy hill yahoo's" are now tearing the shit out of P**** Hill for lack of place to wheel, with no respect for the winter closure months. It won't be long before that is closed as well. If there is something we can do as a team to prevent that, now is the time.
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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2008, 07:35:33 PM »

 Anyone know who the ranger is for that park?  We should contact them and offer to help with cleanup and gates etc.

.
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Re: Coy Hill (
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2008, 09:08:22 AM »
To make things worse, all the "ex -coy hill yahoo's" are now tearing the shit out of P**** Hill for lack of place to wheel, with no respect for the winter closure months. It won't be long before that is closed as well. If there is something we can do as a team to prevent that, now is the time.
Do you know which group(s) or individuals are going there?  Please PM me the info.

I'm still working on Coy.  It's slow going through the winter.  I have developed good relations with the town officials, but the main battle will be with the EPO's and state to regain access to the power line trail.  At this point, all we can do is keep a positive attitude.

As far as public wheelin', I have said for a while that it's migrating toward private areas.  It's the nature of the area we live in.  Everyone wants to be "green", and then take their full size SUV over to the new strip mall to buy stuff they don't need.