Supporting the ATV idea

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This is in reference to the prejudicial letter regarding Commissioner (Scott) Adams’ proposal for the promotion of ATVs. I would like to see the statistics supporting the writer’s statement “people here for nature typically introduce higher levels of income and education than those interested in ATVs.”   

The median household income for a Citrus County family in 2007 (U.S. Census bureau) was $35,810. The median household income for ATV owners in 2007 (Specialty Vehicle Institute of America) was $52,800. While most ATV owners consider themselves “blue collar,” 23 percent of ATV owners have professional or managerial occupations. Seventy-five percent of ATV owners ride as a family recreational activity. The price of a new ATV runs between $4,000 and $11,000. So to ride as a family is not an insubstantial investment. 

Our public recreational lands should support the recreational interests of as many citizens as possible, including hunters, boaters, fisherman, hikers, horseback riders, bird watchers and ATV riders. Riding on public land in Florida requires vehicles be titled and permits acquired, which encourages people to ride legally and safely and increases the opportunity for ATV safety education. ATVs also provide access to lands people with mobility difficulties might not otherwise be able to enjoy. 

Having specified areas for a variety of activities ensures those activities are enjoyed without disruption to others. While no single approach is likely to solve all of the  ounty’s woes, taking steps to broaden the area’s recreational appeal is a logical course of action. For more information on ATV riding on public lands in Florida, go to http://floridaohv.org/ohv_locations.html#public.

Regina Fillinger