Commission considering ban on ATVs in river

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - You may have seen ATV's riding the banks of the Comite River, but there's a move to change their route.

That's why Thursday at a Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, the last thing on the agenda was really the first thing on people's minds.  The commission is considering changing the rules and regulations of scenic rivers, including banning the use of a motor or other wheeled vehicles in the river beds.

"There are all kinds of ways to enjoy nature, but when you destroy nature by enjoying it, you that is kind of contradictory," said Debbie Pearson, who is for the changes.

She says she is not trying to take the fun out of anything but says driving ATV's and four-wheelers pollute the environment.

"It's an environmental ethic. Either you have it or you don't. I realize it's not just for us it's for those who come after us. Grandchildren, other generations you want to preserve that because once it's gone it's very difficult for natural habitats to restore themselves," said Pearson.

"It's possible that you have oil leaks but you have to look at the Mississippi River. Every day the tug boats go up and down the river," said James Evans

Evans is part of the ATV club Southern Mud Riderz and disagrees with banning motor vehicles in the river.  He says the board should make a careful decision.

"It's a place for us to go and spend family time. Yeah there is good and bad. But in anything you do everything you do there is bad. There is people who take advantage of it," said Evans.

The ATV's are noisy, but the complaint before the commission is about damage to the riverbanks.

The public has 90 days to send their comments.  The board may vote on the proposed changes as early as December.

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