Assemblyman Blankenbush Sponsoring Legislation to Benefit ATV Riders, Local Economy

Now that the snow has finally begun to melt, many of our recreational trails throughout the North Country will no longer be humming with the sounds of snowmobiles, but ATVs instead. ATVs are used by 1.9 million New Yorkers each year and are economically vital to the North Country, with riders from all over the country eating in our local restaurants, shopping in our stores, and staying in our hotels.

That’s why I am sponsoring legislation that would allow more owners of recreational vehicles to take advantage of our trail system. The bill, A6250 (also S3318, sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie), redefines the definition of an ATV to include side-by-side utility vehicles up to 1,500 pounds. New York state has lagged behind other states in redefining ATVs to include UTVs, and as a result, the state has lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in registration and sales tax revenue, not to mention tourism dollars.

As I’ve met with sportsmen and outdoor recreation enthusiasts around my district, time and again I’ve been asked, “What can be done to make New York friendlier to ATV riders?” This legislation to allow riders to register and ride UTVs legally in New York is one big step in that direction.

Another thing we can do is allow ATVs to travel on certain public highways and roads in order to gain access to nearby trails. While the trail system in the North Country is well connected, there are areas that do not link up. Therefore, I support legislation, A1282/S1205, that would allow municipalities to designate certain public highways or portions of roads as open for travel by ATVs in order for riders to gain access to trails adjacent to these roads.

Outdoor recreation, from hunting and fishing to snowmobiling and ATV riding, is vital to our upstate economy, bringing in millions of dollars each year in tourism revenue. As your assemblyman, I will continue to do all I can to support the state’s outdoor enthusiasts and our important tourism industry.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with your questions or concerns at 315-493-3909, or email at