Published Thu, May 10, 2012 12:21 pm Dateline
Updated Thu, May 10, 2012 3:07 pm
A debate is brewing over the future of a possible ATV park in our region.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is pondering building an "adventure park" to attract more visitors to the Burr Oak State Park, but not everyone is jumping on board.
Andrew Bashaw, executive director the Buckeye Trail Association, says he doesn't think this project will benefit the majority of park visitors.
"I think three percent of the Ohio families that enjoy using ATV's on public lands would be drawn to this facility. I think the 70 percent of Ohio's families that enjoy hiking on public lands would be excluded from this park, including the people who use it for hunting, wildlife watching," he said.
The park would include miles of ATV trails, along with attractions like zipline and paintball courses, and according to Bashaw, ODNR has already started on the project.
"ODNR, Division of Parks and Recreation, has already begun and perhaps completed flagging the routes for the ATV trails," he said.
However, ODNR said in a statement "the lodge at Burr Oak is...our number one priority...and no decision has been made on the lodge or any other activities at the park".
Bashaw says he hopes ODNR will seek more public input before moving forward with anymore of the project.
"It's difficult for the buckeye trail to be in the same place as loud and faster ATVs," said Bashaw. "We're deeply concerned, and as a hiking trail, most hikers know about the conflict between ATVs and hiking. So we feel like there should be some public commenting [on it]."
Bashaw was a guest on WOUB's Newswatch program last night.