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Postby Scott Hatch » Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:42 pm

The following is the report from Bob Barry concerning the NEA RI Land Committee's current progress on Drive Shaft Hill


I will use this thread to keep people updated about the status of our favorite Smithfield trail.

So far, here is what we DEFINITELY know:

* There USED to be a road, called Wolf Hill Rd., that overlaps the beginning portion of the trail. The current status of the road has not been verified.

* The Northernmost entrance to the North part of the trail has been clearly marked NO TRESPASSING, so entrance to the trail from that end, and use of that section of the trail, at least within view of Rt. 114, is clearly not permitted.

* Conversations with Smithfield police officers have confirmed that they do not have a policy of restricting all access to the trail. That does not establish an unrestricted legal right to travel the trail, however.

Here is what the RI Land Committee has done so far:

* The Committee has stated that the trail is not clearly open for club use

* The Committee has published a set of interim guidelines for individuals who may be using the trail in the meantime:
1. NO entrance to the Southern section of the trail from Rt.44
2. Group size should be limited to 10 vehicles MAXIMUM; the smaller the group, the better
3. All ponds and deep-mud sections are to be considered off-limits and not to be used as vehicle obstacles
4. No entrance to the Northern section of the trail from Rt.114, and no use of the trail within sight of Rt.114.

* Roger Blank has obtained the names of the landowners across whose property the trail passes.

* Bob Barry, Roger Blank, John Cabral and Brian (I forget his last name) have scouted the section of the trail that coincides with Wolf Hill Rd

Here are the next steps that are going to be taken:

* Committee members will be meeting with Smithfield police department members who are sympathetic or supportive of OHV use of that trail and try to establish a set of policies that would be recognized by all members of the police department.

* John Cabral will get an overlay map of the trail coordinated with the names and holdings of the individual property owners.

* Comittee members will formally contact land owners to secure permission to drive on those trails.

Long-term goals:

* We hope to use Driveshaft Hill as a model of how utility rights-of-ways can be effectively managed as OHV recreational areas, and extend this model to other parcels

* Such a trail can be the object of a grant for Recreational Trail Program funds administered by the state of RI. Money can be an attractive incentive to landowners and municipalities to repair, construct and maintain a trail that would otherwise be neglected or abused.
Bob Barry
'78 Cherokee
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Scott Hatch
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