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More All-Terrain Riders Means Officers' Resources Challenged

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Chris Jensen for NHPR
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More riders on all-terrain vehicles are being seen on New Hampshire trails — and now, on some local and state roads — and the Fish and Game Department's 42 conservation officers are feeling stretched.

In recent years, towns in Coos, Grafton, Sullivan counties and elsewhere have been allowed to open up their roads to the vehicles, beyond the state's 1,200 miles of riding trails.

Riding is allowed on state roads in some communities. Police are in charge of handling reckless driving and speed complaints. But conservation officers, who enforce regulations primarily on trails, also have responded to the roads as they also juggle non ATV-related issues like searches and rescues, hunting and wildlife.

A department official said the group can't possible take on all the additional road enforcement.

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