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For Release: Friday, May 25, 2012

Multi-Agency Effort Nets Three ATV Impoundments and Seven Summonses

An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) detail utilizing the combined efforts of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Suffolk County law enforcement resulted in charges against three people who were caught riding illegally on protected Pine Barrens lands, DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today.

"Illegal ATV use damages valuable natural resources and important wildlife habitat, especially in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Pine Barrens," said Director Scully. "Using multi-agency approaches organized through the Pine Barrens Commission, we are able to more effectively and efficiently enforce our environmental and local laws. Law enforcement from both DEC and Suffolk County did outstanding jobs protecting our resources and bringing those who attempted to skirt the law to justice."

On Saturday, May 19, DEC forest rangers and environmental conservation officers (ECOs), along with Suffolk County Park Police and the Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff's office participated in an ATV detail organized by the Pine Barrens Commission Law Enforcement Council's Multi-agency ATV Task Force. Eight officers assisted in the detail and patrolled pine barrens lands in central and eastern Brookhaven Town following reports of ATV activity in the area. During the seven-hour detail, three ATVs were impounded and seven summonses were written on and around DEC's Rocky Point Natural Resource Area, including one summons issued for allowing an eight-year-old child to illegally operate a vehicle.

Summonses written included:

  • two tickets for operating an ATV on Public lands;
  • one ticket for operating an ATV on private lands without written consent;
  • one ticket for a parent allowing a juvenile under the age of 16 to illegally operate an ATV;
  • one ticket for operating an unregistered ATV;
  • one ticket for operating an ATV without liability insurance; and
  • one ticket for operating an ATV without a helmet.

Three ATVs were impounded by Suffolk County Parks Police during the detail. The vehicles included one Enduro (off-road motorcycle), one quad and one mini-dirt bike. Impound fees can cost as much as $500 for release of a vehicle.

Individuals ticketed by DEC law enforcement personnel include Jose M. Morales, 24, Mastic and Vincent Giampino, 48, Miller Place.

All of the tickets are returnable to Suffolk County First District Court in Islip. Individuals spotting illegal activities are encouraged to call DEC's environmental conservation officers at (631) 444-0250 during business hours, and (877) 457-5680 or (518) 408-5250 at all other times. DEC forest rangers can be reached at (631) 444-0291.

The ATV detail was organized by the Pine Barrens Commission Law Enforcement Council (LEC). This council was formed in 1993 and is one of three major councils created by the Commission. Currently the LEC consists of 26 member law enforcement and public safety agencies that have some sort of jurisdiction within the Central Pine Barrens. The LEC conducts monthly meetings to discuss problems, exchange ideas and discuss law enforcement in the Pine Barrens. These meetings are open to the public and take place on the fourth Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. The next meeting will take place at the Wertheim Preserve on June 28. Visit the Central Pine Barrens website (link on right side of page) for further details.

The Multi-Agency ATV task force was formed to combat illegal ATV activity as well as other violations in the Pine Barrens. Over the years these details have impounded more than a 1,000 illegal ATV's and issued more than 2,400 ATV related summonses. These patrols and details have also resulted in scores of other enforcement actions, from weapons, dumpings, drugs, and illegal off roading.

ATV and dirt bike riding is not authorized on any DEC property on Long Island, due to Long Island's sandy soils and the tremendous resource damage that dirt bikes and ATVs can do by creating ruts in trails, tearing up native vegetation and the potential to disturb other authorized recreational users of DEC property. To operate an ATV on private land, a rider must have permission of the land owner or lessee.