ATV drivers continue to be a problem for farmers in parts of southern Manitoba.

"Mud bogging seems to be a popular sport, and lo and behold, our fields are ideal sites for this to take place. We're seeing damage in fields where guys still hoped to have some crop to harvest," says Ian Wishart, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers.

"When it comes to ATVs, farmers really have a strange relationship. They're excellent tools on the farm...but in the wrong hands they can become quite destructive. They give people access to areas we normally wouldn't have to worry about them being in and so they create liability issues," he explains. He says the machines themselves are not the problem. Instead Wishart says the problem is a lack of respect for landowners and landowners' rights.

Wishart says KAP is hoping to work with the newly-formed ATV Association of Manitoba on informing drivers about landowners' rights and the liability issues involved. He notes, by working with snowmobile associations, this approach has worked with snowmobile riders. He says it's time to focus on ATVs because they are being marketed as "toys" to a sector of the population that is not always aware of the damage they can do.

~ Friday, October 8, 2010 ~