Public Urged to Get Behind Effort as Ritchie Bill Clears Key Legislative Committee
State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging sportsmen, seniors and every New Yorker who enjoys the great outdoors to sign her online petition to allow side-by-side UTVs to be legally registered in the state. The petition can be found here.
More than 2,000 members of the public—from across New York State and as far away as Tennessee, Florida and California—have already signed the petition calling on the Assembly to pass Senator Ritchie’s bill (S.1946). Most signers indicated that they were ATV owners.
Senator Ritchie’s bill cleared a key legislative hurdle Tuesday when it was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. The full Senate is expected to act on the bill in the next few weeks.
New York is the only state in the nation that does not allow UTVs to be legally registered and, while the Senate has approved Senator Ritchie’s bill each year for the past three years, the Assembly has failed to act even once.
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill directing the state to create “gift cards” that can be used for hunting and fishing license and other fees won final approval in the Senate today.
“Hunting , fishing and outdoor sports are traditions that are handed on from generation to generation, and these gift cards will make it easier for parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends to share their love of the outdoors,” said Senator Ritchie.
Last year, the state Department of Environmental Conservation unveiled gift cards that could be used for camping fees at state-run campgrounds.
The State Senate gave approval today to a bill striking down New York’s one-of-a-kind ban on popular side-by-side all-terrain vehicles. The measure is sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo.
The bill (S.1946-A) would raise the weight limit for ATVs to 1,500 pounds, from the current 1,000 pounds, an outdated limit that has prevented virtually all of the side-by-side units, knows as UTVs, from being legally used on trails in the state.
A companion bill in the State Assembly has been moving through committees, and could come to a vote later this week, before the scheduled end of this year’s legislative session. The bill is currently in the Ways and Means Committee.
“State leaders are going all out to encourage New Yorkers to explore the great outdoors, but outdated laws prevent them from using UTVs that are wildly popular in every other state in the nation, to visit the ever-increasing network of trails that are being designed and built especially for these vehicles,” Senator Ritchie said.
Funding Will Help Promote Events, Raise Awareness of Region’s Waterways
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $150,000 in special funding to support fishing tournaments and boost tourism in the Central and Northern New York regions. The funding will support 15 tournaments, including nine in St. Lawrence, four in Jefferson and two in Oswego County.
Included in the funding is support for the 2014 BASS Eastern Divisional Championship, which will take place in September in Waddington as well as funding for the NYS BASS Masters tournament, which will be held in August in Ogdensburg.
“Here in Central and Northern New York, our rivers, lakes and streams are phenomenal natural resources that not only offer world-class opportunities for fishing, they also attract tourists to our area, boosting our local economy and creating jobs,” said Senator Ritchie.
Whether it’s on the mighty St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Sandy Pond, or any of the other many bodies of water that dot our region, there’s not much that’s better than casting your line on a summer day.
Not only is fishing a way of life here in Central and Northern New York, it’s also a major economic driver; helping to reel in $1.8 billion annually for our state. While this industry helps to create jobs and has a significant impact on our bottom line, there’s still plenty of room for growth and countless opportunities for attracting even more sportsmen to our region.
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s plan to create a “St. Lawrence Wine Trail,” highlighting for tourists and local residents the growing number of wineries and quality wines produced in the North Country, was approved by the Senate today. The bill (S.6321) now goes to the Governor for his signature.
$100,000 in state funds caps three-year effort to battle invasive weeds in St. Lawrence County's biggest lake
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $100,000 to help fight weeds on Black Lake, a popular spot for fishing, boating and outdoor recreation in St. Lawrence County.
In recent years, Eurasian Milfoyle—a non-native nuisance weed which forms dense mats of vegetation that shades out native species—has plagued Black Lake; disrupting water flow, hurting water quality, and hampering boating, fishing and swimming.
“For generations, Black Lake has provided countless opportunities for outdoor recreation to both tourists and local residents,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m thrilled to be able to provide this funding which will improve the quality of and access to Black Lake—two things that are critical not only to boosting tourism but also for enjoyment by those who call Northern New York home.”