Sunday, September 11, 2011

Follow up on the quad issue on Boa Vista

An article in the Portuguese newspaper A Semana describes meetings that will lead to greater restrictions on the use of quads on Boa Vista, including setting up routes that the quads may use without disturbing turtles or sensitive dunes and vegetation.  The article is in Portuguese, but a rough translation is below.  The article appears at:  A Semana article about quad bikes on Boa Vista.

From A Semana, online Portuguese news.Quad bikes to have their own routes on Boa Vista
 September 11, 2011
The four-wheel motorcycles will have their own routes on Boa Vista as part of a measure to put a stop to the unbridled and unrestricted movement of these vehicles, used mainly for sightseeing. Finally there has been response to farmers in the interior who saw their fields ruined by quads, and environmentalists who have complained over and over about turtle nests wiped out by these four-wheeled monsters. For years regulations on the use of quads was unenforced, and the problem has increased dramatically as tourism increases.  Despite a regulation that prohibits the use of quads less than eighty yards from the seafront, beaches are invaded by the noisy caravans, often destroying the nests of turtles, and even agricultural areas, especially in the
Povoação Velha area.

To satisfy the demands of residents and environmentalists and put an end to this situation a commission was set up to set a route for such vehicles in all the protected areas and agricultural areas. The route should be outlined by representatives of SDTIBM, Town Hall, National Police, Office of the Ministry of Environment and turtle protection organizations.

The meeting took place between the entities at the end of August and this week the paths for the quads should be decided. The commission went to visit the beaches of Varandinha, Santa Monica, Lacacão, Curral Velho and Boa Esperança to identify and define the regulation. "Further, the route comes with an operational plan for monitoring that will involve several institutions," said Nadir Almeida delegate Maritime Boa Vista.

With the route ready, the commission shall make known to the fleet of motorcycle rental agencies operating in Boa Vista. "We will deliver roadmaps for agencies to hire tour guides who know the roads well," Nadir Almeida said there will be additional information panels installed on the paths.

The supervision will be tightened, says the delegation, which also announced severe measures in order to protect the dunes and the sea turtles that nest between June and October on the pristine beaches of Boa Vista. "Whoever fails to comply will have to cope with heavy fines," concludes the representative of the agency responsible for the coastline.

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