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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

OFFICIALS CRACK DOWN ON ATVS, ILLEGAL HUNTING

by Mackenzie Ryan
Staff Writer
Dec. 9, 2004

In the last few weeks, the state Department of Natural Resources has been helping the Lake Linganore Association to crack down on illegal hunting and all-terrain vehicle riding south of the lake.

Since Nov. 27, when hunting season began, the law enforcement division of the DNR has gotten a handful of calls from Eaglehead residents with concerns about gunshots in the community.

The undeveloped land south of the lake has been a deer's paradise for a number of years, with acres of forested land free of natural predators and the animals' most dangerous adversary, the car. Deer have thrived, growing in size and population, and hunters seeking out prize game there have become a safety issue, said association General Manager Clay Edwards.

The land in question is owned by developer Land Stewards and managed by the association, and firearms and ATVs are strictly not allowed, Edwards said.

"It's not just a danger to the Lake Linganore residents, it's a danger to all the residents in the area," Edwards said.

In the last week, the DNR police have charged one person with hunting without permission, given one warning and apprehended three ATVs on the property, said Officer Michael Friend.

"It's an area that has been neglected in the last few years, so we've been enforcing the written permission requirement," Friend said.

In Maryland, hunters must have written permission to shoot guns or use ATVs on private property, Friend said. To use ATVs on public property, written permission and a permit is also required, he said.

The use of ATVs and dirt bikes is destructive, as the dozen or so paths carved out through the years have led to ruts that collect water, carrying silt and other debris toward the lake, Edwards said. ATVs can destroy underbrush and small trees, as well.

Enforcing the rules, and making the community a safer place has been a priority for Edwards since Oct. 11, when vandals caused more than $5,600 worth of damage by throwing bricks through 14 cards, trucks, a police car and a school bus in the community.

Vandals also damaged two custom-made cedar signs in the community, marking the entrances to the Summerfield Village and the Eaglehead community. The Summerfield sign was torn off a pole, causing more than $1,000 in damage. The Eaglehead sign, which was torn and smashed, will cost about $10,000 to replace, Edwards said.

To help make the community a safer place, and keep damage to association property (and thus association dues) down, the association is adding a community support specialist position in January. The association-funded position will help monitor disturbances in the area, he said.

A tip line (301-831-6400, ext. 18) was also established after the vandalism incidents. People who call the number may remain anonymous. The number is monitored by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

Edwards named general manager

The Lake Linganore Association Board of Directors named Interim General Manager Clay Edwards to the General Manager position at Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting.

"I never approached it like an interim position," Edwards said. The general manager runs the daily operations of the association.

Among Edwards' goals are changing the perception of Lake Linganore. He wants residents to be proud of where they live. He also wants to continue projects the association is working on to make the community a better, safer place to live.

Edwards has worked previously as assistant general manager, and has been with the association for eight months. The former general manager, Stephen Hembree, stepped down in October to take a part-time position with the association that focuses on long-term projects.

The Lake Linganore Association Board of Directors will meet next on Jan. 17. The association's offices will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4.

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