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Editorial: Let’s find solution for motorcycle club

When it comes to the Mohawk Ramblers Motorcycle Club and the potential loss of its clubhouse in the Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area, we would like to think that some kind of solution can be found.

After all, the motorcycle club has not only been a fixture in the community — it was founded in 1958, in part to counter the negative image that motorcycle riders often had in those days — but it’s been at home in the plains for roughly 50 years. And the group has been a tenant that the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has been happy to have, even if the vision for the property and building on Bartlett Road has been to eventually restore the place to its natural habitat.

There’s no doubt the state is within its rights here. The Mohawk Ramblers have been leasing the property and the official lease expired a number of years ago, though club has been allowed to stay through an informal agreement. Maybe the club should have seen that their time at this particular location was running out. At any rate, the state sent its eviction letter in November and now, with little time to spare before an move out deadline of June 14, the club is seeking to rally public support.

At the same time, it seems as if Boston hasn’t been exactly crystal clear in its communications.

Nevertheless, there should be some kind of solution here that can satisfy both parties.

To start with, would the club be able to buy the clubhouse and the land it sits on? In speaking to Montague selectmen last week, club member John Burek of Shelburne Falls said the Mohawk Ramblers would be willing to buy the land if a deal could be worked out. If that isn’t a satisfactory idea for Fisheries and Wildlife, perhaps the agency would be able to locate a suitable alternative for a new club home.

If these ideas don’t work, we suggest providing the club with a little more time. After all, helping this group, which has raised money for local charities, cleaned up roadside trash and otherwise helped to discourage people from using the plains as a garbage dump, is a much better answer — with better public relations for the state — than leaving the Mohawk Ramblers in the ditch.

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