Mohawk Ramblers ramble on, for now
This sculpture sits atop the Mohawk Ramblers clubhouse.
Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
Mohawk Ramblers motorcycle club in the Montague Plains near Lake Pleasant. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
MONTAGUE — The Mohawk Ramblers motorcycle club has a reprieve until the end of the year, at least. Apparently calling your legislator still works.
Rep. Stephen Kulik has wrangled an extension for the Ramblers, delaying an eviction from their state-owned clubhouse scheduled for June 14. The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife had notified the club that it would have to leave its home of 50 years on the Montague Plains for good June 14.
“The DFW has agreed to my request to allow the club to remain at least until the end of this year (12/31/14), during which time I will convene a meeting in Montague between the club, DFW officials, and the selectboard to discuss the situation and explore options for the future,” Kulik wrote in an email this week.
Club Treasurer John Burek this week was cautiously optimistic the planned meetings will find a more permanent solution.
“I don’t want people to stop calling and pressuring the politicians, because it’s not over; certainly we want to keep the pressure on and hopefully we can work something out, some kind of long-term lease or, like we talked about before, even purchasing the place,” Burek said.
Founded in 1958, the club has leased the cinder block building on Bartlett Road from various entities, lately the state, since the mid-1960s.
A DFW representative said the agency wants to raze the building and restore the Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area, an ecologically significant expanse of scrub pine.
The club and supporters argue its presence and cleanup efforts are the only thing preventing their corner of the plains from becoming the dumping ground many secluded roadsides are.
Pointing to their record of community service, the club had asked for and received support from the Montague Board of Selectmen.
Montague Inspector of Buildings and Lake Pleasant resident David Jensen voiced his support for the club as well.
“I live in Lake Pleasant ... I think losing the Montague Ramblers from that area will actually set back Fish and Wildlife’s goals,” Jensen said.
“It’s not a dump. If we go, that place will turn into a dump,” said club member Larry Richotte of Montague.
“That’s what we’re afraid of,” Jensen said.
You can reach Chris Curtis at: email@example.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257