The ATV SEARCH EFFORT is nothing more nor less than an e-mail alert list of individuals who may be willing to share their time in search of missing or lost individuals. It is hoped that having this list available will speed up the search organization and eliminate confusion during the search process. The ATV SEARCH EFFORT is not intended to replace the various county search and rescue teams. The ATV SEARCH EFFORT is nothing more than additional search team to augment the local professionals and authorities. It is now time to organize the volunteers for the ATV Community.

It is not recommended that novice or new riders join the ATV Posse until they have had at least 100 hours of riding experience on an ATV. The reason for this is simple. Your own personal safety is most important.

Inexperienced or injured riders can also be a cause for the search of an area to be incomplete by virtue of their inability to enter or negotiate difficult terrain.

It is highly recommended that ATV SEARCH EFFORT participants have completed a State of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife ATV Safety Course or an ASI ATV Safety Course prior to joining the ATV SEARCH EFFORT.

Only those riders who are willing to wear DOT approved helmets during a search are invited to participate.

You must be at least 21 years of age and in good enough health to spend 6 hours in searching under difficult climatic conditions (winter or summer).

ATV SEARCH EFFORT participants must be willing to supply their own ATV, food, gas, equipment of all types and volunteer their time, all at no cost to the organizers of the search.

In a typical search volunteers will be asked to meet at a specific location, SUCH AS A Command Post (CP) and from there they will be assigned to cover an area (the actual size of the grid will vary with the area). The Maine Game Warden Service will assign search areas. There is usually very little known about the area by the organizers of the search. Thus, there are no known “easy” areas or “expert” areas.

The hours of the search will generally fluctuate depending on a call for one. If you can’t arrive right at a designated time it is not a problem, just come when you can get there. At the conclusion of the search each team and team member will be debriefed at the Command Post.

If searches are conducted on weekends it will only be by coincidence. A search may be called for any day of the week, including Sunday.

Searches will likely be conducted everywhere it is reasonably possible to find the missing person. However, ATV searches can only be conducted in locations where ATV use is permitted on existing routes and designated open ATV areas. Other groups of volunteers will be asked to search the urban areas and other areas where ATV use is not permitted. Our focus will be the expansive miles and millions of acres where ATVs are permitted. Private property will not be searched,unless the property owner specifically requests or otherwise grants permission for the search.

By joining the list you agree, that if you choose to participate in a search you will assume all liability for your actions and property. The organizers of the search, the distributors of information about the search, and this web site owners and operators are released from any and all liability and responsibility for your voluntary participation in any search. This is not an organization, just an alert list that you have volunteered to participate in.

In as much as the best searches are conducted by the people who know the area the best, every effort will be made to notify those ATV riders who are located closest to the area where the search is to be conducted. Nevertheless, in some cases, all ATV SEAQRCH EFFORT members may be notified in order to produce sufficient results to conduct a search.

You as a team leader, may request a standing assignment for a specific area, but, when you receive notice of a search you must report to the Command Post to assure the particular area has not already been assigned. Once the area has been search report back to the organizing person at the Command Post that you have completed your search. Otherwise the trail or area may be delegated to other participants.

No. You are a volunteer in every sense of the word. Participants are doing this literally out of the kindness of their hearts and at their own expense and responsibility.

No. The ATV SEARCH EFFORT encourages participants to be actively involved with their local ATV clubs and organizations. The ATV SEARCH EFFORT is an e-mailing alert list that may be used to quickly gather volunteers for searching activities. If possible, participants in the ATV SEARCH EFFORT may be given a recognition sticker for their helmet, or ATV. All we need now is for someone to donate funds for that purpose.

The organizers of the ATV SEARCH EFFORT alert list will offer the service of notifying the ATV SEARCH EFFORT members in situations where the system is invoked by state and local governmental authorities. The notification list will not be used unless and until the appropriate authorities request the SEARCH EFFORT be called out for a search.

If you have additional questions that are not answered on this page, please write to the person listed below.

YES! Volunteers are needed at the base control points for the search. These volunteers will need to show up early so that they can distribute information to arriving riders and get them checked in. They will coordinate communications with the search party and the central Command Post. The more knowledge these volunteers have about the areas of the search the better the search will be.

NO! Unless you are presently an officer of the law, under any of its jurisdictions, you will have no law enforcement authority. You may not detain anyone who is unwilling to talk with you for any reason. If you have reason to believe that there are suspicious conditions, contact the police at once. Do not take matters into your own hands. Do not risk danger to yourself or to others in your group. Off duty law officers are certainly welcome to join the ATV SEARCH EFFORT.

Please contact the ATV SEARCH EFFORT Organizer listed below and supply them with your current e-mail address. If not, your notice will be returned and you will likely only hear of the search on the evening news.

Please reply to the sender of the search notice if you can participate in a search. If you will be arriving late that is okay, just let the team know when they can reasonably expect you. If you cannot participate, that is okay. No reply is necessary. We’ll catch you next time.

How do I join the ATV SEARCH EFFORT?

Please send an email to ATV Maine Safety Officer. Please include “ATV SEARCH EFFORT” in the subject of the e-mail and/or use the “Contact Us” webpage. Please copy the following text into the body of the e-mail, and then complete your information.

  • Name:
  • Are you over 21 Years old?
  • County and City of residence:
  • Approximate HOURS of ATV riding Experience:
  • Do you belong to a club? If so, please give the club name:
  • Counties (in Maine) where you would prefer to search:
  • Would you like to be a Command Post volunteer?
  • Can you also participate in a Snowmobile Search party?
  • Approximate HOURS of ATV riding Experience:
  • If you are not presently receiving the monthly newsletter and update from the ATV Maine website, would you like to?

If the information is not complete you may not be added to the list. Reasonable efforts may be made to obtain missing information. The information contributed will remain confidential and will only be used for notifying ATV riders of potential search opportunities.