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Vilas County Sees Support for All Year ATV Access on County Roads

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Portions of Vilas County highways open for travel by ATV/UTV’s only for a limited period from May 1 to  October 31 while a number of towns have town roads open all year has caused confusion for both riders and law enforcement.

That could be changed if a recommendation from the county forestry, recreation and land committee moves forward. The committee heard from a number of ATV clubs last week asked for consideration to open those county roads with access all year.

Roger Flaherty spoke for a number of ATV clubs at the committee meeting.

“All county roads that have access to ATV routes should be open all year rather than May to October,” Flaherty said. He was supported by committee member Dan Swiecichowski who also is chair of the county recreational trails safety committee who agreed “they should be open year around.”

Swiecichowski was pleased multiple ATV and snowmobile club representatives were at the meeting.

The county highways affected would include Highway B from Highway 45 to the Boulder Junction town line, all of Highway E from Highway 17 in Phelps to Highway 45, all of Highway A to the Forest County line, all of Highway S, Highway K from Highway E to the Plum Lake town line, all of Highway D to  the Oneida County line. Highway C in St. Germain is being considered to connect with current ATV trails since the town has not yet opened their town roads all year.

County highway commissioner Troy Schalinske indicated a review of the anticipated proposal found no complaints from his committee members.

County board chairman Ron DeBruyne also was in favor and indicated “this needs to be forwarded to the highway committee” for support. It would then involve amending the county ordinance and sent to the full county board.

The committee requested the highway committee to approve the change at their next meeting and send a resolution to the full county board for action at their March meeting.

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