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ATV/UTV motorized trails changes for Vilas County 15-year plan

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Photo courtesy of oneidacountywi.com
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Changes in Chapter 26 of the comprehensive 15 year Vilas County forest plan pertaining to motorized trails on the county forest and allowing ATV/UTV travel on selected county highways was approved by the forestry, recreation and land committee last week and is expected to come before the full county board when they meet Sept. 28.

According to forest administrator Al Murray, county highway commissioner Troy Schalinske had requested changes for clarification on the process the highway committee is to use when requests come in.

“They generally had to do with maintenance, signage, and safety operating these machines on the county highway system and county highway rights-of-way” Murray said. “The revisions also include all county highways in the Town of Presque Isle that have been requested by the town board.”

Those highways total just under 25 miles and include portions of Highways B, W, M, P, and K. Concern was expressed to the committee by Robert Berdan on the safety of Highway P from Highway W south to Highway K.

“Highway P has many curves and hills, is only 20 feet wide with no shoulders and only one small area in its seven miles where passing is permitted,” Berdan said. “It is not safe and Chapter 26 places responsibility for safety with the highway commissioner but that has not happened.”

Murray indicated the revisions providing responsibility to the highway commissioner will be reviewed by the highway committee when they meet Sept. 21. If approved, the revised Chapter 26 will go to the Sept. 28 County Board meeting for consideration.

The committee adopted the revisions after changing the definitions of ATV/UTV’s to meet the specifications of state statutes and voted to forward the revised document to the highway committee.