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Riders leaving snowmobile trails puts easements at risk


A rash of complaints about riders not respecting the trails could put some snowmobile trails at risk.

Jim Wendt, president of the Oneida County Snowmobile Council, says the area has ideal riding conditions.

Wendt says they are seeing problems with riders going off trails.

That’s not only dangerous but also constitutes trespassing.

“That landowner calls and says ‘Okay boys. I told you to stay on the trail. You ran over my septic. You ran over my new trees that I planted. I’m sorry, but the trails closed”, said Wendt.

He says rerouting a trail is a big challenge.

Wendt doesn't want to see problems continue because snowmobiling is big business for the Northwoods.

“Snowmobiling makes it a four-season destination. If one of these seasons were to disappear, everyone’s property values would be slashed by 30, 40 percent. I mean, what would somebody want to do in the wintertime up here.”

The region has also seen a large number of snowmobile-related fatalities in the last week prompting the DNR and local clubs to put out a call urging riders to stay safe.

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