Woodruff, Lake Tomahawk town boards have no issue with ATV/UTV trails
Trails are in portions of the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest
The Woodruff and Lake Tomahawk town boards last week gave their approval to all terrain vehicle (ATV) and utility task vehicle (UTV) trails in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest.
Town chairman Mike Timmons said at the Sept. 12 Woodruff town board meeting he’d received notification from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Aug. 30 that the public comment period for ATV/UTV trails in the forest had ended Aug. 24.
“They (the DNR) still want a letter from us that says we would have no objection to a trail,” he said. “What it is is going back to the original plan and there would be a variance of the plan ... in the town of Woodruff, it takes off from Hasbrook Road, gets on one of the existing logging roads/snowmobile trails, it’ll come across and finally end up on (County) Highway D after it crosses over some private property which happens to be High Point Sand and Gravel.”
Town supervisor Corky Sheppard, also president of the Lakeland ATV Club, said the trail has been in public comment phase by the DNR “four times now.”
“Each time they change a little piece of it, Joe (Fieweger) sends the whole thing out again. We’re to the end.”
Fieweger is the DNR’s superintendent of the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest.
“They still have 123 miles in the Northern Highland that they could build on,” Timmons said. “I think this is a total of eight or nine miles.”
Sheppard, who alluded to a little of the history behind efforts to make the trail a reality, was asked what the point of the trail was for ATVs and UTVs.
“To get us off blacktop,” he said. “That’s all it is.”
When Timmons called for a vote on a motion from town supervisor Ray Christenson to send a letter of support, Sheppard abstained.
The next evening, on Sept. 13, the Lake Tomahawk town board also approved a motion to send a letter of support to the DNR for ATV/UTV trails in portions of the NHAL in Lake Tomahawk.
“I don’t know if you recall a couple years ago when we had the discussion about opening County Hwy. D and certain roads and I presented to the ATV club some alternative routes through the forest,” town chairman George DeMet said. “Well, lo and behold, the DNR has decided those seem like good routes.”
Referring to the Hasbrook Road portion mentioned the night before at the Woodruff town board meeting, DeMet said County Hwy. D would still be open “but most people would take the alternative route.”
“Then there’s this one on snowmobile trail connecting from River Road across (State Highway) 47 to South Bluebird Road and the other one is off West Bluebird Road straight through the forest,” he said, adding the DNR wanted the town board’s input.
“I think it’s fine, I think it’s great,” DeMet said, town supervisors Stephanie Sowatzka and Lenore Lopez agreeing, and he made the motion to send a letter to Fieweger to let him know the town board supports the ATV/UTV trails as proposed.
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected].