Wisconsin OHM/DS Motorcyclists - Trail and Legislative Issues

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by Cannonshot, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I was going to mentioned to you that I met that guy. Seemed like a good fellow.

    There was a partial (teaser) article in the on-line version of the Oconomowoc Focus. I e-mailed you the full article.

    In my book, the guy most responsible for getting the ice riding back was the business owner next to the lakes who did a bunch of ground work asking the board to "put it back like it was". He got it on the agenda and made much of the case informally in the background before we ever got there.

    It was great that so many turned out to support ice riding and I was surprised by how many were actually township residents. Generally those that spoke were able to point out that ice riders were a bunch of regular guys that only wanted to enjoy their recreational interest. In the pre-meeting strategy meeting I asked people to be nice and not be adversarial as we wanted to make the board want to do something for us as it seemed we were halfway there already. Once we got into it we found that the board and some town officials really did want to do something for us. It worked out fine.
  2. Ajacks

    Ajacks "Not in the face"

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    210
    Location:
    Oconomowoc Lake, WI
    Hello all, Just moved to the Oconomowoc area from Chicago. I have two bikes that need work. An 04 dr400 used off road has a small hole in the side case where the shift lever hit it. And a 2010 klr650 that needs a doohicky and service. I was hoping someone could reccomend a dealer. thanks and it's nice to be here
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Hi Ajacks,

    I'm in Oconomowoc.

    I'll PM you about some nearby dealers. I have doohickey tools if you need to borrow them.

    We have a meet and greet in Delafield in March that you will want to attend.

    You might also keep an eye on this thread for area events.

    Cannon
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Just a little update.

    Followed up with the Sauk Prairie folks as they are a bit overdue on the next release of public information. The proposal is going through the internal review process at the DNR. It does include motorized use. More will come out later this spring.


    Regarding the OHM legislation, it is back with the drafters getting some fine points tuned up. Of course, the budget has priority right now. Been working some other related stuff as well. Long process.

    We are continuing to move along in the right direction.
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Article in the paper about one initiative in Wisconsin to put an off-road vehicle park in Forest County.

    This has been talked about for quite a while.

    The article is a good review of issues past, present, and future.

    Covering 10,000 acres, it would be the largest park of its kind in the Midwest, according to the park's proponents, a mix of off-road-vehicle enthusiasts and public officials seeking economic development.

    One of the biggest hurdles will be getting access to thousands of acres for the trail system. The park's backers say they have identified eight suitable sites that would include a mix of public and private property.

    It would cost about $18 million to start the park that local officials estimate would pump millions of tourism dollars into one of the poorest counties in the state.
  6. scrubby81

    scrubby81 Auto Builder

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Central Wi.
    northern wi has a few miles of fire roads to ride how is it that y'all in the southern part of the state get all the good weather and riding spots lol
    :evil
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Was in Madison today as part of a work group going over a proposed general permit for wetland issues as related to recreational trails.

    The good news is that the DNR is putting together a general permit that allows people to follow a procedure to get authorization to build some wetland crossings like we would use for motorcycle trails. It is much less complicated that going through an individual permit application (which could still be required depending on the circumstances).

    The purpose of this meeting was to debug the drafts. Between the US Army Corps of Engineers and the DNR there were some disconnects that needed to be ironed out as well. The Corps has jurisdiction on some of this. Even among the varying DNR elements there can be some confusion. It can be a complex issue.

    The bad news is that even though we are streamlining the wetland permit for recreational trails, there are other water issues that remain unchanged. These include waterways, storm water, shoreland, and flood plain issues.

    The DNR will have a public comment period on this in May once today's documents are refined and made available. The problem with commenting is that there is a lot to this. Essentially one has to know much more than what is included in the basic information to be able to understand the ins and outs.

    So to summarize for our user group, it will be easier for us to make some wetland crossings with our trails under most circumstances.
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Some years ago I took some trail patrol training. Since that time, the program has been revamped and has new screening requirements. I just went through a class to recertify.This started out as an ATV initiative to add a "self-policing" component to managing trails. This makes the prospect of having trails more attractive to counties since they know the users will be contributing to keeping things on track.I think we need to get some people from our user group involved in this - especially since we share some trails with ATVs already. One of the requirements is to document hours and miles spent on trail patrol. There is an amazing cadre of volunteers racking up some significant miles (close to 70K in WI last year).This is not an enforcement program but is a peer advisory program with an ambassador component to it. Much of it involves riding the trails as you normally would while keeping an eye on things, having fun, and reporting and documenting what you did.Shoot me a PM if you might be interested in taking the training and participating in the program.
    In the past, one had to be a certified safety instructor to participate as a trail patrol ambassador. Now there is a category for those that are not instructors. You will have to complete an on-line safety course though.
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I got a couple of inquiries on this already. The next class (only class for a while anyway) is May 4th in Dunbar.

    You will need to have completed an ATV safety course by the time of the class. This can be done on-line via the link on the WI DNR safety education page in no time at all.

    It costs $20 to cover your record check as part of the program.

    Trail patrol is conducted in pairs. The conveyance is not important other than it needs to be authorized on the trail you are on.

    It would be good for people from our user group to contribute to the trail patrol program since we are operate on public trails.
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I'll have more on this once I sort my notes from a meeting at the Capitol today. For now . . .

    Conservationists who want land near Baraboo to be used for quiet activities are angry that the state might use it for motorcycle trails or shooting ranges.

    The DNR will issue three alternatives this summer and hold open houses and public hearings to gather comment on the plans, he said. The three scenarios range from a plan focused on conservation and quiet activity to one that emphasizes more high-intensity recreation.

    "This isn't a vote process," Aquino said. "The public input is only one part of what we consider."

    Another point to consider is which recreational opportunities are underrepresented, he said.


    Some people have a vision to turn this into a quiet area that serves their narrow band of interests. Some others have a vision to use the large chunk of land that is proximate to a large population base to in part adddress a bunch of underserved recreational interests.

    When the proposal come out, the public comment period is going to be a real battle. We need to be involved on a large scale to keep our interests alive.
    [​IMG]
  11. Ajacks

    Ajacks "Not in the face"

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    210
    Location:
    Oconomowoc Lake, WI
    Thanks Cannon for doing all this, if you need a body to show up for anything please call
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I've got another initiative started that could give us some more riding opportunities. I brought this up in the past, but this time it seems like I've got more traction with officials and equestrians.

    The Golden Eagles MC Club in MN have an arrangement to run two events per year on horse trails on DNR property. This has been going on for some time and seems to benefit all involved.

    I am now pursuing something similar with the DNR and the equestrian folks in Wisconsin.

    The idea is to identify several equestrian trails that would be suitable for a weekend motorcycle event and work through the process to get us access to those trails as an exception to their current intended use.

    The general idea is to set-up at a campground (perhaps an equestrian campground) and have loosely organized trail riding over a weekend.

    I anticipate that we will need to demonstrate success through a trial event at some location. After that it might be possible to hold several events at varying locations giving us multiple riding opportunities that we wouldn't otherwise have. This is not a big inconvenience for the horse riders as under that scenario we would only have a particular trail system one weekend in a season.

    I have a study that compares OHM and horse impact on trails and they are nearly identical - at least on the short term. There is some difference between the two depending on whether you are riding uphill or down, but overall it is kind of a wash.

    I anticipate that a non-profit MC club would be the host for a weekend event and handle the paperwork once we get the green light. It is pretty easy to set up a non-profit club. In fact, a club might come into being just to handle two horse trail events per year in their region. The club need only be a few members. I will explore whether this can be done without a club doing a permit.

    This will take a bit of time to work out. When I come up with some sites that might be suitable I'll post more. Suitable includes something that we would want to ride.

    I can think of several important barriers to this but I believe they can be overcome.

    Oh, rule changes in the DNR take up to about three years now. Hopefully we can work our way through a much quicker temporary solution.

    Stand by over time for updates. I'm on it. :D
  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Thanks, I know you are available during the day so I'm sure there will be a time you can help out by appearing in person for something.
  14. OU812

    OU812 Legend in my own Mind!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,446
    Location:
    Buffalo Grove IL and Killing Threads...
    So horse people are not that awful after all?





    :ear
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Actually, overall we have a good relationship. There are always local attitudes and incidents between user groups that are an exception - nothing new there. That is why I try to get across to people that it is best not to bitch about ATVs, horses, or the like because it has the potential to take things in the wrong direction and set us back us in the end.

    It is also very important to practice proper trail etiquette when encountering other users on the trail so people don't have anecdotes with which to negatively characterize our user group.

    When I went to a course teaching trail design, construction, and maintenance, it was hosted by equestrians and I was very welcome there.
  16. ADWrider

    ADWrider AKA Acorn27

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    S/E Wisconsin
    I know it's been said before, but it can't be said enough - thanks for all you do as an amassador and advocate to the sport!
  17. InTheMuck

    InTheMuck So it goes...

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    416
    Location:
    Amongst the has beens & the addicts (Verona, WI)
    Hell yeah! :thumb

    Thanks Cannon!!
  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    23,896
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Just a little information on a struggle we will face once the OHM legislation is introduced.

    Madison - New projections show Wisconsin's transportation fund is spiraling toward a $63.5 million deficit by mid-2015, leaving lawmakers groping for how to pay for building and repairing roads across the state over the next two years.

    The transportation fund consists mostly of gas tax revenue and vehicle registration fees. It covers highway improvements and maintenance, as well as aid to local governments for road work and funds the Division of Motor Vehicles and the State Patrol. Over the past few years, legislators have grown more worried about the fund's solvency as people consume less fuel, resulting in less tax revenue.

    An important part of funding for our program is getting gas tax money that would otherwise go to the transportation fund. The way this works is we are seeking a credit for fuel we buy that is not used on highways. Since we are not on highways, the tax money for that purpose should be given to us to pay for trails. This is calculated using a formula of so many gallons of fuel per OHM registered vehicle per year. We are asking for 50 gallons. Snowmobiles get 50 right now. ATVs get 25 and are trying to get 50.

    This can be a significant amount of money. For ATVs it is about half of their total amount available (the other half is registrations).

    By the way, once you get more and more trails the registrations and gas money go flat so it becomes difficult to sustain what you already built meaning that you are unable to build much new stuff. If you can't keep up sustainment costs, things get pro-rated downward and the trail system begins to deteriorate.

    We can anticipate a difficult battle trying to get a decent OHM payment on gas tax money in the current environment. There are serious issues with trying to pay for the highway network.

    Just trying to keep some issues visible as related news stories appear. :D
  19. scrubby81

    scrubby81 Auto Builder

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Central Wi.
    The main problem is that the tax money that should go for roads trails Ect. goes for many other things but mainly not the roads it is intended for.
  20. OU812

    OU812 Legend in my own Mind!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,446
    Location:
    Buffalo Grove IL and Killing Threads...
    Truth there in most states.:cry