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. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck

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    I agree. Thank you.
  2. reveille

    reveille Displaced Adventurer

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    That picture says it all! Awesome job and thanks for all the hard work.:clap I hate to think of what the trail access would look like if you weren't so entrenched.:huh
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I got a chance to chat with the head of the WI DNR again the other day. I went over a few OHM initiatives with her. She is friendlier to our interests than some others from the past. It is a good time to be trying to make some gains.

    I've got a few more irons in the fire at the moment. I'll share more information as things develop.

    [​IMG]
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I made two presentations to business people and centers of influence in Boulder Junction today. Boulder Junction is in the heart of a silent sports area in a county that voted down ATVs in a county-wide referendum. The county is pretty much void of ATV trails even though trails are abundant in neighboring counties.

    Boulder Junction is also an overnight stop on the Northern Wisconsin Adventure Trail and a gas stop on the Northern Highlands dual sport route.

    Despite motorized recreation not being on the "top of the list" around there, these people showed a lot of enthusiasm for becoming a dual sport motorcycling destination.

    They are forming a dual sort motorcycling club.

    They are working toward getting more community people on board with dual sport motorcycling.

    They will be working with state tourism people and their local tourism people to become more visible as a dual sport destination.

    They are willing to work toward getting some single track motorcycle trail established in the adjacent NHAL state forest. This will be a longer term project but with community support. I see it as being something we can achieve. They have had a lot of success building bicycle trails around here, so working toward getting a motorcycle trail is not as big of a reach as it might be elsewhere. They are also interested in developing a trials practice area as part of the single track project.

    They have beautiful forests, rolling terrain, winding two tracks, and a pretty good support structure (with a variety of other recreation opportunities). I see this as an enhancement to our recreational interest.

    They have an exceptional and large wooded campground that I hadn't visited before.

    They are already talking about a spring dual sport ride open to the public and have significant interest in getting some ice riding (possibly events) going in the area.

    Yes, there will be some opposition on principle from some silent sports types that won't be affected at all by this, but the group knows to just press on with what they are doing and things will work out fine in the end.

    I'll continue to have a relationship with these folks to help them work their way into this and to connect them with others that can be of assistance.

    I should add that some of these folks are older. Many rode some form of dirt bike as a kid. There is a lot of enthusiasm for getting back into it. Those that don't currently have a bike are so enthusiastic about where this is going that they are shopping for dual sports so they can get back to riding "trails". There was a lot of discussion about appropriate bikes to get. I left some notes on a variety of models to explore.

    Encouraging days like this mean a lot to me. I really enjoyed experiencing some of their excitement. We need to make it a point to ride with some of these guys once they get up and running. I'm sure it will be a great experience for everyone involved.
  5. Daamud

    Daamud Life is like a box of Old Milwaukee

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    Sounds great! Hope it works out.
  6. SJK

    SJK Been here awhile

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    Another outstanding job by Cannonshot!!! Thanks for all you are doing!! All the footwork you have done is showing results on the ground.
  7. c-zulu

    c-zulu Resident Dirt Burner

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    Outstanding! Keen to see how this develops.
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    It is great to see their enthusiasm. They have some good leadership so there should be no problem getting things done. Nonetheless, things . . . take . . . time. :D
  9. OU812

    OU812 Legend in my own Mind!

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    Awesome Bryan!:clap
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    For those that haven't been paying attention, American Motorcyclist is now published in two versions. One version is principally OHM and the other is principally street - although some content overlaps.

    For those interested in the OHM version, it might be a good idea to call member services at 800-262-5646 to tell them which version you want. Have your member number handy.

    There is also an option to get both versions for $10 more per year.

    For members that like to read on-line, you can find both versions there. Good thing too. I see some adventure and dual sport content is in the street version.

    This month's street version mentioned a new law in WI establishing a 7 member ORV Council. We had an ORV Council. This law changed it from DNR appointment to Governor's appointment. The law also changed the focus of the council to ATVs.

    We will have our own council for OHM with the new legislation.
  11. InTheMuck

    InTheMuck So it goes...

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    Thanks for staying on top of things!! :thumb
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    From 2TrakR regarding MI.

    ORV Sticker is now two stickers, a $26.50 sticker for the ORV and an add-on $10 sticker if you are ALSO riding the ORV Trails. We don't know how this will apply to street legal bikes, but we're pushing for it to mean plated bikes only need the $10 add-on sticker.
    State Highways can now be opened up to ORVs, MiDOT must approve the sections.
    All counties can now open their county roads to ORVs.
  13. vwboomer

    vwboomer Buffoon

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    I'm sure people will bitch about it, but it's still a great deal :nod
  14. OU812

    OU812 Legend in my own Mind!

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    This is great!
    The more gates are opened the better it gets!
    Thanks again my friend!
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    An initiative I started working on earlier this year just came through.

    Travel Wisconsin will now allow us to post some of our motorcycle events on the Travel Wisconsin website.

    This is good for us as it will promote our recreational interest and assist riders with connecting with riding opportunities in Wisconsin.

    Remember the folks in Boulder Junction that just organized a club and want to promote their location as a dual sport destination? This will be useful to them.

    It will also be useful for some of our dual sport and adventure motorcycling events. There is a strict criteria as to what can be promoted on the site so not everything I usually list here will qualify.

    A problem we face is that the deadline for the printed activity guide is in October so clubs that want to be in it will have to come up with their event dates and information prior to that. I will work with the clubs on that.

    Our category (Adventure and Dual Sport Motorcycling) is not installed on the site yet so I have to follow up and get that done before I can start posting.

    I plan to include some images with the events I post so if I don't have them I may be asking for them.

    I am also writing a brief article to introduce our stuff just ahead of the next riding season.

    I'll put more information out as I work things out.

    I am the primary poster and Hotspice generously agreed to be my back-up. Thank you Tony! Tony and I will sit down and go over the material so we have a common understanding of the rules.

    Another step forward for our interests.
  16. Lutz

    Lutz Fuzzy Rabbit

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    :ricky Way to go!
  17. Ajacks

    Ajacks "Not in the face"

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    Thanks Cannon
  18. InTheMuck

    InTheMuck So it goes...

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    Awesome work Cannon :clap
  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Just answered an inquiry from out of state about our landowner liability law here in Wisconsin.

    In the process of pulling up the statute I came across this article which is a nice overview of some of the issues. I'll share it here.

    Landowner Liability


    Landowner Liability For Recreational Activity Injuries
    By Joel L. Aberg and John Robert Behling

    All seasons in Wisconsin provide opportunities to recreate in the great outdoors! But along with recreational activities comes the increased risk of injury.

    In an effort to encourage landowners to allow others to use their property for recreational purposes, defined as "any outdoor activity undertaken for the purpose of exercise, relaxation or pleasure," the Legislature adopted Wisconsin's recreational immunity statue, Wis. State. 895.52. That statute protects landowners from civil suits by providing that landowners have no legal obligation to recreational users to keep their property safe for recreation, no duty to inspect, and no duty to warn about unsafe conditions which may exist. Further, the courts have determined that this statutory immunity applies to both natural and man-made conditions (including buildings or structures) on property.

    Landowners must be aware, however that there are exceptions to this broad statutory immunity. Landowners who receive more then $2,000 a year from person(s) using their property are not covered by the statute. Similarly, the landowners who allow use of their land for "organized team sporting activity sponsored by the owner of the property" are not immune from liability for injury to either participants or spectators.

    Further, while there is generally no duty to warn about unsafe conditions, a malicious failure to warn would not be protected from liability. For example, if you direct a hunter to use a deer stand which you know is dilapidated and, therefore, dangerous, you will likely not be immune from suite.

    Finally, there is no immunity for social guests who have been expressly and individually invited by the landowner for a specific occasion and are injured while on residential property, platted land, or are within 100 yards of commercial or manufacturing buildings when injured.

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has recently and regularly limited the scope of statutory immunities, including recreational immunity. In 2001, the Court limited the statute's scope to "purer" recreational activities which fulfill the legislative purpose of encouraging property owners to allow others to use their land for recreational activities. In that case, children were injured while playing in stacks of baled paper in a fenced production facility.

    In that same year, the Supreme Court determined that the recreational immunity provision did not apply to a student injured while playing during a mandatory school recess because recreation was not the primary purpose of the visit.

    Both the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals issued decisions last year which continued this trend limiting statutory immunities from liabilities. In the first case, the Supreme Court continued to discount the impact of waivers often found on the back of tickets, on receipts, on entry forms, or on signs which attempt to "waive liability" or "hold harmless" the landowner. The waiver form typically states that the user is aware of the risks of attending a sporting event, downhill skiing, long distance running, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, etc., and therefore, agrees to not sue if injured.

    Before being allowed to swim, a user signed an agreement to hold the pool owners/operators harmless. The Supreme Court held such a waiver signed by a potential user of a swimming pool unenforceable because it was overly broad, served two purposes (registration and waiver), and did not give the user an opportunity to bargain. In doing so, the Court revived the concept of requiring the potential user to have an opportunity to bargain in these situations - a concept the Court previously had rejected.

    Last year's Court of Appeals case involved injuries arising out of a horseback riding fall. The Court of Appeals found the equine immunity statute, which parallels the recreational immunity statute and holds that horse professionals are immune from suit for acts or missions arising out of equine activity, inapplicable because the landowner did not safely manage the horse in the context of the rider's ability and experience, It also found that three releases signed by the rider and her parent were unenforceable because they did not adequately alert the signers to the significance of what they were signing.

    On paper, Wisconsin landowners possess very broad immunity from liability for injuries that arise out of recreational activity on their land, However, people who are badly injured make compelling plaintiffs - they generate the sympathy of juries and judges alike, Thus, while there is a public policy of encouraging landowners to allow others to use their property for recreational purposes, landowners should be aware that there are risks.

    Particularly if you are charging fees for the recreational use of your property, we recommend requiring the user to sign a waiver document which alerts them to the risks and restricts access unless they sign. In light of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decisions in Atkins, the drowning case discussed above, we recommend that the waiver allow the user to use the property for a nominal fee, if they sign the waiver, or they can use the property without signing the waiver but only if they pay a significant fee, say $100 for each day of access.

    This article is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. Always contact your legal counsel for advice or answers to your questions.
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Good day for us at today's State Trails Council meeting.

    I have been researching the concept of repurposing trails from one designated use to another for special events.

    I dug into two examples interviewing club members, riders, and government officials. One was the MN DNR repurposing horse trails for a motorcycle event twice a year. The other was the USFS repurposing mountain bike and hiking trails for a motorcycle event once a year.

    Prior to giving my presentation, I heard reports from the DNR about what bad shape they were in money-wise to even try to sustain what they already have much less come up with new stuff. This set the stage perfectly as the proposal I was about to make had to do with making more out of what we had.

    I covered the case studies and got a lot of interest and questions. In the end the DNR thought it was a good idea for them to get permission from the Natural Resources Board to repurpose trails. This is a huge breakthrough for us because if the use isn't covered in the Master Plan (which had studies and hearings when it was developed) it wasn't going to happen without going through a huge procedure to change the Master Plan.

    All this sets us up to be able to ride other trails for weekend events. If this was done at multiple locations around the state, it would open up a lot of trail riding weekends for OHM. This doesn't replace us developing our own OHM trails, but it is a nice interim step to give us places to ride.

    In speaking with officials after the meeting, someone pointed out that a state forest closed a horse campground because it was only used in spring and fall. During the summer, insects were a problem for horses at the camp. In a situation like this, we could "own" the campground and horse trails for motorcycle riding for most of the summer.

    We could put on a dual sport ride using mountain bike, hiking, and horse trails under this concept.

    I got a lot of support from the equestrian representative during the discussion phase of my presentation. In the end the council voted UNANIMOUSLY for the DNR to proceed with this concept.

    Next step is that I have to repeat the presentation to the DNR Secretary and her deputies.

    This action can afford us some great opportunities. :thumb