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 Administrator Super Moderator

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    Meeting today with the DNR. This was the initial meeting for a new council of stakeholders related to developing recreation opportunities and the like. A goal I have is to see some follow through on the results of the Recreation Opportunities Analysis (ROA) that was done a while back to actively pursue addressing some of the underserved opportunities we identified PROXIMATE to where people live. Too early to tell what will come out of this as it was an initial organizational meeting with a broad array of stakeholders and some key DNR personnel.
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  2. nyteshades

    nyteshades n00b

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    Excellent thread, I'll be watching this one. Long time rider, long time lurker, recently stranded in Bayfield county with limited/no ORM access. Which is really crappy given I live right off the ATV trails.
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  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Time to catch up a little. Been working on things in the background for a bit. A problem developed with how our sticker money gets handled in government. The DNR tried to fix it but couldn't. Eventually the DNR called me in for a meeting, explained the problem, and said that I would have to try to get it fixed through the legislature. I wrote up a paper on it and approached some legislators asking them to help. At first it wasn't looking too good overall. In fact, I cancelled some trips to stay here to be available to work the issue. Eventually we made some progress and yesterday I got word a formal action had been taken to take care of things. Over time things got sorted out with the assistance of Senator Petrowski, Senator Marklein, Represenative Mursau, the Governor's Office, and the DNR. The action won't be final until the budget is passed, but right now I don't see why anything would change between now and then. Government doesn't always operate with a clear path. Due to a constitutional amendment our money has to go to the DOT but an equivalent amount is allocated to our program in the DNR from another source to make things work. We had to get some changes to make that work without any problems for our program. Good news. Maybe now I can get a trip in after all. :D

    I was on the road for the past two days for a meeting of the ORV council where we looked at some grant requests, storm damage requests, and some other issues. While out and about I did some work for the State Trails Council and was also able to talk to two park managers about projects we recently approved. One project is the Trials course we funded for Dyracuse and the other was the OHM trail at Tigerton. While at Tigerton I suggested a new project for next year that would expand our OHM opportunities there beyond what we are already doing. More work to be done on next year's ideas before we can developed a project proposal.
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  4. TheBigH

    TheBigH Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the time and effort. Will the DNR account be able to be rolled over year to year? Sounded like this past year it had to be emptied otherwise it was sent to a general fund. If there is a way to help, let us know. I'm hoping there are a few folks from the motorcycle community that are up to speed on the program and it's inner workings, but if it makes sense to have more, I wouldn't mind an introduction if there is a good route to do so.
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  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks for your offer to help out on some things. I believe we spoke on the phone about some issues already. Unspent funds will stay with our account.
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  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    We've covered some things about the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) in the past. It is again time to voice some support for the program. We have benefited over the years from RTP. In fact, the trail project in Vilas County is getting money from RTP this year to help with the build. Please take a moment to indicate your support for RTP by following the link that makes it quick and easy. It only takes a moment.

    https://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/write-a-letter?10&engagementId=500602
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  7. Iceclimber70

    Iceclimber70 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sending that out. I am surprised I didn’t get an email from the AMA that made me aware and asked for action. You’re speedy!
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  8. Mark4931

    Mark4931 Doesn't know what he's doing

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    I made a small change to the form letter to bring up the progress in Vilas County. I thought this would be important to point out as it is a successful project within the state.
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  9. TheBigH

    TheBigH Been here awhile

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    DNR has an online public input forum for the SW Savana master plan, closes June 25th. LINK HERE
    Good place to mention the need for more opportunities for off road motorcycling.
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  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The question came up about mini-bikes. Just like a Rokon, mini-bikes meet the definition of an off-highway motorcycle (limited use) so a mini-bike with an OHM sticker would be allowed on OHM trails. But . . . it would be important to check the local ordinance to make sure there are no other local restrictions. I sampled a couple so far and there was no issue (many adopt the basic statute). One catch that we are following up on is whether there would be a problem with the DOT with a stickered mini-bike on an authorized OHM route. Sometimes there are "gotchas" elsewhere that need to be checked out. The DOT regards mini-bikes as "play vehicles". Maybe some club will want to sponsor a mini-bike ride on a local solid surface OHM trail sometime. :D I'll let you know more once we check a few details with the DOT.
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  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    I think a mini-bike event would be a hoot. :evil

    A lot of potential there for a great social event or even a fundraiser toward supporting the trail.

    There are a lot of mini-bikes out there with no place to ride. Increases sticker sales.

    Another gateway to getting young people involved in off-highway motorcycling.

    Spark arrestor exhaust may be an issue since the statute requires it. I see they make USFS approved spark arrestors for small engines that are pretty inexpensive. Makes sense since small engines are used in the forest for other purposes.

    Always positives and negatives to consider. :D

    So, is there potential for a "junior chapter" of mini-bike riders that could be a subset of some of our OHM clubs to promote the recreational interest and feed more folks into club membership as they become adults? Young people could migrate from mini-bikes to small OHM and beyond while becoming affiliated with the club at a young age.
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  12. Mark4931

    Mark4931 Doesn't know what he's doing

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    Anecdotally, I saw a family with a Coleman mini-bike at the Jackson County Single Track the other weekend, and they were having a blast! They also had what looked to be a 50 or 80 for the smaller kid to ride.
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  13. wisbadger

    wisbadger n00b

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    Not only that, but a gateway for getting youngsters involved in all types of motorcycling. Like many of my friends, we got started riding mini-bikes on all the logging trails and state land 'up-north'. So much fun!! Still remember many of those rides even 45 years later :)

    This would be a great initiative to investigate further.

    Thanks for all your efforts in the ds/ohm realm in Wisconsin.
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  14. Midwesterner

    Midwesterner Adventurer

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    Thanks for the heads-up. I filled out the survey and included a general comment that there should be more oppertunities for off-highway motorcycling in the region.

    Sorry if this is hijacking the thread, but for those of us who are also into mountain biking, there is a group lobbying to develop single-track bicycle trails in New Glarus Woods State Park. If you are going to fill-out the survey, and you like bicycling, please mention that mountain bike trails should be included in the master plan for New Glarus Woods State Park.
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Went to see my congressman over the weekend. Spoke with him about the Recreational Trails Program and gave a sheet of notes to his staffer. Two state representatives were there as well and one seemed to show a lot of interest in the program (perhaps it was new to her as would not be unexpected). One point my congressman made is that if we want to know more about what that money is or should be the people working on it should request a GAO audit. I wanted to refresh with him how important this program is to us and that we want to preserve or improve it.

    I think I mentioned before how much I enjoy being in a meeting with this guy. One would think that a politician would try to be more appeasing to people that bring up issues. He's not. If you come in with some shallow bullshit, especially if you are trying to be cool, he cuts you down with facts quickly. I think twice before I bring anything up. :lol3 On the other hand, if you are courteous enough to truly have a significant depth of knowledge and have some reasonable points, he can be delightful. Although he is almost always right, at first I wondered if his aggressive response was the thing to do. Then I thought about being in some ORV meetings over the years and seeing someone try to sharpshoot some really informed and active advocates. Hard for someone to patiently respond to someone that doesn't know about the work that has been done already after already explaining things over and over for years. I'm sure that my congressman suffers the same thing but worse. People come at him that don't know what they don't know and he just runs out of patience. And when it comes to responding to pure political attacks, he really comes to life . . . but that is a story for another forum. :D
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  16. BLucare

    BLucare Inmate At Law

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    Out of curiosity, who's your Congressman? Feel free to nuke this post if that's too political for this thread.
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The OHM rule draft is out for comment on the economic impact assessment (https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/proposedpermanent.html, see CF-19-17). This is part of the administrative code development process. I've covered how the code is required to fully implement the statutory OHM program in Wisconsin. This step is a requirement in the process to assess the economic impact of the rule and the program. There is a draft rule included to help people assess the economic impact to their interests. This draft of the rule still needs a couple of tweaks (like addressing a helmet requirement on state land) which is being worked. There will be a public hearing on August 21st about a draft version of the code. As usual, I'll share some guidance about commenting about the code and what issues there are to address at that time. For now, we are dealing with economic impact issues and not the draft rule itself.
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  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The Off Highway Vehicle Trail Signing Handbook is open for public comment until July 5th. Of particular interest to us are the OHM trail and route signs. I've been involved in the process along the way so there are no surprises.

    One ongoing argument with the DNR was the knobby tires on the motorcycle icon. We've been using an OHM icon for much of my lifetime that did not have knobby tires. Someone in the DNR thought that knobby tires would better distinguish the OHM icon from the ATV icon. I pointed out that sign providers do not offer the knobby tired version of the icon (unless custom ordered) and objected to introducing this unnecessary requirement. Although the knobby tired icon still appears in the handbook, the specific knobby language has been removed so the standard icon can be used.

    I THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR PEOPLE TO COMMENT TO THE POINT OF CONTACT FOR THIS ACTION IN THE LINK PROVIDED TO TELL THEM TO DITCH THE KNOBBY TIRES AND INSTEAD PICTURE THE STANDARD ICON THAT IS WIDELY USED AROUND THE COUNTRY ALREADY. The issue here involves whether the DNR should create an unnecessary and confusing locally generated anomaly instead of just using an established and readily available icon. This is bad precedent and also relates to some other issues being addressed.

    There is a possibility that the requirement for the knobby tired icon will appear as a requirement for state properties only (which makes even less sense) but we'll address that in August in comments about whatever draft of the code is presented for review at that time.

    https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html#open

    The person to comment to about the knobby tired icon is MatthewM.OBrien@wisconsin.gov .
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  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The DNR let me know they just blasted the economic input message out to a few thousand people.

    When the message comes out about the code hearing it will be very important to lay out some notes for people to use to respond like I have done many times in the past. It can be difficult for everyone to grasp what needs to be addressed and we need to respond with an informed and unified voice.
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  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Participated in a couple of web based events today. One was on vehicle noise control and management. I want to remind people that we have some sound testing kits around the state for courtesy testing of exhaust sound levels. Generally clubs measure exhaust noise to ensure bikes are within limits before someone can participate in events. We can also test people that are curious about their exhaust to create greater awareness and to give people an idea of where they are at. I usually carry a kit with me in my van so that I can conduct tests at informal get togethers or in response to specific requests. If you are interested in getting tested some of us can probably connect with you this season to conduct a courtesy test. Send a message and we'll see what might work.

    I also participated in a presentation by the USFS regarding changes as to how they will address the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is more of interest to people that would be involved in potential projects in the National Forests. Knowing more about requirements can help identifying project that have more potential to come into being.
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