State’s Recreational Future Being Planned

More motorized recreation pushed for; what about biking and walking trails?

By - Oct 17th, 2017 10:58 am
Trees line the trail.

Trees line the trail.

Do you want more opportunities to bike on state lands? More linear trails? More single track? How about improved trail surfaces, better signage or more related facilities?

Then now’s the time to let your voice be heard. Again.

As we first reported back in August, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking input from all user groups about what they would like to see in the future. And, frankly, the motorized recreation users had been out pacing us in their response rate.

The DNR’s Recreational Opportunities Analysis breaks the state into eight regions.

The DNR’s Recreational Opportunities Analysis breaks the state into eight regions.

DNR has broken up the state into eight regions for its massive Recreation Opportunities Analysis (ROA). There is an oversight committee, on which the Bike Fed has a seat. But the input really happens on the ground with users

Before we sounded the alarm on this during the summer the leading demand was for, “more trails for motorized recreation.” But since then cyclists have weighed in and we’re doing better. The process is now near completion for the North Woods, Upper Lake Michigan Coastal and Great Northwest regions.

But we need a good showing for the remaining parts of the state. The next three regions — Mississippi River Corridor, Western Sands, and Lake Winnebago Waters – are now in play. The open houses for these three regions are as follows:

• Monday, October 23rd – Altoona River Prairie Center, 1445 Front Porch Place, Altoona

• Tuesday, October 24th – Holiday Inn, 1001 Amber Avenue, Stevens Point

• Wednesday, October 25th – Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center, 3060 S. Kinney Coulee Road, Onalaska

• Wednesday, November 1st – Fox Valley Technical College (Bordini Center), 5 Systems Drive, Appleton

It’s important to note that this process started because motorized sports interests got the legislature to require the DNR to inventory all of the roads through its properties with a view toward opening many of them to motorized activities.

The Bike Fed doesn’t oppose motorized sports. But we want to make sure that these activities don’t take over trails now used for biking and walking, that the uses are compatible when they’re in close proximity and that resources are fairly distributed among different kinds of trails. That’s why it is important that your voice is heard.

If you can attend any of the open houses please do so.

You can check out the webpage that has the draft chapters and additional details.

Dave Cieslewicz is the executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed and former mayor of the city of Madison.

Categories: Biking

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