WISCONSIN FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION (W4WDA)
STATE TRAILS COORDINATOR AND MIDWEST FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION (MW4WDA) WISCONSIN STATE DIRECTOR REPORT
April 21, 2012 (Revised)
Submitted by Luana Schneider
NOTE: You will note the word DATE ON THE LEFT whenever I have a date in this report that should be noted.
NATIONAL FOREST TOPICS
TRAVEL MANAGEMENT RULE (ROUTE DESIGNATIONS) ON NATIONAL FORESTSwww.fs.usda.gov/cnnfThe Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for 2011-2012 is now available. The Pipeline is open only 6/1 through 3/14. Therefore, NOT OPEN for Memorial Day! Keep in mind that trails/roads that are not listed that you want to use, you need to submit a request to have that specific trail/road added to the annual update of (DATE:) the MVUM for consideration by November 30, 2012. This also applies to dates of usage!! The information you submit should be as specific as possible. You can contact Joan Marburger, CNNF Supervisor’s Office, 1170 4th Ave. South, Park Falls, WI 54552, 715-762-5178.
DATE! PIPELINE CLEAN-UP AND WORK WEEKENDS The first Pipeline work weekend is June 9. Watch for information on these dates on the W4WDA and WOHVA websites. WOHVA has an RTP grant and possibly some other sources also to work on the Pipeline. Help is being requested
STATE OF WISCONSIN DNR TOPICS www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/stc/index.html (Website is being changed so when you get to the site that comes up just type in topic in Search)
INVASIVE SPECIES GROUP There is a brochure out via the DNR website specific to Four Wheel Drive and others specific to other users. At this point the only way you can access this brochure is through the website since the State does not have funding to print these. It is being requested that you make copies of this brochure to put in your goodie bags at events and also hand out to your club members.
STATE TRAILS COUNCIL (STC)Earlier in 2011 I was appointed as a non-voting member by DNR Secretary, Cathy Stepp. In October I was appointed by the Governor to the STC representing Four Wheel Drive (Jeeps, trucks, etc.) as an official voting member of the STC. My objectives are to encourage a change of policy to establish less closure of public lands, encourage establishing Off Road parks in Wisconsin and encourage more Multi-Use (Shared Trails) that include OHV.
A meeting was held October 29 in Lapham State Park in Delafield. At that meeting a resolution was approved that the STC supports the legislation in regard to UTV’s. Also, some review on meeting provisions for the STC By-laws were presented and discussed.
On December 7, the governor signed legislation increasing the STC from 9 members to 11 members—I attended the signing at the Capitol.
On December 8, there was a special conference call discussing the hunting legislation allowing hunting on state parks unless stated no hunting. Also, two individuals were voted on to fill the two new positions on the STC to act as non-voting members and recommend to the governor as to appoint as voting members.
A regular meeting conference call was held the morning of January 13.
There was discussion on just what the STC mission is and what actions the STC can really take. Bryan Much who was part of the ADHOC Committee in regard to reviewing STC’s roll, etc. submitted a report shortly after the meeting for the STC members to look at before the April meeting. A request was made to have a DNR attorney come to the meeting in April to give some legal guidance.
Reports were made by the Council members in regard to the users they are representing. It was decided that at future meetings the DNR will give their report earlier in the agenda and hopefully can send out a report to the STC members ahead of time on things that are known and realizing other things will very likely come up by the time of the meeting, but this way the Council members will have an opportunity to consider and even share some with the folks they represent for comments before the meeting.
The Recreational Trails Program funding was reported on by Tim Parsons of the DNR. (See Below for further info).
There was an update on the State Motorized Recreation Area. (See Below for further info).
The DNR is currently writing up a policy on having events on State Park lands that hopefully will be ready by the middle of this summer.
Minutes of the January 13 meeting can be seen on the STC website.
On April 11 a meeting was held at the State Tourism office in Madison. At this meeting the Tourism Department did a presentation on what they do and how they operate. They explained how the welcome centers were closed for a couple of years as a savings thinking that folks didn’t have as much need for them with all the electronics access out there. However, they found this not to be the case and local government bodies are partnering with the Tourism Department to run the Centers. They encouraged folks who may want to do a demonstration or display on their specific interest such as four wheel drive that we should contact the welcome center where we may want to do such and when there is room available for such. You can also submit electronically your event flyer to www.industry.travelwisconsin.com who will then forward on to the Welcome Centers to see if they wish to put the flyer in their flyer bins, if so, you will be contacted. They explained how Tourism is a $12 to $15 Billion business in Wisconsin and trails are an important part of Tourism. Travel Motivators being in order of importance: FUN, REST & RELAXATION, VISITING FAMILY & FRIENDS. They encouraged us to work with the Chamber of Commerce in our area. They also encouraged us to write up articles with lots of photos for possibility of their use in their magazine. You draw people at the rate of 10% by what they hear, 30% of what is real, 50% of what they see, but 90% by what they do so EXPERIENCE is the most important draw for return participation—are you bringing out that great EXPERIENCE!!
2011 Wisconsin Act 168 with amendments has just passed making hunting and trapping legal on all state parks unless specifically closed to such. There are parameters on how far away these activities can occur from campgrounds, trails, etc. You can learn more about this law through the hunting and trapping website at the DNR
After discussing the report that Bryan Much submitted in regard to the purview of the responsibility of the STC it became clear that the STC is strictly advisory to the DNR. However, these resolutions advising the DNR on topics are public and can be given to others such as representatives by individuals including those on the STC. It was recommended that all resolutions be clear that they are strictly advisory to the DNR and not to any other entity/person.
There are many Master Plans occurring of which the one we need to get very involved in is the new Badger Ammo Site (see below).
There was a report on the Motorized Recreation Area that the state is attempting to purchase land for (See Below).
There was quite a bit of discussion in regard to a Railroad grade in Langlade and Forest County—I am wondering if this affects the Roadside 4 Wheelers’ property in any way?
DATE! There is an ATV Trail Techniques program being held at Langlade County Fairgrounds August 17 & 18. All users are welcome to put up displays, etc.
When the draft of the minutes of the April meeting are out, I’ll send a notice out. The next meeting is a conference call on July 9, 10-12. Non STC members can sit in on this conference call at the DNR offices in Madison or Rhinelander.
You are very welcome to sit in on any of the STC meetings. To learn more about the Council, details of future meetings, read the minutes, etc. you can go to the DNR website noted above.
RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM (RTP) This funding is in jeopardy—realize that these funds are generated by us offroad users paying federal gas tax for roads. These funds have an extension until June 30 atwhich time a committee is to have reported back and a decision made. Let your Federal legislators know we need to keep this funding available. Remember to thank your legislators that have voted to keep these funds available and particularly Rep. Petri. At this point funding for 2012 for RTP funding here in Wisconsin is still available to us for trail projects—if you have a trail project, you may want to check into the possibility of it being eligible for these DATE! funds on 50-50 grant. Contact the DNR for more info on this—May 1 is the deadline for submitting requests.
DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM The new Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Stephanie Klett is very supportive of motorized recreation—we need to let her know what she can do to help us out. Remember our various events that are trail type events where the public is welcome we should submit to the Dept. of Tourism and ask the Chamber of Commerce in the area of the event to also submit to Tourism and advertise in the area for you. Keep that in mind when planning your event and looking at advertising angles. I would be interested in what success or problems you have when doing this.
STATE COMPREHENSIVE OUTDOOR RECREATION PLAN (SCORP) The plan for this five year period is being worked on with the UW doing the surveys, reviews, etc. If you should get the opportunity to be contacted in regard to this, make for sure you express the needs of Four Wheel Drive (Jeeps, trucks, etc.) opportunities. Initially this time they had lumped ATV, UTV, 4WD, & OHM together and have found 19% of Wisconsin citizens recreate with these. They apparently had to lump these users together due to rules by the federal government. However, recently this has been changed, but I have not seen that change on the website as of yet. This plan is supposed to be DATE! ready for public review in May and is intended to be completed yet in 2012. I will be letting know when this is available for review—please look over and if you have any questions or thoughts you can contact me or the DNR SCORP specialist, Jeff Prey.
MOTORIZED RECREATION AREA (MRA) The DNR is in search of property for an MRA. This area should be close to an urban area, with good highway access, have local acceptance, a method of financing and adequate acreage. The DNR’s vision is not to make this a competitive type of park, but a family oriented place which would include a nice picnic grounds. The hopes are to draw from other states and have every intention of making it self-sustaining. The largest stumbling block they are running into is “local acceptance”. I asked if the “local acceptance” was with government entities in the area or the local people. The response was from both, however currently it is to have a piece of property available to even go further. I have offered our assistance in getting endorsements from businesses, etc. if they want them. It has been suggested we talk to our local legislators in regard to this. The Dual Sport Group is ready to set up a Friend’s Group for such a park. The DNR are currently looking at a site in southern Wisconsin in the part of the state where land prices are not currently as high and the area definitely is in need of some economic growth. Negotiations are occurring, but currently not looking real good. The DNR is looking for ideas for other possible lands that may be available—IF YOU HAVE ANY LEADS, let them know!! THE DNR WANTS YOUR EXPERIENCES!! THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN AN MRA (OHV PARK). You can send via e-mail to the Dan Schuller at Daniel.Schuller@wisconsin.gov. or Peter.Biermeir@wisconsin.gov or you can send to Wisconsin DNR, c/o Dan Schuller, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. Remember to emphasize the MRA is NOT to be a replacement for our use of public lands but an addition to or as some call it an enhancement to our recreation!
REGISTRATION/STICKER/DECAL PROGRAM Legislation to implement a sticker program for Off-Highway Four Wheel Driving and Off-Highway Motorcycles is currently being written. WOHVA has sent out a letter to all clubs asking that the clubs and its members send letters supporting the concept of a decal program and send it to WOHVA to be included in a packet to be sent to the legislators who will actually write up the legislation. W4WDA has sent a concept letter support letter to WOHVA and each club should do the same. The legislation was to be introduced this last January, but due to much other legislation on Rep Jeff Mursau’s desk, this did not happen. Rep. Mursau has stated that they will be finishing it up this summer/fall and have it ready to introduce next January. You should contact your representative in regard to this legislation and your interest in having something like this passed. I do have a copy of the updated proposal for anyone who may wish to see it.
25 YEAR PLAN REVIEW OF STATE FORESTS/MASTER PLANS These are occurring. We need to know which areas are being looked at right now and let people know in those areas to keep an eye on these for us to respond to what is being done. This is another opportunity for us that is being lost. This is another one of those projects that isn’t so large in itself that someone could be doing. Let me know of interest out there and let’s see what we can put together.
DATE! BADGER AMMUNITION PLANT A master plan for this area is starting in May. There is at least 1,800 acres there (could be quite a bit more depending on what the Indians take) and would be great if we could get some trails included in this. Keep your eyes and ears open in regard to this!
BLACK RIVER FALLS (BRF) I have received an e-mail from an individual that has been running up by BRF for some time and had put some of his activities on U-Tube. Apparently someone in the DNR saw the U-Tube and from that figured out who the owners of the vehicles were and sent both of them a ticket. This has to do with the back side of the shale pit where the trail has a very steep dropping—so do not go on that part!!
3,200 ACRES DONATED NEAR MINOCQUA http://www.wisconsinoutdoorfun.com/article/20111226/WOF12/312260050/Illinois-couple-gift-3-200-acres-recreational-use-Minocqua?odyssey=mod%7cnewswell%7ctext%7cAPC-News%7cp
Initially it sounds like it is for cross country skiing. So far I have found out it can be used for other “nature based” activities. Four Wheel Drive is listed as a “nature based” activity in SCORP, but I am uncertain of the definition in this case—something I am checking into further. Sam Vandenberg is also following this.
NORTHWOODS OVERLAND OHV PARK www.northwoodsoverland.com
The OHV park will be open ONLY Memorial Day weekend. There will be no charge for trail use. For camping reservations call 715-783-0191. There will not be any maps available—you can access them on the website.
After Memorial Day weekend the park is officially closed unless insurance issues can be resolved. However the campground will continue to be open.
SPRING FLING Jon Graham has set up the Spring Fling at Apple Valley again for May 4, 5 & 6 at $60 per vehicle which includes primitive camping for Friday and Saturday night. Open to all members and guests. Apple Valley has asked for a listing showing owner and operator of those who are definitely coming ahead of time—just e-mail to Jon. This does not preclude anyone from coming at the spur of the moment.
MARCH OF DIMES RALLY
Rally went over quite well and I heard a lot of compliments about the event–good clues, nice route, beautiful scenery. Could have had more challenge available (I know some didn’t come because of that) but said that is not why they come to this event. Raised over $17,000 for the March of Dimes and there were 66 vehicles that participated. Thank you letters and patches were mailed out in January.
The 2012 rally will be held the weekend of October 6 & 7 at Northwoods Overland.
We had some difficulty in getting folks to commit to doing checkpoints last year. We are in dire need of folks who may be interested in helping out on planning, taking on a project and/or working the day of the rally, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.! There are all sorts of projects that can be done!
NEED LOSS OF LAND I keep asking for this info and no one seems to have had land lost to them since we do not seem to be getting any info on this. Yes, I would like to have a list of ALL lands/trails in Wisconsin that you know of that have been lost—whether it is on public or private land. Would like any info you may have on why.
UNITED FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATIONS (U4WDA)www.ufwd.org
There have been various conference calls in regard to dues structure which was finalized in the conference call that was held April 24. This creates an issue as far as W4WDA continuing to be a voting member. I reviewed the final proposal and we need to discuss at the meeting.
United sent Carla Boucher to meet with other user groups and voice their unified concerns on the RTP legislation and other issues—very productive! Also, Pat Brower (Business Manager) has been out west the last six weeks promoting United at various functions and has had some very good success on drawing in members and businesses!
I routinely forward to W4WDA & MW4WDA through their webmaster & W4WDA Yahoo group info on various things United is doing and also notices of when the new monthly United e-news is out that you can access on United’s site. The e-news is a great way to keep up-to-date on what is happening in United. If you haven’t as of yet, sign up through United’s internet site so you can be notified directly when the new e-news comes out. Also, for those of you that are members of United, you should be receiving a notice as to when the electronic quarterly United’s Voice comes out. You can also go to United’s Forum for more info and to also state your opinions, ideas, etc. Please read these in order to be informed!!
United is a very important organization to the four wheel drive community!! It is the ONLY viable organization that represents ONLY four wheel drive on a national level and it accomplishes so much with so little. The problem still is the dollars and how to get to the pockets that have the big dollars to get involved with such an organization and use those dollars as economically feasible as possible. I know the volunteers and the employees of United are working very hard!!
UNITED LAND USE COMMITTEE—United would like to have a representative from each member organization on this committee—that includes one from both W4WDA and MW4WDA. I don’t think this in itself would be a difficult committee to be on. It is a means of discussing land use issues in our area with others and by sharing issues and experiences hopefully there can be some help for us and we in turn can help others. The Four Lakes Four Wheelers has an individual, Dave Dick, who has volunteered to represent the club and W4WDA on this committee. For the time Pat Brower is heading up until a new Land Use Director is elected.
UNITED CONVENTION IN 2012 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) There will be the All Breeds Jeep DATE! Show on July 21 & 22 in York, PA. The AGM will be held July 23 & 24 in York, PA. Following the AGM there will be a trail ride on July 25 at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Tremont, PA. Everyone is welcome! For more info check United’s website.
UNITED TRAIL PATROL PROGRAM United has a Trail Patrol Program that Rod & I have presented to W4WDA in the past and members have used. There is now a power point CD on this program that I have purchased and at any time we would like to have a presentation at a meeting again, we can do that.
UNITED TRAIL RIDE WHEEL-IN These Wheel-Ins were quite fun and were held at different sites. Presently United is looking for a group that may be interested in holding such an event.
LAKE STATES RESOURCE ALLIANCE (LSRA) Gil and/or Helen Wagner have been attending meetings.
COUNTY TEN YEAR PLANS AGAIN I am informing you that the County ten year plans are continuously being worked on—either for the current 10 years or the next. Counties need to report to the DNR on these plans. Contact your county and find out the status of your county’s plan. You can also check your county website at www.co.(name of your county).wi.us for what is coming up or send them an e-mail through their website. We need YOU to communicate with YOUR county officials IMMEDIATELY to see what type of input they have received from four wheel drive (OHV’s) such as Jeeps, Trucks, etc. recreationists and let them know that we are definitely out there and want to be included in their recreational plans for the County Forest!
FOREST CERTIFICATION http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/program/forestry/smartwood/public-comments.html . United Four Wheel Drive Associations has major concern especially in Wisconsin and other midwest states in regard to this. Apparently Wisconsin is a leader in this action and all state forests are certified while the National Forest is not. There is also an attempt to get all county and private forests also certified in the state. This is another topic that needs to be addressed by us and would be majorly helpful if someone could take this on as their project. NOTE: You can get more info on this and have more internet sites to go to for more info, it is http://www.fscus.org/standards_criteria/standards_revision_process.php and http://www.pinchot.org/what_we_do/forest_cert/certification. .
WISCONSIN OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLE ASSOCIATION (WOHVA) http://wohva.com WOHVA had a chainsaw seminar and hosted with NOHVCC a workshop on the Forest Count OHV park along with their Annual workshop/conference April 12 -14. WOHVA again will host the Wisconsin Jeep Jamboree (July 19, 20 & 21) and the Annual Great Northern Trailride (August 17 & 18). Both events are held on the Mole Lake land in Forest County. WOHVA is also very involved in getting a decal program up for Four Wheel Drive in the state of Wisconsin. Go to the WOHVA website for more info on many of their other activities.
WISCONSIN OFF HIGHWAY MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION (WOHMA) www.wohma.com
They have written up a white paper for legislation on a fee (sticker) program for offroad motorcycles and are proceeding on getting legislation submitted. They also now have a new updated website.
FOREST COUNTY OHV PARK (WORVPI) http://worvpi.org A coalition has been formed in regard to establishing a Motorized Recreation Area. This park has a potential of consisting of 10,000 acres. They are looking at various parcels of land and at various means of funding and grants to make this happen. Many of the local key players such as the Forest County Chairman, Forest County Sheriff’s Department, and others are in support of this.
They are promoting membership in this at $10 per membership—I would encourage this. I have forms with me or DATE! you can go to their website and get one. Their first annual membership meeting will be held May 12 at Potowatomi Carter Casino & Hotel.
I do not know for sure if they are still looking for folks to be on the Board for this group, but it would be good for the W4WDA to have a representative on this board. If interested in knowing more about this endeavor, go to their website. Also if interested in representing W4WDA on this, contact W4WDA president, Jon Graham or me.
CRANDON INTERNATIONALTheir facility will be open from May 1 to October 31 for camping and will be used as a trailhead for ATV’s. There will be rockcrawling, moguls and mudpit available for playing in and on. I do not have clear information if these play areas will be available Four Wheel Drive vehicles or not. Also, I wonder about short trails on their property. This could readily also dovetail with the Forest County OHV Park. Would someone like to explore this further?
MEMBERSHIP—Helen Wagner holds this position and is ready and willing to follow up on any leads you may have for her!
LAND USE CHAIR FOR YOUR REGION AND YOUR CLUB We need to have every region appoint a land use chair and also every club. These folks then can follow through with many things found in this report. Also I for one and I am sure there are others in W4WDA who would like to have the name, address and phone number of that person so we have a contact. Could this be the W4WDA Assistant Regional VP?
SPILL KITS This is becoming more and more a need in order to go to some offroad parks, etc. The biodegradable kits are available through U4WDA.
Communication is so key in an organization going forward!! Let’s use the forms of electronic communications more to keep everyone up on what is happening!
GET INVOLVED Everyone, seriously think of taking on one project and then follow it through. We need more people to get involved in order to even keep what we have. There are many of us ready and able to help you, we just can’t be also working on all these projects. There are many other projects that need to be done. Taking just a small piece can make such a big difference!!
GET TO KNOW YOUR REPRESENTATIVES, FORESTERS, RANGERS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT HEADS IN YOUR AREA!!! Let them know your interest in Four Wheel Drive trails and state parks that include Four Wheel Drive trails. Explain to them what we do. Invite them out on a trail or even a work weekend!
TREAD LIGHTLY—-SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT US—GET INVOLVED!!