State Directors Report – April 2013
WISCONSIN FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION www.w4wda.org (W4WDA)
STATE TRAILS COORDINATOR AND MIDWEST FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION www.mw4wda.org (MW4WDA) WISCONSIN STATE DIRECTOR REPORT
April 20 & 21, 2013
Submitted by Luana Schneider
Think positive for 2013 being a lucky number 13 for the Four Wheel Drive Community!!
STATE OF WISCONSIN DNR TOPICS http://dnr.wi.gov
INVASIVE SPECIES GROUP There is a brochure out via the DNR website specific to Four Wheel Drive and others specific to other users. It is recommended you use this flyer for goodie bags and meetings.
STATE TRAILS COUNCIL (STC) http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/stc/. As an official voting member of the STC representing Four Wheel Drive (FWD) such as Jeeps, trucks, etc., 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 (FWD). For full minutes on the STC meetings, go to the website noted above. Also, when there are conference calls and if you are not on the Council, you can join the meeting in Madison or Rhinelander.
There are many Master Plans occurring of which the one we need to get very involved in is the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area [old Badger Ammunition Site (see below)].
There was a meeting held November 2 at the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, 2024 Lakeview Drive, Suamico, WI 54173 from 10 am – 3 pm. Sam Vandenburg attended this meeting and I introduced him as the new W4WDA President. We had discussions with various folks on possible trail accessibility, etc. There were some various interesting presentations. One was by Dan Schuller, DNR Parks and Recreation Director, in regard to their proposed approach of hunting and trapping available on State Parks unless stated closed. Another presentation was done by Bryan Much in regard to the various activities of Off Highway Motorcycles from the Dual Sport to the fully offroad motorcycles. It included activities I had no idea were done by Off Highway Motorcyclists! At break Randy Harden talked to both the motorcycle representatives and us OHV representatives about a TrailCon program. After the meeting Sam & I had a lengthy discussion with Dan Schuller on the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area and MRA.
The last meeting was a conference call meeting on Monday, January 14 from 10:00 to 12:00. There were many topics covered for the time allowed. I reported on our involvement in the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area Master Plan, both the WOHVA and W4WDA conferences, the activity in regard to the Forest County Off Road Park. I also requested sometime we have a speaker on recreation immunity/liability as liability insurance is a big issue for private park operators and clubs just trailriding on private property or having events in general. To see the full minutes go to the STC website.
The next STC meeting will be April 25 in Room 330 SW, State Capitol Building, Madison from 10:00 to 3:00. One of the presentations will be in regard to the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area that is scheduled for 10:45. Public comment is scheduled on whatever you wish to comment about in regard to trails is scheduled for 2:15.
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 and key in State Trails Council.
RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM (RTP) 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 funds on a 50-50 grant, contact the DNR for more info on this—May 1, 2013 is the deadline for submitting requests. To locate the form go to http://dnr.wi.gov/Aid/RTA.html. You can also go to the DNR site for further information in regard to this. Governor Walker has agreed that the RTP funds for Wisconsin will continue to be used on trails.
DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM The 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 was worked on with the UW doing the surveys, reviews, etc Initially this time they had lumped ATV, UTV, 4WD, & OHM together, but later separated them and 19% of Wisconsin citizens recreate with their 4WD at least once a year. You can access the full SCORP through the DNR website.
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 was 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 not going anywhere and the initial funding for the project has since been lost. 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 is currently being redrafted. 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/support letter to WOHVA and EACH CLUB SHOULD DO THE SAME!! The legislation was to be introduced last January, but due to much other legislation on Rep Jeff Mursau’s desk, this did not happen. It is in the Legislative Audit Bureau for another redraft and expected to be introduced this year yet. Rep. Mursau is the initial legislator working on this legislation with WOHVA’s Legislative Action Committee as advisors. You should contact your representative in regard to this legislation and your interest in having something like this passed. I do not have a copy of the current draft at this point in time, but have been assured by Rep. Mursau’s office that as soon as it comes back they will notify me!
ORV COUNCIL (SB 29 & AB44) AND NR64 AND NR65 The ORV Council legislation is in both the Assembly and Senate committees to re-establish this. My issue with this council is the fact that only includes ATV’s and UTV’s since they are the only ones that have a “sticker” program. I maintain if that is the case it should be called that rather than ORV Council. I missed one public hearing by oversight and the other one I had a more important commitment. I did submit a letter and was told that the legislators are looking at as to when the motorcycle and four wheel drive groups get legislation passed, they too will be included in the ORV Council via a legislation change. However is discussing this with various four wheel drive and motorcycle folks there are definitely differing opinions on this! Next Executive Session on this will be held April 23 at the Capitol. The NR64 (for ATV/UTV’s) and NR65 (for motorcycles) are the DNR administrative codes that are currently being reviewed. I did attend one Executive Session at the Capitol in regard to these just to have the Committee never get to them. The next session in regard to these was on April 10 and could not attend. I was hoping to get some feel from the legislators by listening in on these to be more ready when the Four Wheel Drive code is proposed.
SAUK PRAIRIE RECREATION AREA (OLD BADGER AMMUNITION PLANT)—(SPRA) http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/masterplanning/SaukPrairie/. A master plan for this is occurring. There is at least 1,800 acres there (could be quite a bit more depending on what the Tribe take) and would be great if we could get some trails included in this. I have attended the initial workshop on July 30 of last year and have been in contact with the individual who is coordinating this several times. There seems to be some real interest by the DNR to include some trails in the area for motorized, however there is a major push by others to not let that happen. I look at it as a push for a mini wilderness attempt. We need to push back if we want to be included in usage of this area. I have submitted a letter as the W4WDA State Trails Coordinator to the DNR in regard to this. I am hoping that many of you as organizations and individuals are sending letters not only to the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area Master Planning Group, but also cc’ing to your representatives. You can e-mail (address above) or send by snail mail to Diane Brusoe, Planner, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 608-261-6445. The DNR has had a public meeting in regard to handling of waste on the land and still has to meet with some other groups before they are ready submit their proposals—I get the inkling that one will be without motorized and another will be with some motorized. Once the proposals go public, public hearings cannot start any sooner than the two weeks after. Make for sure you are on W4WDA’s yahoo group or your club is on the listing so you can be kept updated in regard to this. You need to talk to your representative now in regard to this and also when the proposal comes out and GET TO ONE OF THE PUBLIC MEETINGS!!
BLACK RIVER FALLS (BRF) I have not done anything in regard to collecting information on this at this point in time.
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.
NATIONAL FOREST TOPICS
TRAVEL MANAGEMENT RULE (ROUTE DESIGNATIONS) ON NATIONAL FORESTS www.fs.usda.gov/cnnf The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for 2012-2013 is not available as of yet. The 2011-2012 holds until the new ones are available. The Pipeline is open only 6/1 through 3/14. Therefore, NOT OPEN for Memorial Day! Keep in mind trails/roads that are not listed and you want to use, you need to submit a request to have that specific trail/road added to the annual update of the MVUM for consideration by November 30, 2013. 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.
PIPELINE CLEAN-UP AND WORK WEEKENDS 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. There are two workdays listed so far. They are June 1 and September 28.
UNITED FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATIONS (U4WDA) TOPICS www.ufwd.org
In addition to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) there are Spring and Fall conference calls to keep the delegates updated. The Spring conference call is April 23 from 7:30-9:30 pm CDT. Currently there are openings yet for this conference call. If you are interested in sitting in on this conference call, let me know and I will walk you through it! Can be either by phone or computer—really nice if you have a computer to access through since they have a power point program that goes along with the conference call.
I have not seen the agenda as of yet, but some topics I know will be addressed will be nominations, the Annual General Meeting in June, the treasury, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Raffle to generate funds for United. Raffle donation is $25 for each ticket and sales will end December 31 OR when 4,000 tickets are sold, whichever comes first.
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. The new Land Use Director is Jason Church. If anyone would be interested in being part of this, touch bases with me and I’ll walk you through getting on the committee.
UNITED CONVENTION IN 2013 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) The meeting will be held in Manitou Springs June 26 & 27 (Wednesday & Thursday) with trailrides after the meetings. Everyone is welcome! For more info check United’s website. Also, if interested in representing W4WDA or MW4WDA talk to the association president to be appointed.
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.
NORTHWOODS OVERLAND OHV PARK www.northwoodsoverland.com
The park is closed except for possible use by groups who would have insurance coverage for such. The campground is also closed unless someone is found who is interested in managing it.
SPRING FLING My understanding is there will NOT be one in 2013?
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 been warmer—I have heard some did not come because of the frigid conditions. Raised over $18,000 for the March of Dimes and there were 65 vehicles that participated. Thank you letters and patches were sent out in January. Instead of patches & decals—we very likely will go with just a sticker for 2012. An article on the rally has been printed in the United’s Voice and the LSRA newsletter.
The 2013 rally date is the weekend of October 5 in the Arbor Vitae/Minocqua area. 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 email@example.com! There are all sorts of projects that can be done!
TRAILCON USA Melissa Borde, Cindy Bahr, Rod and Luana Schneider attended a meeting in Beaver Dam on December 15 in regard to a program Adam & Randy Harden are putting together. The program will include various recreation groups potentially including Four Wheel Drive, ATV, Off Highway Motorcycle, Snowmobiles, Equestrian, Camping and others. There will be vendors also at this event. It will be held at the Langlade County Fairgrounds in Antigo on August 8 & 9. Both W4WDA & WOHVA have agreed to be involved representing Four Wheel Drive with Helen Wagner volunteering to be the contact for W4WDA.
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.
LAKE STATES RESOURCE ALLIANCE (LSRA) John Schnorr is the President. Helen Wagner is on the Board representing W4WDA & MW4WDA—she was recently highlighted in the LSRA newsletter!
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’s meeting and workshops were April 12 & 13. Cindy Bahr and I attended this and now have a CPR certification. We also attended other workshops including a 501 C (3) four hour session put on by Ripon College. This program discussed the differences of a 501 C (3) versus other not-for-profit organizations. WOHVA has a whole listing of events that you can find on their website. John Schnorr has stepped down as WOHVA’s President (CEO) and is now Legislative Director and Dan Bergin is the new President (CEO). WOHVA is also very involved in getting a sticker (decal) program up for Four Wheel Drive in the state of Wisconsin. Go to the WOHVA website for updates.
WISCONSIN OFF HIGHWAY MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION (WOHMA) www.wohma.com
They, too, are proceeding on getting legislation introduced and theirs is also in the Legislative Audit Bureau for redraft that hopefully will come out this summer and be introduced yet this year. You can follow their updates on their website.
FOREST COUNTY OHV PARK (WORVPI) http://worvpi.org Early in 2012 a coalition was formed in regard to establishing a Motorized Recreation Area. This park has a potential of consisting of as much as10,000 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.
Currently the Business Plan is done and a Forest County Motorized Recreation Area Feasibility Study is occurring in regard to this park and parts of it are now released and others are not due to confidentiality—go to their website for the info that is released. Exact location in Forest County is not at this time.
There was an article on this in the Journal Sentinal on March 23 that is quite interesting!! The web site is http://www.jsonline.com/business/forest-county-offroadvehicle-park-proposed-pg98hks-19.
WORVPI is promoting membership at $10 per membership—I would encourage you join. I have forms with me or you can go to their website and get one. This is a 501 (C) (3) organization. Their annual membership meeting will be held May 18 at Potowatomi Carter Casino & Hotel. Brian Swearingen is on the Board.
CRANDON INTERNATIONAL I am assuming their facility will open again from May 1 to October 31 for camping and will be used as a trailhead for ATV’s. There will be rock crawling, moguls and mud pit available for playing in and on. I have been told that this includes OHV (Jeeps, trucks, etc.) and they are also looking at trails on their property. This could readily also dovetail with the Forest County OHV Park. Would someone like to explore this further? I don’t think it would take a lot of time, but would open a means of communication with them.
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—uncertain if the ones available through WOHVA are biodegradable.
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 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!!