ATV Riders Want to Use Closed Langlade Co. Trail

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Click the image to the right to view more photos from Thursday's event.

A portion of trail along the Wolf River in Eastern Langlade County is off limits to ATVs, but those who use those vehicles say it's about time it's opened up.

Hundreds of riders showed up at a county meeting on the issue Thursday morning.

Sally Mulhollon loves the outdoors, and one way she enjoys them is by hopping on her ATV.

"I want people to understand that tourism is the backbone of the north area, we do not have big businesses," she said.

What the north does have, she says, is recreation.

But one portion of land, along the Wolf River State Trail, is not for motorized use.

"It's not a trail that's owned by us, the decision comes from the DNR," said Tammy Kubiaczyk, Langlade County's recreation coordinator.

But the county is taking the heat. Kubiaczyk says the current agreement between the DNR and county is that the portion of trail is for non-motorized use, a decision made many years ago.

The 11.2 mile stretch of trail winds along the pristine Wolf River, near a protected fishery area. Connecting to it, is a developed trail that can be used for ATVs. The county is also working on developing another portion of the Wolf River State Trail for ATV use.

John Gozdzialski, the DNR's northern regional manager, says when opening the Wolf River State Trail, federal funding was provided, so they now must determine what their obligations are to stay within those guidelines.

They also have to consider the environmental impact of ATVs near a fishery.

But the ATV club members are not going to let them off the hook.

"The next thing we're going to do is we're coming to Madison," Mulhollon said.

Gozdzialski says they're working with landowners to develop alternate ATV trails near the Wolf River Trail, so there is no missing link.


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