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home : letters : letters May 24, 2016

1/18/2013 9:21:00 AM
Say no to ATVs in the Northwoods

To the Editor:

With the minimal amount of snow in the Lakeland area this season, I am again hearing a clamor for ATV trails to open. 

A lot of local businesses have taken a hard hit this year due to lack of snow. They seem to believe that the silver bullet to correct this is to open ATV trails in the area. These repeated attempts to open and establish trails in the area have been voted down several times in the past, which is only wise for our communities as a whole. 

Who is going to be responsible to regulate, and enforce any rules for ATV use? ATVs by their nature bring with them noise pollution, soil erosion, soil pollution, transfer of invasive plant species, water pollution and the list goes on and on to even legal aspects. 

Trespassing, destruction of property, poaching, wildlife harassment, dumping of trash, etc. Are we to expect our DNR, our overworked wardens to be responsible for this. What strain is it going to put on our first responders dealing with the imminent accidents in far flung locations? 

Despite all this there is a clamor for ATV trails due to the economic impact it would have on the area. 

To be fair, let’s look at that for a moment. 

Many communities in the area have worked hard and invested quite a bit into the “quiet low-impact sports.” We have a system of incredible bike paths and trails, a wealth of hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and canoe/kayak paths established. 

The restaurants, hotels, campgrounds and a plethora of other businesses cater to these quiet sports enthusiasts. 

Because of this how many businesses in the area have sprung up offering kayaks, maps, bikes, outdoor gear, and camping gear. Are we really willing to throw those thriving, and in some cases expanding businesses under the bus, so to speak, by allowing the use of ATVs in our forests? 

Go to any number of our local campgrounds in the summer months. They are all packed with happy families toting kayaks, bikes, and hiking shoes. They are all enjoying the quiet peace “wilderness” feel of our Northwoods. Imagine being camped on the lakeshore. The summer sun is setting making the water like glass, a loon is calling in the distance. There is a sense of overall peace and tranquility. 

Now imagine that same scene where you can’t relax and hear the quiet, or even the loon calls over the drone of revving engines of ATV enthusiasts camped within the same campground, or from the nearby ATV trails? 

How long before those original families go elsewhere? How long before we see businesses closed, how long before any semblance of the Northwoods is destroyed? 

ATV trails may look good on the surface. However, the cons far outweigh the pros. For those few extra dollars in the “off” months our communities would suffer economically, socially, legally, and the environmental costs would be irreversible. 

I say no to ATV trails in our Northwoods. 

Al Eldridge

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich


I don't disagree that buyers get to choose what and why they spend their money. I just find it a bit shallow to make ATVs a deal breaker. But to each his own.....

And for your info, Gary, my property is in Vilas Co. Iron Co is not "mine", as you so arrogantly put it. I would much rather spend my money locally when I use the ATV and support my neighbors, but since you snowbirds keep stonewalling those filthy, destructive ATVs, I trailer it to Iron and Price, where I and my cash are welcome.

Alas, maybe I should just settle for riding my bike on those nice blacktop trails. Lord knows the bicyclists are big spenders......

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Gosh Tim, I guess you would have to tell me which of my "wealthy" friends feel about the open pit mine since some are for it and others against it. Maybe when the mine is worked out you can drive your ATV there and do no damage or annoy potential property buyers. Get this straight .....I remarked about potential buyers of real estate not wanting to purchase in your county often because of ATV's. Try to keep on subject. Thank you.

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Article comment by: John Maloney

It is rare that I agree with Mr. Meinert here goes, he is correct what a buyer wants is what they want. If someone does not want to spend their money in areas where ATV's drive around so be it, no one should determine what someone else thinks is a deal breaker. People who have money to spend get to spend it how they want, only they can determine where or why they spend their money.

Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich


Curious as to how your wealthy friends feel about a potential open pit iron mine in the county. Is that affecting any decisions as to wanting to purchase property for them? Or is just those filthy ATVs that keep them away?

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

No Tim: Read what I wrote. My customers who wanted to purchase property VERY often omitted Iron County due to the ATV's which they saw driving up and down the main streets and gullies along the roads. A person doesn't have to agree or disagree... but that was their choice and in large percentages. I can say the same about jet skiis. You may say those "buyers" are shallow people but that's their prerogative. Personally, I feel the same so I elected to live in Vilas County. That, too, is my choice. If a business' success is so heavily influenced by ATV's, that business has deeper problems... you must admit that. What you call "shallow" is another person's wise choice, in their opinion.

Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich

Gary -

So you're saying that you would "shun" Iron County because of ATVs? Wow.....just....wow. I guess you got me there. I don't know how to respond to something so shallow.

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Article comment by: Jay Giese

I am from Green bay
I would be up there snowmobiling spending my Money No snow No Go
I also ATV more than I snowmobile ,there is about 8-10of us that go every weekend and vacations
And we do NOT make a mess or noise,we are just out for a good time (we dont even drink)
We atv all around vilas county because you dont let us ,If you dont want our money FINE,I dont think his is very smart on your part ,Food $220.00 Gas $ 120.00 Hotels $500.00
This is what we spend a Day
If you dont want it I am sure other countys will.
You are make the wrong desisions,put some new people on your board of directors $$$$$$

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Tim: Imagine how good business would be if those who shunned Iron County because of ATV's, as I would do, had moved there! If businesses in Iron county have to rely on the ATV's for survival they are should be allowed to fail with only that thread to cling to.

Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich


The business people in Iron County staying afloat due to ATV riders may disagree with you.

Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Article comment by: Tim Behselich

Apparently, Al doesn't go outside during the winter months, or maybe heads south? He must not hear the constant whining of snowmobile engines day and night, which reminds me of standing near a beehive. Noise pollution by ATVs? Give me a break. Good call, Michael.

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

I have to agree. When I sold real estate in the north woods for 10 years after retiring I was repeatedly asked for property where ATV's and Jet skis minimal or excluded from the area. I now winter in southern Arizona and if you want to see decimation of beautiful desert by ATV's, just come down and take a look. I'm not fond of snowmobiles either but at least they have some use to get from one place to another during heavy snows. ATV's are a useless toy of destruction. You might check Iron County to see the mess they have with them.

Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Soletski

It appears that every negative comment that Mr. Eldrige has provided also pertains to snowmobiles, except the time of the year that differs.

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