Willow Flowage could expand ATV access Submitted: 07/25/2013
LITTLE RICE - It seems like you can go most places with an ATV in the Northwoods. Clubs seem to be popping up in every community. Some towns are allowing ATVs to share some roads with cars. Now, the Willow Flowage area could be expanding its trail system for ATVs. The Department of Natural Resources held a public comment session near Tomahawk, Thursday.

The group presented its proposed changes and heard comments from residents. Joan Giusto has been riding ATVs for decades. She wants all of the flowage's roads to be ATV accessible. ""We want multi-use trails that everybody can use, and we want to be able to use the town roads and the county roads to get from trail A to trail B," Giusto said. The plan would open 7.4 additional miles on three roads during hunting season for cars, ATVs and UTVs. But DNR officials have to balance the recreational habits of every taxpayer. "Someone who is a mountain biker or a silent sport enthusiast, they've got just as much say as to what happens with state land as someone who rides an ATV or UTV," Tom Shockley, Willow Flowage Forester, said. Officials believe the plan has the balance, but isn't sure about the fate of the proposal. "It's unknown at this point," Shockley said. "I think we've got a pretty solid proposal in place here and it just depends on the types of comments we receive from the public and how it moves forward." Another proposal would allow campsites and canoe sites in the Rainbow Flowage of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. The possible sites would be on land in Vilas County. The public comment period lasts until August 9th.

Story By: Adam Fox

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