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Northwoods Spotlight: Lumberjack GamesSubmitted: 03/06/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas


EAGLE RIVER - Last weekend in Eagle River, you could hear some very distinctive sounds. The roar of the chainsaw. the crack of the ax. Marisa Silvas heads to the forest to find out why the chips were flying.

The logging industry has a rich history in Northern Wisconsin, and many events that began in these forests were on display last weekend.

Patrick Grove the UW-Stevens Point Timbersports Co-Cordinator says, "It just brings you back to a simpler time."


"We have chopping, so we have very sharp axes and saws. And it's just a great time," adds UWSP junior Allison Johnson.

"We really enjoy Klondike Days. It's in our backyard and it's a wonderful kickoff to the season," says Nancy Zalewski, a World Record Holder.

Axe throwing, sawing, and chopping. Just a few of the skills featured at the 23rd Anniversary of the Great Northern Lumberjack competition in Eagle River.

The event is the only winter contest of its kind in the country. Competitors came from Colorado- even West Virginia. One group didn't have to travel far - the team from UW Stevens Point.

Timber sports are all about timing and accuracy. But it also helps to have top of the line equipment.

The world record for one woman in single buck is 11 seconds. It took Alison and me 43.

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That's because the Plum Lake Town Board voted against opening up parts of two roads: Kurtzweil Road and Birch Spring Road. Both are on the border of Sayner and St. Germain and are shared between the two towns.

A few months ago, St. Germain asked Plum Lake to open parts of those roads as part of an ATV route. At first, the Plum Lake Town Board approved them. That was before they found out a section of Kurtzweil Road was completely in Plum Lake.

"At that time the Plum Lake Town Board by a 2 to 1 vote approved letting them use that, assuming at the time the two roads were boundary roads equally shared by Sayner and St. Germain," said Will Maines, the Plum Lake Town Chairman.

So when St. Germain came back to the next town meeting with an ordinance for the roads ready to go, the Plum Lake town board then voted no.

Maines said most of the people in Plum Lake don't want ATVs on their town roads. The board found this out from a survey of residents and taxpayers they sent out in 2015, where he said about two-thirds of non-resident property owners and about two-thirds of Plum Lake resident voters voted against allowing ATVs on town roads.

"We'd like to cooperate with the town of St. Germain, but we represent the people of Plum Lake, and they have given us the message loud and clear: they don't want us to allow them on any section of our roads," Maines said.

The St. Germain Town Chairman Tom Christensen said the decision is "disappointing," but, "it is what it is."

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