Governor Walker visits World Championship Snowmobile Derby
Story By Hayley Tenpas
EAGLE RIVER - Over 30 thousand people will attend the 50th Anniversary World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River this weekend.
One of them was Governor Scott Walker, who stopped by tonight to deliver opening remarks.
He talked about the grand tradition of the derby and how important the snowmobiling industry is to Wisconsin.
With over 25 thousand miles of trails, snowmobiling brings in about 1 billion dollars.
The Governor emphasized how important the industry is to our state.
"When we think of the winter, coming out in this part of the state and around the state, snowmobiling is a key part of tourism, a key part of our states economy. We want to make sure people keep coming back for that over and over again," said Gov. Scott Walker.
Gov. Walker declared this week Snowmoblie Safety Week
He says safety is the number one priority out on the trails.
"We want to make sure that when people are out on the trails, theyre having a lot of fun but they're doing it safely so they keep coming back over and over again. Because we've got some of the best trails in the world not only at this track, but Eagle River is the snowmobile capitol of the world and we want to keep people coming back," said Gov. Walker.
Gov. Walker adds the snowmoblie derby is a jewel for the state and the entire country.
He said he even remembers hearing about the derby when he was a child.
NORTHWOODS - As people start getting ready for the 4th of July, many will camp here in the Northwoods.
The DNR expects almost 3,000 people to camp in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest this weekend.
The DNR thinks this will be their best 4th of July yet, with almost all of the campgrounds full. People say there's nothing better than camping in the Northwoods.
"We like to come up to the Northwoods because it's beautiful and the water's crystal clear," said Prairie Farm resident Peter Fetting. "The other campers are always really friendly, and I've been coming up here for 30 years. This is my 30th year coming up here to camp."
People already got a head start heading out to beaches and on the water Friday. Campers say more people should come enjoy the woods this summer.
MADISON/TOMAHAWK - It may come as a surprise, but fishermen, hunters, or hikers can't legally cross most railroad tracks in Wisconsin.
That's even if the rail line splits their own property. Walking across tracks is only allowed on the thousands of crossings specifically approved by the state.
Some legislative Republicans think that doesn't make sense. They added a proposal to the state budget on Thursday to allow people to cross tracks on foot. Making a crossing would no longer be considered trespassing, and railroad companies would have no power to prevent it.
ANTIGO - Low temperatures this time of year can cause problems for some farmers. One Northwoods strawberry farm had to close down for a few hours earlier this week because the berries aren't ripening as fast as normal.
"The cold days this week made the berries ripen much slower than normal," says Andy Merry, owner of Merry's Berries.
MINOCQUA - You can find tourists all over the Northwoods already for the holiday weekend.
That means area police departments are busy making sure everyone stays safe.
The Minocqua Police Department has all of their officers working extended hours on July 4th, but the police chief says they worry more about safety than law enforcement.
"[The] 4th of July is more family-oriented," says Minocqua Chief of Police Dave Jaeger. "You have a lot of families down there with their children, so we're down there to make sure that it's a safe environment."
Places like Minocqua will be packed with people this weekend, so police just want to make sure holiday events go on safely.
"We mainly focus on, during the parade, we do the re-route, and we have officers on the parade route in case there's any type of issues or accidents that may occur, that we have to respond to," says Jaeger.
The Minocqua Police Department also works with the chamber of commerce and public works to make sure everything goes smoothly.
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