People of Boulder Junction disagree on whether to add ATV trailsSubmitted: 08/13/2019
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen

People of Boulder Junction disagree on whether to add ATV trails
BOULDER JUNCTION - Lee Hoffman owns The Granary in Boulder Junction. Right now he's extremely busy, but says it won't last as long as he'd like.

"In the summer we're busy, we're busy in the winter," said Hoffman. "We're trying to fill some of the gaps in between there that will help our economy."

Hoffman has staffing problems because of lulls in the fall and spring. He believes one way to remedy this is by connecting Boulder Junction to the network of ATV trails in the Northern Highland - American Legion State Forest.

However, in January, a town survey showed 55 percent of Boulder Junction property owners were against ATV access.

"We need to have some parts in Wisconsin that are quiet and preserved where you don't have motorized vehicles running through the woods," said Tom Basting.

Basting and Anne Brouwer of the Alliance to Preserve Boulder Junction believe 12,000 miles of ATV trails in Wisconsin are enough. They want to keep Boulder Junction a haven for silent sports. Brouwer said there is no data to back up the claim that increased ATV access helps towns.

"People [might] abandon the amount of time and money that they spend in Boulder Junction because they don't want to interact with ATVs," said Brouwer.

Hoffman argues other communities in the Northwoods are seeing the benefit of adding ATV trails and doing so. He says most of the businesses in Boulder Junction agree with him; three-fourths signed a petition for ATV trail expansion. 

"The whole purpose is the economics of it," said Hoffman. "We want people to be able to get from point A to point B so they can support our business."

Next month as President of the Boulder Junction ATV club, Hoffman will argue to the state in favor of trails connecting Arbor Vitae and Boulder Junction. There will be a public comment period after that.

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