The Oneida County Board has spelled out what county roads and a bridge where ATV/UTV use will be allowed.

 Last year Three Lakes allowed ATV/UTV use on town roads. But the number of lakes halted the recreational vehicles from going across the town because they couldn't cross the U.S. 45 bridge at Crystal Lake. Town chair Stella Westfall said giving permission for the vehicles to cross the bridge would tie all the trails together...

Robert Thigpen

Conover hasn’t yet decided whether to change course on its plan for a federally-funded bike and snowmobile trial.

The Conover Town Center was packed and tempers flared last night during a special town board meeting called to discuss allowing ATVs on part of the trail route.

An ATV trail in Conover would connect trails between Eagle River and Phelps. But silent sport enthusiasts were concerned that motorizing the trail would be a danger to bikers, pedestrians, and equestrians alike.

Wisconsin DNR

The public will have a few more chances to give input before ATVs are allowed on the Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area near Rhinelander. 

The state Natural Resources Board has postponed a decision on ATV access for a specific trail, opting instead to first develop a master plan for the property.

DNR property planner Tom Watkins says that will allow managers to take a broader look at how the property should be used long term.

Belal Khan

The town of Conover may reconsider its plans to build the first leg of a bike trail connecting Conover with Phelps. The move comes alongside Vilas County’s push to explore more ATV route options. 

Conover town board members are scheduled to discuss Wednesday whether to back out of an 850-thousand dollar bike path and snowmobile route. 

Funding has already been lined up from the Department of Transportation and local snowmobile clubs. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Eagle River is looking into a plan to allow ATVs on some downtown streets.

Eagle River Mayor Jeff Hyslop says a committee is figuring out a proposal that would detail specific routes.

“At this point no decisions have been made except coming up with a plan for it, and at that point people will have something to vote on.” 

The town of Lincoln is also looking into allowing ATVs on town roads.  

A UTV accident in the town of Little Rice has left a Rhinelander man dead. 

52-year-old Richard T. Johnson was killed when his UTV apparently left the roadway when going around a curve on Gobbler Lake Road, northwest of Tomahawk. 

According to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened on Saturday night at about 10:40 pm.

A woman passenger was also injured and was transported to a Wausau hospital. 

Her name has not been released.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Vilas County is likely to see ATVs on some stretches of county property.

The Vilas county board voted 14-5 last night to approve an ordinance which will allow the town of Phelps to use a section of County Highway A to extend town ATV trails.  The decision effectively overturns a 2004 referendum vote in which a majority wanted no county ATV trails, as well as a subsequent county board resolution banning ATVs on county properties and roads.

The Vilas county board voted 15-4 last night to amend the county's land use plan to allow motorized trails on county land and roads. The vote is a victory for those seeking to overturn a 2004 referendum vote where a majority wanted no county ATV trails and a subsequent county board resolution banning ATV's on county properties and roads.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Lac du Flambeau officials are wrapping up an environmental assessment of a proposed ATV/UTV trail. The Lakeland ATV Club wants to build a trail that would pass through the reservation. 

Lac du Flambeau spokesperson Brandon Thoms says the proposed trail would be about 23 miles long.

“It runs from the Oneida county border of the reservation – which would be the southwest corner of the reservation – east to the Woodruff Arbor Vitae area.” 

Ryan Afflerbaugh

Willow Flowage roads may see more ATVs and UTVs.  The DNR’s Natural Resources Board has approved an amendment that increases motorized vehicle access. 

Thomas Shockley is the DNR’s Willow Flowage Forester.  

He says the public weighed in on the original management plan for the Flowage.

Robert Thigpen

With ATV deaths hitting a high mark this year, ATV safety certification may be more important than ever.

Oneida County Sheriff’s Department helps put on ATV safety classes four times a year.  Deputy Brad Fogerty says his classes emphasize rules and regulations. 

“Rules of the road.  And what causes the majority of the crashes.  In every class I pull out the fatality sheet, and we actually go through each of them, and look at, this is how people are getting hurt, this is how people are dying riding an ATV.  And a lot of it is just basic safety rules. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A nonprofit group is working to build a 10,000 acre off-road vehicle park in Forest County.  The group says it would have a $28 million annual impact. 

President of Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated John Schnorr says it would meet a sizable demand for off-road recreation.  And he notes the park would be open year-round.

The Vilas County board of supervisors has turned back another attempt to establish an ATV route on a county highway.

Earlier this year, supervisors rejected a proposal for an ATV route in the town of Phelps.

Tuesday night, supervisors said no to an All-Terrain Vehicle ordinance that would have permitted an ATV route, on county highway D in Lac du Flambeau.

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State ATV officials hope to curb a quick climb in the number of ATV deaths in Wisconsin. Four people have died so far this year. One death was a Rhinelander man in an ATV crash near Merrill.

DNR Warden and ATV Administrator Gary Eddy says with summer here, more people will be on the trails. He says in some cases some people with limited experience will be driving....

Forest county could eventually see a 10,000 acre ATV park located there.

The Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc, a non-profit group, has finished a second study to see whether a park would be viable. The latest study was done by North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. Prior to that, a study was done by Ripon College on the economic effects.

President John Schnorr says the group feels the park would draw people from many areas..