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Local clubs help secure Yamaha ATV safety grant
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MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden service has announced that it has received a Yamaha Off-Highway Vehicle Access Initiative Award to purchase a Recreational Safety Enforcement Trailer. The grant, totaling just less than $16,000, was offered as part of Yamaha's effort to promote safe, responsible riding and sustain open riding areas.

The new trailer will be used around the state to support conservation wardens as they enforce Wisconsin's laws while on the trail or water, according to a recent DNR press release.

The unit is designed to haul two or more off-road vehicles. "The trailer will be equipped with the tools necessary to process all ATV, snowmobile and boating violations with emphasis on operating while intoxicated and loud noise violations," said Lafayette County Conservation Warden Jeff King.

"It can be used anywhere in the state," he said.

The trailer is scheduled on a statewide calendar and would be used in Lafayette County at least a couple of times each year, according to King. "I would use it if there was going to be an ATV patrol where you are looking for drunk drivers, loud ATVs or other violations such as vandalism along the trail," he said.

King got the ball rolling two years ago when he sought the support of various local ATV clubs and businesses that might want to help promote safety on area trails. Their recommendations were instrumental in securing the grant for the purchase of the trailer through letters of support that accompanied the application to Yamaha Motor Corporation headquartered in California.

The role of the ATV clubs in the grant application process is essential, King noted. "We asked if they would be willing to write letters of support for the grant application, and they all did."

Tri-County ATV Club President Lee McCarville said the use of grant money is important to keep the trails in good shape and safe for everyone to use. "If you don't take advantage of grant money, you have to use more of your own money to get things done," he said.

McCarville agreed that vandalism can be a problem. "We do have some vandalism out there on the trail," he said. "Every time somebody steals a sign, that's 20 bucks to replace it, plus the time and work involved.

"If we can get law enforcement out there, it definitely leaves us with more dollars to do other things," he said.

"This new trailer assists the department in achieving one of its primary goals which is to enhance opportunity, safety, and enjoyment of outdoor recreational experiences in Wisconsin," King said.