By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Letter to the Editor: Keep hiking, biking trails free of UTVs
Letter To The Editor

From John Bauman


To the editor:

I am opposed to allowing ATV/UTV’s on the Sugar River and Badger State trails for many reasons. One of these reasons is the inherent safety risk that would be created by allowing these year-round vehicles on trails that were designed for walking, biking and winter snowmobiling. The trails are narrow in places and have numerous blind curves that could create tragic situations.

I was curious about any issues that ATV/UTV users have had in the area in the recent past so an open records request was submitted to the WI DNR. The results were frightening and do not predict a safe “sharing” of the Sugar River and Badger State trails, as proponents have suggested. The data covers the period from 1/1/19-6/12/20 and was for ATV/UTV citations issued by the DNR in Green and Lafayette Counties. It does not include citations or arrests by other law enforcement agencies, only the DNR and does not include warnings.

Of the 84 citations issued during this time frame, 18 were for either “Cause injury by intoxicated operation of all-terrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle” or “Operating while under the influence of an intoxicant.” Twelve were issued for “Operate all-terrain vehicle or utility terrain vehicle in a careless manner” and six citations were issued for illegally operating on public land or roadways. The remainder of the citations were for not wearing proper safety gear, lack of proper training and lack of registration.

The Sugar River and Badger State trails are used by many thousands of hikers, bikers, hunters and others each year. High speed ATV/UTV’s that risk the safety of other users of the trail should not be permitted.