Finally, rural voters are getting something they deserve...they want, after voting for their "small" government Republicans.
I can't wait till our big government overlords force mining operations on rural communities, neighborhoods, and schools, destroying their quiet rural utopias and roads. Big business is knocking, and they're not there to help anyone but themselves:
It’s no secret silent sports types in Wisconsin have been taking it on the chin. From a new law making it harder for cities to build bicycle paths to the erosion of public water protections, state policy has not trended eco-friendly over the past years.
And now the DNR (has approved) adding more than 200 miles of trails for ATVs and other motorized off-road vehicles in the Northern Highland–American Legion State Forest in northern Wisconsin. That forest is home to some of the best wilderness camping and paddling in the state. This comes even as planners admit that promoting motorized vehicles could drive away those who visit for the peace and quiet.
Advocates of quieter outdoors experiences said the state was bowing to a vocal, well-funded special interest. “The majority of public input really was not supportive of the increased motorized use,” said Mike McFadzen, who owns a vacation home a few miles outside the state forest. “If it’s approved, you may not find a place in the whole 240,000 acres where you won’t hear a motor.” Two-thirds of the public comments gathered by the DNR in the spring were opposed to motorized access.
But big monied special interests, the same kind of lobbyists Scott Walker claims he's fighting, got just what they paid for:
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in the past decade persuading state politicians to accommodate ATVs. Randy Harden, president of the Wisconsin ATV-UTV Association, has been fighting opposition to ATVs since the 1980s. He’s had help from ATV manufacturers in persuading state legislators and governors to enact a series of ATV-friendly laws ... officials said the move was driven by demographic trends and the growing popularity of ATVs and a similar type of vehicle known as utility task vehicles, or UTVs (4 wheelers).Property rights Republicans don't even mind, even though those same private interests said no many times:
Private landowners have been reluctant to allow access. They sign agreements with snowmobilers because the snow and cold protect the soil from being torn up, and the owners aren’t outside as much in the winter. A few years ago, the state discontinued a program that offered money for access to private land. There had been no takers.
Noise and dust from ATVs, and their speed, are likely to upset nearby homeowners and drive away some campers, hikers and canoeists, experts say. But there could also be an increase in motorized users, the DNR proposal says. Engine-powered vehicles are likely to cause erosion, spread invasive species and displace wildlife by destroying natural habitat, the proposal says.