Today is 12-16-2017

Polk County Snowmobile & ATC Council is an alliance of all the snowmobile clubs in Polk County, Wisconsin. 

Polk County Snowmobile & ATV Council is an alliance of all the snowmobile clubs in Polk County, Wisconsin.  

The purpose of the Council is to stimulate and advance the general welfare and safety of ATV and snowmobile riding. The Council is a means to inform and educate ATV and snowmobile owners of legislation, regulations and to direct and manage available funds for construction and maintenance of trails. Polk County currently maintains 350 miles of winter snowmobile trails. clear, sign and groom snowmobile and ATV trails organize safety classes.


Informational Web Sites & Contacts:

Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs
Director for Polk County:
Dan Carlson
(715) 327-8679

AWSC Representative:
Doug Johnson
(715)554-2051

Phone for maps and trail conditions:
(800) 222-7655

 

Hot Off The Pipe News

New News 12-6-17

The Gandy Dancer Trail is Now open for ATV/UTV use!

From St Croix Falls all the way to Danbury

Frozen Ground Rule Now applies to allow these vechiles on the Gandy Dancer trail only.

"Also we have the inner connect trail" That you can Park at the information center in St. Croix Falls and ride up to the Gandy Dancer trail Follow the signs from there.

Do not ride off trails

This trail opens Monday 12/11/17

 

 

Stower Seven Lakes State Trail aka Amery to Dresser

              We have been working on adding this section of abandoned railway to our trail system since the tracks were removed in 1998. After the right of way was purchased by Wisconsin Polk County began the process of partnering with the State for trail management and developing a comprehensive Master Plan for shared use.

              At the same time a relatively small but vocal group decided that this trail should not be shared. They began protesting county efforts as soon as it became apparent the new trail might have to be shared. They were known as the “Friends of the L.O.G.G. (Lincoln, Osceola Garfield Greenway)”

              Lawsuits have served to effectively prevent us from adding this valuable connector to our snowmobile trail system since the Master Plan was completed and approved in 2004.

              In 2017 legislative action at the State level was completed which removed the roadblock preventing snowmobile use brought on by the last lawsuit.

              The Wisconsin DNR determined the time was proper to renew the trail management agreement with Polk County and update the Master Plan. Polk County and the DNR have been in contact to insure all of the proper steps are being followed. The visionaries on our Polk County Board also see the untapped Tourism potential in this as a shared use trail and are bound by the Polk County Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2009 with an Economic Development vision that focuses on developing Tourism opportunities.

              The past 13 years have given the current trail users ample opportunity to demonstrate how denying some trail uses has benefitted our community. While there have been a handful of users from outside our locale, the majority of current users remain local and their economic impact on our communities remains minimal. They are still actively opposed to sharing this valuable state owned trail with anyone else. Today they are known as the “Friends of the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail”.

What is the issue, really?

Why has the “Friends” group chosen to do everything it can to prevent the establishment of the shared use trail envisioned and approved by the Polk County Board in 2004?

A committee of Polk County citizens spent an entire year conducting meetings and public hearings, developing the Master Plan for the trail which was approved by the County Board and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The opponents (” Friends of the L.O.G.G. “)to sharing this valuable State owned asset went to work immediately to prevent the trail from being enjoyed by those who had worked so hard to develop the plan that the majority accepted and approved. Their opposition continues today (“Friends of the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail”).

This year Polk County has been given an opportunity to update that old Master Plan and renew its agreement to manage the trail with the DNR.

A recent change to the statutory definition of allowable uses on State Trails has made snowmobilers hopeful that we could add this valuable link to our existing system of interconnected snowmobile trails as was envisioned so many years ago.

There have been some “Friends” group members who claim to have no objections to snowmobile use, unless it occurs on this particular trail.

The latest lawsuit (shall we say frivolous?) filed against Polk County, on the 9th of November 2017, is one more example of a small special interest group that believes they should dictate to the majority how this valuable State owned property should be used only for their personal enjoyment. The lawsuit is an attempt to derail the County’s recent resolution regarding entering into a new agreement with the DNR which could authorize snowmobile use on the Stower Trail. It is more about delaying the updating of the Master Plan than it is about following any procedure. The Polk County Board has acted in good faith to follow all of the State’s requirements in its efforts to enhance Polk County Tourism.

For those opposed to changing any of the allowable uses on this particular trail, the longer they can prevent the Master Plan from being updated, the longer they will be able to keep this trail to themselves and the longer we will continue to neglect the economic potential of this as a shared use trail.

The opponents to snowmobile use on the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail are not only keeping snowmobilers from enjoying this State Trail for our short snowmobile season but they are also depriving local businesses of the positive economic activity enjoyed by the communities that support snowmobiling.

On the trail maintenance side of the equation, snowmobilers bring their own volunteers and pay for trail maintenance from a segregated fund established by the snowmobile community without any general tax dollars. When a trail is designated as part of our funded snowmobile trail system the managing County also uses those same segregated funds when performing maintenance on the trail. The administrative costs for managing the snowmobile grant at the County level are also borne by the snowmobile fund, as is the cost of law enforcement on the snowmobile trail.

It is evident that the snowmobile community pays its way through funding for our interconnected snowmobile trail system and a network of volunteers from over 600 snowmobile clubs in Wisconsin, 14 of them right here in Polk County.

Historically snowmobilers have contributed to the maintenance of many miles of State owned trails shared by different users. Currently there are 41 named State Trails in Wisconsin. All but 3 list snowmobiling as an authorized use. Snowmobilers are happy to share the trails and do our part to contribute to our communities.

Snowmobilers from those 14 Polk County snowmobile clubs support the efforts of our County Board to update the Master Plan for the Stower Seven Lakes State Trail and enhance this trail as a true economic generator for our communities.

Again, what is the issue, really?

 

Doug Johnson

Vice President Polk County Snowmobile/ATV Council

Snowmobile Representative Wisconsin Governor’s State Trails Council

Past President Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs

Past President Amery Snowmobile Club   

 

 

 

Polk County SNOWMOBILE trails are CLOSED as of 12/14/2017.

Live trail cam in polk county

New Live Trail feed will begin dec 18th stay tuned

                                                    

 

 

Almost live cam located 2 miles west of Amery updates every hour between Dec 1st & March 31st  

 

Trail Conditions

 

To check trail conditions all around Wisconsin and to see whether they are open or closed go to:

 

http://www.travelwisconsin.com/snowreport/snowmobile

free hit counters

 

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