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Master plan variances to increase opportunities for motorized recreation proposed for two northern Wisconsin properties open for public comment through May 10, 2017

By Northwest Region April 20, 2017

Contact(s): Ann Freiwald, DNR planner, 608-266-2130

MADISON - Master plan variances for two northern Wisconsin properties, aimed at increased motorized recreation opportunities, are open for public comment through May 10, 2017.

A 21-day comment period for variances within the Tuscobia State Trail and Flambeau River State Forest master plans is open through May 10. Following the public comment period, the comments received will be considered and the final variance will be posted to the property's master plan website.

To provide feedback on either variance listed below, visit, search keywords "master planning" and select either "Tuscobia State Trail" or "Flambeau River State Forest."

Flambeau River State Forest master plan variance

A variance to the Flambeau River State Forest master plan would authorize the designation and use of approximately 5 miles of Hervas Road as an ATV/UTV route to act as a connector with local town road networks where ATVs and UTVs are authorized. The variance would also designate 300 feet of the Connors Lake boat landing road for winter-only ATV/UTV use.

While the FRSF master plan supports ATV/UTV trails and routes and contributing to the regional network, these specific routes are not currently authorized in the master plan. These updates would provide sustainable, designated snowmobile, ATV and UTV riding opportunities as part of the regional network.

The route option was proposed by user groups, local residents and town governments. There is a high desire for additional connectors from the south that connect to the FRSF ATV/UTV trail with current town and county networks.

Tuscobia State Trail master plan variance

The Price County section of the Tuscobia Trail is currently closed during winter months to ATV/UTV use. This variance would expand the months open for ATV/UTV use to enable year-round use. This would provide a seamless connector that is not currently available during the winter season to and from adjacent connecting trails, developed trailheads and links to important recreation support amenities in Park Falls.

The 74-mile long Tuscobia State Trail is a year-round multiple-use recreational trail that offers opportunities for ATV and UTV use, snowmobiling, horseback riding, off-road bicycling and walking. The trail passes through part of the Flambeau River State Forest, and connects seven small communities in Barron, Washburn, Sawyer and Price counties, each providing year-round accommodations and services.

Proposed open/closing dates on the Tuscobia Trail in Price County would closely mirror operational dates for motorized trail use in other counties. Through this variance, the total ATV/UTV use on the Tuscobia State Trail would increase to 64.6 miles (currently 54.6 miles).

Through this variance, winter season ATV/UTV use on the Tuscobia State Trail in Price County would be open year-round to ATV/UTV, with a short closed period from November 15 to December 15. This approach would be consistent with ATV/UTV use on the Tuscobia State Trail in Sawyer County and provide a seamless connector for ATV/UTV operators from the Tuscobia State Trail via county forest lands and local town road routes to the Wild Rivers State Trail and trails beyond.

Two public meetings were held in Park Falls (Dec. 9, 2013, and Oct. 24, 2014) to discuss additional winter month ATV/UTV use along the Price County segment of the Tuscobia Trail. Attendees included representatives from a number of stakeholder groups and the public.

Last Revised: Thursday, April 20, 2017

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