There is a new “invasive species” approaching our northwoods region. At the public informational meeting held in Cassian this past Thursday, it appears the Woodboro Wildlife Area could be affected. This pristine acreage next to Lincoln County is about 3,600 acres of well managed forest and available for recreational use mostly non-motorized. One snowmobile trail traverses from SE to NW, hunting is the top recreational use along with varied silent sport activities. Scattered small lakes not really good for fishing. The overall Area Master Plan is to plan for continued management with added public usage.
At a time when large tracts of acreage is being donated by families via Land Trusts for the preservations of prime wildlife habitat and forests, this one is unique since it is a large piece of acreage and good wildlife habitat within a county already under good overall forest management.
An ATV trail route on approved roads currently abuts just outside this region from the E and extends N and S. The Nokomis ATV club is requesting one portion on the SSE side be opened to ATV’s although permission already is there to ride roadways. A question was asked: “Why do you want to go into this area?” Ans: “Because it is such a beautiful, scenic, little area to go through”. This particular invasive species, could be identified as “mechanized homosapiens”.
For this region to be ATV compatible on the current snowmobile trail: a bridge would need to be widened and moved, trail moved, a trail would need to be more distanced from water, wetlands, all sorts of small species, gravel needed in areas, wider trail to accommodate usage, tree cutting; has an active osprey nest. Get the picture now of this “beautiful scenic area”? with improvements? Regular ATV rules would apply to operation, but in the summer months, none of the region’s habitat has that type of mechanized sound or use. Despite that, to open this one little portion of a snowmobile trail to ATV usage, why would they not want to open the whole trail system all the way to the NW? “Give an inch-Take a mile”? A precedent for future expansion?
WI State Statues 23.09(2)(d)3 and Chapter NR 1.51 and NR 1.61, “other recreational uses may be allowed on Wildlife Areas by the Master Plan “if those uses do not detract from the primary purpose of the properties”. We sincerely hope Woodboro residents work to curtail any advance development that would take away this regions uniqueness in the heart of Lincoln/Oneida counties. That is what makes a region desirable to visit, recreate or just live nearby. Each region is unique to a separate enjoyment. Remember: All types of enjoyment, motorized or foot traffic need not be made available in every available place.
Lin Kenworthy, Tomahawk