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Snomo trail grooming impacts entire economy

It is again time for business owners in communities across the North Woods to invest in the future — to commit funds that will help nonprofit organizations with the costs of repairing, rerouting and grooming snowmobile trails for the winter recreation season that is about to begin.

Too many businesses don’t even bother to respond to solicitations from snowmobile clubs that are looking for funds to support the grooming operations. Believe it or not,

some business owners think they don’t reap any benefits from winter tourism that is sparked by the enormous, well-groomed snowmobile trail network in this area.

The truth be told, almost every business in northern Wisconsin benefits directly or indirectly because of the trail grooming. The money spent by snowmobilers in winter boosts the entire economy, giving those businesses and employees directly affected more money to spend in the community, where it changes hands over and over.

If your business is not located on a snowmobile trail or does not provide goods and services to the snowmobile industry, it doesn’t mean you’re not helped. You might not have helmet-clad sledders walking through the door, but many of your customers have the money to make purchases because they got the direct business from snowmobilers. Passing along the donation box without contributing is failing to support the industry that is key to the area’s four-season economic picture.

The trail system relies heavily on easements signed by generous, community-minded private property owners. It also utilizes public lands such as national, state and county forests.

As the snowmobiling season kicks into full gear this month in Vilas and Oneida counties, we tip our caps to the dedicated, hardworking volunteers who have taken the time to brush, sign, relocate, inspect and otherwise prepare the trails. These are the hardy individuals who run trail groomers long into the night, often in subzero conditions, in order to provide residents and visitors alike some of the finest, most scenic trails found anywhere in the world.

We understand that some businesses will donate more than others to trail grooming, depending on how directly they benefit from the trail system. But it’s still important to note that donations would not have to be extremely burdensome if all businesses would kick in something.


Crabb made right ruling

U. S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled last week that Wisconsin Chippewa tribes overstepped their authority when they issued an order allowing tribal members to hunt deer at night with the use of lights.

Not only do we commend Judge Crabb for her safety-minded stance, but she went the extra distance to remind tribal leaders that they can’t amend or ignore past federal court decisions. Basically, she told the tribes to either reach concensus with the state or petition the federal court for a new ruling — something that should have been common sense to the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Monday, December 24, 2012 4:54 PM
Last Updated on Monday, December 24, 2012 4:57 PM

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