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Trail segment is not a necessity PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

I read with interest Jim Wendt’s letter (April 10 issue) concerning the logging of the land in St. Germain.  He talks about the rape of the land and how it will affect those using the golf course.

While I have no answers to the questions he raised, I do have a question for him and the officers and directors of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club.

My husband and I have been battling some of the members of the snowmobile club over the trail that they plan to put on the Highway 155 right of way. Contrary to what most people think, this right of way is an easement with the Department of Transportation (DOT), with us as the underlying landowners.  The DOT has the right to use the land for highway purposes, but we have all the rights of ownership to use our land as long as we don’t obstruct the use of the roadway.

According to the DOT, this is one of the few remaining “minor corridors” in the state that is an easement.  The DOT doesn’t  recognize snowmobiling as a mode of transportation.  The DOT has not even addressed snowmobiling in its 2020 Plan.

Last summer, the DOT suggested a meeting with all interested parties, but the president of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club and the Vilas County Forestry Department refused to meet.  Some members of the snowmobile club and Vilas County Forestry want to take away my right to use my land.

This proposed trail is not in the ditch line.  It doesn’t cross the entrance of my driveway.  They plan on clearing and excavating almost 80 feet back into my woods.

Members of the club have accused us of being against the businesses in St. Germain and yet for two winters, they have gotten along without this proposed trail.   I have not heard of anyone not coming back to St. Germain because this proposed trail is not here.

While Mr. Wendt has the audacity to accuse the town of raping the land, I can assure him that is exactly what the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club intends to do with my land and that of six other residential lots.  I am not against snowmobiling, but I am against a club that bullies local citizens who feel that they have the right to stand up and protect their property rights.

I don’t know, maybe my husband and I are the only people in St. Germain who feel this way, but I am proud of my beliefs and my voice needs to be heard.  Mr. Wendt, you have the ability to stop the rape of my land. This trail is not a necessity.

Karen Martens

St. Germain

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:24 PM

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