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What happened to the Three Lakes we all know, love? PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

Three Lakes is disappearing before our eyes; if we don’t take a stand, it will be gone forever. The Nicolet ATV Club has taken over the community.

The Three Lakes Town Board has become a board of elected members who serve their own interests, not the interests of the community. Their actions clearly prove this. One can see this control by attending a town meeting. The town board can legally vote without the inclusion of the residents. They have total jurisdiction and that is just what they did with the ATV issue. Is that a town board that cares about its community? Where is the democratic process?

A vote was never allowed, although letters and emails showed Three Lakes property owners and taxpayers were 60.3% against the ATV proposal and 39.6% in favor.

The town’s solution to the backlash is to ride out the summer and review the ATV ordinance in January, when all seasonal residents are gone again —?ignoring the community.

The ATV club is supposed to be the answer to all economic problems, that is the story we heard all winter. Now the businesses are changing their story, saying ATVs are probably not the silver bullet to economic growth.

Of course, now the ATV club has their routes and control over the town.

The residents who live on these so-called routes have been called selfish and noncaring of the community because they did not agree with an invasion of privacy for recreation. The ATV club’s motto is “to develop and maintain responsible trail system with respect to the environment and homeowners.” Is riding a noisy ATV or several ATVs past people’s home on previously quiet streets respectful? We have already seen riders without helmets, turning around in private driveways and post-midnight high-speed riding. Responsible? Respectful?

Is pursuing the Sam Campbell Trail system, one of the last multifaceted pristine ecosystems in Wisconsin which was set up to be a quiet nonmotorized hiking trail area, respectful or responsible? The ATV club and town board do not care about protecting our great natural resources. The ATV club and town board do not care about protecting THIS great natural resource.

The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, the largest group of ATV activists in the country, acknowledges that ATV noise is a very big problem and sends this message to all ATV riders: “The right to ride an ATV does not permit us to infringe on the peaceful environment of others.”

Renée Ladd

Three Lakes

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 4:16 PM


+28 #15 2013-06-12 11:53
The way I see this whole thing, is that they are putting the cart before the horse.

A trail system should be developed first, and I believe it should follow the snowmobile trails as closely as possible except for areas where it crosses lakes and swamps (duh). After all, the trails are already marked.

In terms of crossing a highway, I can understand your concern and have had to deal with that myself both as a driver and as an EMT. But I don't think that you can not allow an ATV to not cross. Perhaps keep the crossings off of state or county highways and only on back roads where lower speed limits are prevalent, and there are not any curves to the road blocking a driver's view.

Either way, using roads as designated routes is absurd in my mind, especially a state or county highway. I was just curious to see what others thought of ATV's in general.

To me, it does sound like there is leeway, but I would be curious to see what others say.
+36 #14 2013-06-11 18:37
1) If a trail system were developed (that did not have roads as designated trails) would you be okay with that?
It really depends. I am one of the NIMBY's. I bought my house because it is not near a snowmobile trail. If we have to have ATV's, I would prefer them off the roads and on trails. I mean come on, the point of an ATV is not to be riding on a road, that is for cars, motorcycles, etc. I am not even a fan of people walking or riding bikes on roads - I really think more walkways/trails should be opened up for that due to safety.
2) Are you against allowing ATV's to use the roads to access a trail system.
I am against them using roads, period. I don't like the fact that snowmobiles ride the ditches, it makes me nervous. I also don't like the crossing of highways either. I am aware of too many people that have been killed crossing hwys. Every time I see a snowmobile waiting to cross, I cringe. I really worry about safety and I see this as extremely unsafe.
-26 #13 2013-06-11 18:09
Joy, the difference is that I DON'T MISS ELECTIONS!

Surveys, listening sessions, comment cards... again only bolster those against a point of view; whether it be ATV's, municipal ordinances, taxes, new laws...

If you strongly disagree with what your elected representatives have done, why don't you run for elected office?
-26 #12 2013-06-11 17:01
As I am not a Three Lakes resident (I am a Sugar Camp resident), I too do not have a pony in the race when it comes to Three Lakes.

I do however, own ATV's and am in favor of a trail system. However, I believe that roads may only being used as access points for residents to access trails, not be used as designated routes.

This being said, I have a few questions for those opposed to ATV's as I would like to know the stance.

1) If a trail system were developed (that did not have roads as designated trails) would you be okay with that?

2) Are you against allowing ATV's to use the roads to access a trail system. (Be mindful that it is fully legal in Oneida County for snowmobiles to use roads to access trails.)

It just seems that from an outsider's perspective, there are two completely polar views towards ATV's, and I am curious as to if there is leeway at all.
-25 #11 2013-06-11 14:57
So...when people vote, or do not vote, the results become skewed? Just because you didnt voice an opinion? What happens if you had missed voting in an election - would the results be skewed because you did not vote?
-30 #10 2013-06-11 12:25
Joy, thanks for backing up Harlald and telling the truth about the skewed results. In fact the results did not reflect the entire town's opinion, just those that wrote or emailed.

Those opposed to any issue are always more vocal in their opposition than those for a certain position. Hence, the skewed numbers for those for and against the ATV trails.

Again, I have property in Three Lakes, I do not own or operate an ATV, so I have no pony in the race.

It is just that you Joy, Renee, and Harald have come up with half-truths to justify your position. I just enjoy pointing out your hypocricy to the readers.
-30 #9 2013-06-10 22:49
Thank you Harald for proving the results Renee cited were skewed. Joy questioned my use of the word skewed. But clearly I was correct as you have showed.

Now you are not concerned about the damage to the road surface? You flip-flop more than a just-landed fish Harald.
0 #8 2013-06-10 22:22
You voice was not heard because you did not take the time to write, email or speak your opinion during the short time they allotted for residents to speak regarding ATV usage. You continue to write that you don't really care either way, yet it seems like you have a significant stake in the ATV trails (I should say roads) being present.
+27 #7 Harald Karlsson 2013-06-10 13:30
The reason that you were not counted is because you did not take the time to respond with comments prior to the vote as was requested. This was not a survey. It was concerned stakeholders expressing their solicitated opinions. There were signiicantly more who were opposed than those who supported ATVs on all our paved roads. This is a fact. The Town Board also decided to disregard this fact.

We also are not concerned about damage to the pavement. We are concerned about the people who are put in danger because these vehicles are now allowed to be ridden on paved roads that the manufacturers tell us are unsafe. It is that simple.
-29 #6 2013-06-08 20:15

Why then was not my opinion not counted or recorded in this survey? I am a Three Lakes property owner. How cannot the survey be skewed if my opinion was not included? Please provide a link to the survey I missed that is in question.

ATV's owners also pay "huge(loaded term) fees"(registration) and taxes (sales, and gas amongst others) to own and operate as well, don't they? Why not give them the right to tear up the roads as well, after all, they are paying for them through HUGE fees and taxes.

ATV's will do a lot less damage to a road surface than a dump truck. Again it would take a lifetime, and then some for an ATV to significantly harm the road surface.

Another swing and a miss, strike two.

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