Trail access questionable
Eagle River, a city which carries as one of its trademarks the theme “Snowmobile Capital of the World,” shouldn’t be having such difficulty trying to develop a responsible, effective ordinance for allowing its residents to use most city streets in order to access a designated snowmobile route.
While we don’t expect the city council will go so far as to allow snowmobiles to run at will on Wall Street, Railroad Street, the Pine Street bypass or even much of Main Street, the bulk of city’s streets should be open for the sole purpose of convenient trail access.
Besides city residents and property owners, that trail access privilege should be granted to anyone who is visiting a resident, staying at a motel or who otherwise needs to use a city street to access the nearest snowmobile trail.
We believe the city council should accommodate this basic need of the snowmobile and winter tourism industries, which remain today an economic lifeline during a time of year that previously turned these communities into ghost towns.
This proposal to implement the state’s trail access law in the city should not be confused with past attempts to open all city streets to snowmobile traffic. Sledders will be heading to the nearest designated trail, not going to the grocery store for milk.
Besides, when these side streets are covered by snow, sledders abiding by the same speed limit and stop sign regulations as motor vehicles do not pose an unreasonable safety risk for themselves, for motorists or for pedestrians.
If the city doesn’t want people putting the word “alleged” before the phrase Snowmobile Capital of the World, they should do a better job of accommodating snowmobilers.
Volunteers lead the fight
Vilas and Oneida counties have been a shining example for the rest of Wisconsin on what it takes to develop an aggressive, volunteer-based system to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
We tip our hats this week to those conservation-minded volunteers, whether they are members of a town lakes committee, a lake association or someone who donates time for the Clean Boats Clean Waters program, lake monitoring, water sampling or fund-raising.
These volunteers know all too well that the fight to prevent AIS from spreading to new waterbodies is no easy battle. It takes successful management of existing infestations and aggressive prevention efforts to do the job effectively.
Every person who serves on a town lakes committee, a town board, a city council, a unified commission or some similar entity is today a proven conservationist. The same is true of the responsible anglers and boaters who inspects their boats for weeds. No area of these two counties can escape the responsibilities of dealing with these invasives.
We have volunteers to thank for keeping 95% of our waters AIS-free.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2:28 PM|