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Snomo trail relocation is property rights issue PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

Karen and I want to thank all of the people who stopped us on the street or in the stores or post office telling us that we were doing the right thing.

The court ruled that the snowmobile trail can be constructed on the Highway 155 easement in front of our home. The court didn’t rule, however, that the trail had to be constructed.

The real issue is not whether the snowmobile trail can be constructed. The real issue is whether or not the underlying landowners of the highway easement have the right to prohibit such a use on their lands. It is an issue of property rights.

The Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club lost Corridor No. 15 for themselves. Now, the property owners in this residential low-density zoning district have been put into a position of having to protect their property rights. This isn’t an issue of eminent domain. This trail is not for the good of the masses. It is for the good of a special interest group, the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club.

Things have changed over the years. The open lands that could once be used for snowmobile trails are now residential areas.

When all of this started, the Department of Transportation asked to have a meeting with the landowners, Vilas County and the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club. The county and snowmobile club refused to meet.

This trail isn’t a necessity. Every business in St. Germain has trail access now. The Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club doesn’t want to lose the prestige of having Corridor No. 15 run through town. This is the third winter that they have gotten along without it.

People just sit around doing nothing unless they are directly affected. If we, the individual property owners,

don’t start doing something, we will lose all of our rights. It is not a right of the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club to use this land. It should be a privilege given by the property owners, not the court. One person can’t fight something like this by himself or herself.

I have asked the Vilas County Board of Supervisors to reconsider the location of this trail. If you think that property rights are important, my email is mekti@frontier.­com. I will pass your comments on to the county board.

Who knows, the next trail might be in front of your home.

Tom and Karen Martens

St. Germain

Monday, December 23, 2013 11:53 AM

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