THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Pete Pfankuch's Letter to the Editor
Issue Date: June 2, 2022
Spending $850,000 to build 10 miles of a mountain bike trail is crazy no matter what the source of funding is. The money all comes from the tax payers somehow!
I purchased Marinette County recreational property in 1986. The area was good for boating and snowmobiling. It became our home in 1992 and has been since. We have purchased more property and have several rentals including month to month and weekly. We own a UTV and a ATV in addition to snowmobiles and boats. The point is we are users not just speculators on what the recreational facilities are like and who uses them.
I have watched the area change a great deal. It is no longer a big year round recreational area for a number of reasons. The summer is still pretty good as the lakes continue to attract tourists and vacationers. The snowmobile trails use and quality have fallen way behind other areas to the north and west where they also seem to get more reliable snowfall. The snowmobile trails are better than they were but not the best. The River Road Riders trails are only open from early January to mid-March which they blame on the hunters. So if your sleds are on the trailer and you are headed north already it is easy to drive another hour or more for better trails that are open longer which is what people do. My son and my friends often tend to load up and head north or west to snowmobile on the "better" trails.
ATV's and UTV's came along and again many areas to the north and west have much better trails. Most of the riding around here consists of running the town roads and county access routes. The few real ATV and UTV trails are in the Twin Bridge area. A long "road" ride from many areas. On top of it the county closes the access routes from December until May which makes no sense. So the people that tend to use the local trails are the people that own local recreational property not the enthusiasts/tourists. Marinette County has become a place many tourists pass thru on the way to better recreational areas.
The couple big fishing tournaments bring participants because of the money provided to the organizers. While the participants spend some money they are not big spectator events and never will be.
There is no reason to spend a lot of money promoting tourism until changes are made to the snowmobile, UTV and ATV facilities. We need a real ATV trail that goes east to west. We need snowmobile trails that are open and groomed as soon as the snow starts accumulating not when a couple hunters are finally finished. The county ATV/UTV access trails (roads) should be open year round. It is not any more dangerous in the winter than driving a motor vehicle is. All vehicles seem more visible to me when the leaves are off the trees.
Time for the old out of touch oversized county board to start doing logical things instead of having short meetings and following the former land fill administrator's poor lead.