Don’t want trail on west side of L

Letters to the Editor from the Tomahawk Leader.
Tomahawk Leader
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:01 am

Don’t want trail on west side of L

Postby Tomahawk Leader » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:25 pm

The following Letter to the Editor appears in the Sept. 1, 2015, Tomahawk Leader:

The Town of Nokomis and the Nokomis ATV Club applied for a grant in 2014 from the DNR to put in a multi-use trail in the west side road right-of-way on Hwy. L. The proposed trail is going to be for ATV, UTV, snowmobiles, silent sports, hiking, biking, jogging, hunting, trapping, etc. They now ask the landowners after they started the project for our input. Here it is!

We do not want it on the west side of Hwy. L right-of-way!

Their reasons for taking this route are to access Swamp Lake Road and getting to the Bearskin Inn, because the snowmobile clubs do not want them on the Hiawatha Trail making ruts. They already have an approved ATV route to Swamp Lake Road, take Prairie Rapids Rd. to Hwy. Y to Swamp Lake Rd. Or Lee Rd. to Swamp Lake Rd.

This trail is not necessary!

Reason 2. They are not yet able to go across the snowmobile bridge by the Bearskin Inn to get to the west side of the river. There may be future plans to get access to the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters area. But there is a clash between snowmobile clubs and ATV clubs for trail damage due to ATV tires. So it’s a trail to get to the bar and then turn around.

We own property on the west side of Hwy. L. The trail will run the whole length of our property and will negatively affect me and my neighbors.

#1. Safety. Different trail users running over each other. Who is liable if people do not stop for trail signs and are injured on my property?

#2. Some of my neighbors’ front yards will be crossed very close to their houses, intruding on their privacy.

Noise! 24/7/365 days a year. Trespassing, littering, people doing their business in the woods, pollution, smell.

#3. There are at least three wetland areas that will be turned into mud holes.

#4. They plan on a 12-foot-wide trail, how many trees will be lost? Will it increase road noise? …

#5. Property value. Would you want this going through your front yard?

#6. Every driveway crossing will be a start and stop point for ATV tires to make ruts or damage blacktop and cause erosion. Will they pay for new blacktop? Snow removal? As ATVs and snowmobiles cross driveways they leave a lump of snow like a big speed bump.

#7. Alternative routes. Why disrupt all the people and cross all the driveways on the west side of the highway? I feel the way this grant proposal is being handled is sneaky, and fast.

Also, I do not understand why the ATV club is not allowed on the Hiawatha snowmobile trail because the snowmobile clubs do not want them to rut the trail. But with this proposal they want all clubs (multi-use trail) on the same proposed trail. So why can’t all trail users go on the Hiawatha? Then the ATV club can apply their funds to repair ruts before the start of the snowmobile season.

Thank you for listening,
Michael and Pamela Kottke
Hwy. L

Tomahawk Leader
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 1:01 am

Re: Don’t want trail on west side of L

Postby Tomahawk Leader » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:28 pm

This Letter was published in the Sept. 1, 2015, Tomahawk Leader:

Many questions remain
Questions Regarding Multi-Purpose Trail Proposed in Nokomis:

This article is in response to an article written by Larry Rydberg the week of August 24, 2015.

1. "No personal property will be involved." Two properties currently lie directly in the Right of Way (ROW) on County L. Who exactly holds the deed to the ROW on Cty L? Is the land deeded to the County? Is the land deeded to the property owner? Currently, the County Highway Commissioner and staff are researching these questions further.

2. "The trail will be 40 feet from the edge of the road and 12 feet wide." Should this trail be built, it will run roughly 50 feet from one existing home that is in or near the ROW. Even the Grant proposal addresses this issue in the statement; "Some property owners have built in the ROW. Negotiations will have to take place to use the ROW."

3. "The Department of Natural Resources has surveyed wetland areas along the proposed trail and determined they can be avoided." The DNR has only marked the wetlands. The DNR is neither for or against this trail. The DNR did not make a determination regarding the implementation of the trail. After contacting the DNR, their position is: "From the wetland regulatory perspective, if the trail can be constructed in a manner that avoids fill/discharge to wetlands, then no DNR or COE wetland fill permit is required – however, the COE and DNR Wetland Regulation program did not make an assessment of the trail design, or whether other DNR program standards (such as the Grants Program) or County requirements could or would be met." The DNR did NOT determine that wetlands can be avoided.

4. "A survey was sent to property owners along the trail. Many are in favor of the project." At the time of this writing, 8 of the 12 property owners on County L are opposed to the construction of the ATV trail along the west side of County L and we are still waiting for information from other land owners

5. If this is to truly be a Multi-purpose Trail, then many questions need to be addressed:
A. How do ATV's, runners, walkers, bicyclists, etc. coexist on the same trail?
B. How do snowmobiles, cross country skiers, snowshoes, etc. coexist on the same trail?
C. What type of surface would be laid that could accommodate the above activities?
D. What safety factors and liability issues are present with such a trail?
E. How can wetlands be avoided when they are clearly impacted by the planned trail?

There are many unanswered questions and obstacles involved with the current plan for the Multi-purpose trail on County L. Some of the property owners along County L support the connection of the Bearskin Trail and the Hiawatha Trail, but simply believe, much more study and work needs to be completed in order to satisfy all parties affected by such a trail. The current trail proposal simply does not work as planned.

Steve Shumaker

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