Monday, September 14, 2009

Wisconsin nonmotorized trail users need to voice support for SB 265

In reaction to the following plea, I just sent the message below to the members of the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry and Natural Resources (;;;;;

I urge all Wisconsin hikers, bikers and nonmotorized trail users to do similar.

Dear Wisconsin State Senators of the Committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry, and Natural Resources,

I am writing you to voice my support of Senate Bill 265. As you are well aware, this bill would create a much needed segregated fund with an annual appropriation of $10 million or 1 percent of state motor fuel taxes, whichever is less, to be spent on the maintenance of nonmotorized trails. This is a measure that I whole-heartedly support.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources already administers similar programs that provide grants to snowmobile and ATV clubs to pay for the upkeep of their users’ trails. It seems fair, then, that a measure to make local government and nonprofit groups eligible to receive money to fix biking and hiking trails be put in place.

There currently exists a great disparity between how the maintenance of motorized and nonmotorized trails are funded. Revenue from a motor vehicle fuel tax is an appropriate source of nonmotorized trail funding.

This concept has won majority support on the Special Committee on Enhancing Recreational Trails for Nonmotorized Use.

There are two other bills before the you which I support: SB 266, which would create the Nonmotorized Recreation and Transportation Council; and SB 264, which would increase the trespassing penalties for ATV, snowmobile and other off-road motor vehicle drivers.

I ask that you please continue to moves these bills forward.

Thank you.

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