Wisconsin DNR creates off-road advisory council

Publish Date: 
Jun 25, 2013

MADISON, Wisc. – Gov. Scott Walker has signed senate bills governing youngsters riding ATVs and creating an off-road council for the state.

“These bills ensure all-terrain vehicle and utility terrain vehicle riders have a voice on matters that relate to them and the recreational activity they enjoy,” Walker said. "I'm also glad more young people throughout Wisconsin will be able to enjoy ATVs and UTVs, while ensuring their safety. I thank Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) and Representative Erik Severson (R-Star Prairie) for their work on these two bills which will extend ATV/UTV recreation in Wisconsin.”

Senate Bill 29 creates an off-road vehicle council in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide advice and make recommendations to the governor, the DNR, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Legislature regarding trails, routes and grants for the landowner incentive program.

The council will consist of seven members appointed by the governor to serve three-year terms. Councilpersons must be Wisconsin residents, members of an ATV or UTV user group, and knowledgeable about outdoor recreation issues and trails the groups use. If the DNR secretary determines the council has not convened once during the previous year, the council dissolves.

Under Senate Bill 32, an individual younger than 12 years old will be able to ride an ATV/UTV on land under the management and control of an individual, who consents to the operation of the ATV/UTV, and if they are accompanied by their parent, guardian, or other designated adult. An additional component of this bill is that individuals younger than 18 years of age may operate an ATV/UTV at demonstration events if it is on a closed course, the individual wears protective headgear, and they are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or designated adult.

Walker signed the bills June 22 at Erv's Sales and Service in Tomahawk.

Posted by Holly Wagner