UPDATE: Wisconsin ATV Access Bill Hits Roadblock

Read the latest update from our WI ATV bill story...

The move to pass a law allowing access by ATVs on private Wisconsin forest land under the MFL open program seems to have slowed after a strong negative reaction came from forest land ownership natural resource groups in the State.

The bill (Senate Bill 999) was not voted out of committee after a public hearing was held (on very short notice after the bill was filed by its Republican sponsors)

The Wisconsin Alliance of Forest Owners expressed opposition to the bill, pointing out its negative impact on forest land ownership. The WAFO statement included the likelihood of landowners converting land to non-forest uses or a closed MFL status to avoid the detrimental impacts on their land.

While the bill’s progress seemed to have slowed, WAFO suggested that landowners and businesses reliant on forest land for their raw materials remain alert to efforts to have it resurface. “Although this bill will not pass this session, it is still important that you voice your opinions to legislators and the bill’s sponsors. To find your legislator, simply do a Google search for “find my legislator”, the WAFO statement said.

Others pointing out likely impacts of this change to Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Land programs were the Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association. The Nature Conservancy noted that current law allows natural resource enjoyment of these lands for hiking, fishing, and hunting where participation can be negatively impacted by motorized vehicle traffic.

To get links to the bill’s sponsors, visit: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2023/proposals/sb999

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