Promoting quiet recreation in Wisconsin.
Opposing the coming attempts to sell off Wisconsin's natural heritage.
Fighting denial about climate change. When are we hitting the streets?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lake District for MInocqua and Kawaguesaga Lakes?

In the Lakeland Times. This seems to be a no-brainer: People spend an incredible amount of money to live on a northwoods lake. Even if you don't agree with me that living on a lake entails an extra responsibilty to protect a public resource, you would think people would want to protect their private property resource.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Speeding and culture....

Listen to this "Talk of the Nation" episode on the psychology of speeding.

Speeding is responsible for an incredible number of deaths in the United States. However, nothing serious is being done about it, even thought the solution is really simple.

The program focused on how to get people not to speed. I say, why not make cars that can't speed? Is there a reason for any car to be able to go over 75 miles per hour? And wouldn't it be cost effective to put "tags" in roads that signal to cars how fast they can go?

The fact that we are still thinking of psychological fixes means we aren't serious. We are still hypnotized by the myth that our highways are some sort of racing frontier.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Investigative results....

Getting back to you about some questions I had:

According to Lt. Sullivan of the Vilas County Sherrif's Office, It IS legal for snowmobiles to ride on the right of ways of county highways, hence the horizontal marks made in the hillsides on the sides of Highway M were made legally. As I said, I was not particularly worried about the damage, but was concerned that this is an example of how hard it is to supervise adn prevent damage when machines go off-trail. (IF more snowmobiles are build to go off trail, will this be a a problem in the future? Who knows?)

Second question, yes, people in Presque Isle are VERY interested in connecting to the Boulder Bike path. How many, and how seriously? More to follow.

I am on the "North Boulder Bike Trail" committee, and I can just affirm that there is lots of desire on our part to extend the trail north, mainly to make the bike trail accessible to all of the resorts and residences in the area.

But, it will take some time. In the meantime, come bike the "Heart of Vilas County Trail", and if you come north, tell them you are here for the silent sports!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail Dedication Ceremony...Boulder, Sayner, St. Germain...

I had originally planned to bike to Crystal Lake from my house, but thunderstorms were forecast, and I figured I would be better off starting from the parking area at the junction of M and N. One very nice thing about the trail is the number of starting and ending points.

It looked to me that there were about 100 people. (by the way, is there a calculus one uses in estimating crowd size?). Not bad for a rainy day. I asked Boulder Junction town chair Jeff Long if he felt pretty proud of what had been accomplished-due in a large part to his vision. He was beaming. He talked about how the connections were good for all communities. How about trails to other communities? He said he would like to see trails anywhere he could get them, but that it isn't easy or quick.

Marcia Kittleson, from the Sayner-Plum Lake Chamber of Commerce, was also excited for the future. She talked about Cloverland wanting to get on board, helping to connect Eagle River with the Heart of Vilas system. There is still more work to be done. Mark Hiller, from the St. Germain Bike Trail Committee, talked about surfacing a new portion of their trail. (It ain't cheap!)

And while people talked about the future, it was time to celebrate what had already been accomplished. People in all three communities worked very hard to create this treasure we can all enjoy. No one anticipated the excitement this trail system has generated. It is changing the economic landscape of Vilas county. (See the Dennis McCann article I linked to about a week ago)

(Three photos: First, of Crystal Lake, one of many beautiful gems on the trail, The Ribbon cutting with Jeff Long, Marcia Kittleson, Mark Hiller, and Sen. Breske, and finally, a picture of the trail just before Crystal Lake from Highway M.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fireworks are for the Fourth....

Can anyone explain to me why people want to come to a quiet, northern lake and shoot off fireworks? I mean, explain it in any way that doesn't include the word "stupid"?

I can only understand it in this sense: You probably can't launch fireworks in the city, because there are more people and cops in the city. There aren't as many people or cops in the northwoods, and the wildlife can't complain, so it is OK to punk them all.

Fireworks are technically illegal to blow off, but they can be sold in Wisconsin, supposedly for tourists to take back to Illinois. (can you explain this to me in any way that doesn't include the word "stupid"? ) But notice that most fireworks retailers are on the "heading north" side of the highway. In other words, all of this is a cynical scheme for a few people to make money off of the displeasure of the many. (most people who live on northern Wisconsin lakes don't blow off fireworks at night, and would prefer other people didn't as well).

I understand that this blog has a following among ATV enthusiasts, let me see if I have any fireworks enthusiasts. I will use small words. Remember: Loons are nesting this time of year. Lets not disturb them. Try enjoying the quiet instead. When you need excitement, close the windows and play a video game till you get back to the city. Light off your fireworks there. When the police come and explain why you can't do that, remember: The same reasons apply on Northern Wisconsin lakes. You are creating a disturbance.