The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board on Oct. 25 approved the use of ATVs and dirt bikes in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, acknowledging the growing popularity of responsible off-highway recreation.
The board OK’d the use of 205 miles of existing forest roads for use by ATVs and UTVs, development of 36 miles of motorcycle trails and additional trails for hiking and bicycling.
The same board approved a master plan in 2005 that prohibited ATV use, citing the potential for excessive noise and damage.
According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, state officials noted that communities adjacent to the 232,000-acre forest allow ATVs on roadways and area businesses support expanded access to the public land.
A 2015 state law also required the Department of Natural Resources to plan for motorized recreation on land controlled by the agency.