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DNR approves controversial Blue Mound State Park snowmobile trail

Trail will restore corridor between Blue Mounds and private trail

DNR approves controversial Blue Mound State Park snowmobile trail

BLUE MOUNDS, Wis. -- - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved a plan to include a 1.4-mile snowmobile trail cutting through Blue Mound State Park.

Ben Bergey, director of the Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Department, said in addition to providing new recreation options, the trail will restore a corridor between the village of Blue Mounds and a private trail that existed years ago.

"Since that's been gone the snowmobilers had no way to link up north of the village of Blue Mounds," Bergey said. "So it really provides a corridor."

Some skiers, bikers and hikers who use the park opposed the trail, citing noise and safety factors.

"I don't favor that they put the trail through the park. You can hear right now it's quiet," Rami Aburomia, a cross-country skier, said. "And snowmobiles make a lot of noise and their noise carries a long way."

Aburomia worries the noise levels may keep him away from the park.

"I think if it's bad it will keep us away," Aburomia said.

William Van Haren, vice president of the Board of Friends of Blue Mound State Park, said members of his group worry about the trail's impact on the park's scenery.

"We think it's a little unfortunate that this rather significant corridor will be cut through a wooded part of the park," Van Haren said. "An acceptable route does exist. So the disturbance in the park and the expense to do that seemed like it might not be worth the usage."

Bergey said the state kept environmental impacts in mind when planning the trail.

"We take sustainable trail-building techniques into play whenever we develop trails," Bergey said. "I think from an environmental aspect we've minimized those very significantly."

Bergey said the state also kept hikers, bikers and skiers in mind. He said the plan adds nine miles of additional trails for them.

Despite the DNR's decision, Van Haren said he and members of his group still plan to support the park as they always have.

"We're not anti-snowmobile, we just had a difference of opinion on where it should go," Van Haren said. "So they more or less got what they wanted and we didn't in this case."

DNR officials did not say when the agency will begin implementing the trail plan.

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