judge delays construction of disputed Blue Mound snowmobile trail | Local government


Snowmobilers will have to wait at least a year for a new route through Blue Mound State Park.

An Iowa County judge on Wednesday blocked construction of a long-contested trail outlined in a new master plan that is facing legal challenges from the park’s volunteer support group.

The Natural Resources Department had planned to begin construction on November 5, but Judge Margaret Koehler granted the Friends of Blue Mound State Park’s request to suspend construction until the lawsuits are settled.

A land conservation organization has purchased approximately 70,000 acres of forest land in northern Wisconsin in hopes of preserving it for public use and logging.

The dispute involves a new master plan for the 1,153-acre park on the Dane-Iowa County border.

Approved by the Natural Resources Board in May, the plan includes a mile-long snowmobile trail through the park to connect the Military Ridge State Trail to the county trails to the north. Currently, snowmobilers can use road shoulders to move between trail systems.

Friends have asked the court to review the plan, arguing the 12-foot-wide trail could damage ecologically important habitat and threaten the endangered rusty bumblebee, promoting a sport of declining popularity. to the detriment of hikers, cyclists and other users.

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