To the editor:
(Re: “Council quietly OKs motorized noise with no regard for neighbors,” Nov. 28, 2013 and “Snowmobiles are an ‘unwelcome development’ on trail,” Dec. 5, 2013) As an avid snowmobiler, I’d like to say a few things about the new trail into the city. First, I don’t think anyone tried to get anything approved quietly or discretely through the City Council....
By having this spur trail come into the city, local businesses will benefit. Last year, several groups of people visited Ripon and stayed at the hotels on the west side of town just to snowmobile in our beautiful area.
Being a snowmobile traveler as well, I can only image their frustration that they were unable to sled to a nearby place to eat breakfast or lunch without unhitching their vehicles from their trailers to drive someplace.
... While these visitors are here, they are spending money on gas, food, shopping, lodging, etc.
Here are a few facts about snowmobiling.
Last year, there were 224,716 registered snowmobiles in Wisconsin, ranking us 2nd in the U.S. (Minnesota had 251,986.) I assure you all that all 224,716 will not be showing up in little Ripon!
Snowmobiling is also great exercise that brings people outdoors to interact with nature and each other. ... If you ever travel to the Eagle River area, you’d understand. There are not many plowed blacktop roads. There is snowmobile parking everywhere you turn. They welcome us.
Snowmobiling has a $26 billion impact on the U.S. economy, generating more than 100,000 full-time jobs.
Our club wanted to have a very small spur trail in addition to the whopping 27 miles we already maintain — not that big of a deal. There won’t be hundreds of sleds zooming past your house at 3 in the morning. We won’t be out running snowshoers off the path nor will we be harassing dog walkers. As you may already know, we respect nature and the people we share the Mascoutin Trail and a segment of the Northwestern Trail along with many others in Wisconsin.
... our winter runs from December to sometimes March but that doesn’t necessarily mean the trails are open that much.
Last year our trails in Ripon were only open 38 days total (and sadly, the year before they weren’t open at all).
Please give us snowmobilers a chance before you tag us with negativity.
— Tami Conlon
W13601 Locust Road
To read the entire letter, see the Dec. 12, 2013 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.