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Board says no to ATVs in largest state forest

All-terrain vehicles will not be allowed in Wisconsin's largest state forest.

The Natural Resources Board voted 7-0 Wednesday to scrap plans for two ATV trails in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest.

More than 60 miles of trails were considered in Vilas, Oneida and Iron counties.

But forest manager Steve Petersen said the DNR was swayed by opponents who said the vehicles would damage sensitive lands, and cause conflicts with quiet activities like cycling and bird-watching.

The Wisconsin ATV Association supported the project but said the design was poor.

He said the proposed 30-foot corridors would have made the trails look like forest roads and it would have cost more to maintain them.

County foresters told the board that the state appears to be pushing ATV projects onto county properties.

But state forester Paul DeLong said his agency does not have a total opposition to ATV on state lands.