Driftless Trout Anglers

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#1 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2019 2:15:37 PM(UTC)
Rank: Midge

Joined: 1/8/2015(UTC)
Posts: 16
Location: central ia

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Angry yellow river forest is one of the only places in Ia where you can feel like you are really trout fishing the park has every thing.
two trout streams,camping,horse camping,hiking.biking, trails,trout parks,which are great keeps the bucket fishers out of the better parts of the park(nothing against them will be one some day handi cap access).but if you want wild trout and aren't afraid to bushwhack.down banks and get off the beaten path you can have a great experience.
I know some of you have fished there please email the county supervisors. atv would be a disaster. the roads they want to open up go right by the camp grounds.
Donahue road a one lane gravel road goes with in five feet of the horse camping areas and some of the best fishing is accessed from that road if your in to willing sliding down 50 foot banks to access the stream. Like allot of states IA has decimated the dnr budget. The park staff do an amazing job with there limited staff and do not need the extra stress of keeping atv off the horse and hiking trails.
sorry for the rant. the board is looking for input from all people that use the park . OUT OF STATE OPPOSITION Does carry weight with the board

please email board with opposition to atv in this park at Email group at: boardofsupervisors@co.allamakee.ia.us

The Supervisors moved into the discussion and consideration of changes to the County’s ATV/UTV Ordinance proposed by the ATV/UTV Club, including the additional use of specific roads and expanding hours. Board of Supervisors Chairperson Larry Schellhammer discussed receiving feedback from the public on the matter with great arguments provided by those on both sides of the issue.

Dennis Blocker of Waukon provided some history on the ATV/UTV Club’s efforts with the current ATV/UTV Ordinance and discussed noise concerns that have been raised with ATV use and horses, indicating that ATVs are quieter than other vehicles and noise producers. Blocker provided a recent example of Amish buggies with horses that were not disturbed or frightened when he met them while driving an ATV.

Yellow River State Forest Park Ranger Rylan Retallick indicated that ATV/UTV use within Yellow River State Forest has not been allowed on a regular basis for safety reasons with visitors being a consideration. Retallick discussed the shared trail system with equestrian, hiking and mountain bike use with Donahue Road traveling next to equestrian campgrounds. Retallick indicated that horses used with Amish buggies may be accustomed to vehicle noise in contrast to horses owned by visitors to Yellow River State Forest who are traveling from elsewhere within the state or from out of state. Retallick reported that an estimated 40,000 visitors travel to Yellow River State Forest and that concerns have been raised by the National Audubon Society with globally significant bird species located here.

Kim Kregel, Dale Schutte and Rusty Perkins all provided information indicating that other vehicles including cars, trucks and motorcycles have not created issues in Yellow River State Forest and can be louder than ATVs. During the meeting, Kregel asked for a show of hands with a majority of those in attendance indicating their support in changing the existing ordinance to allow ATV/UTV use within Yellow River State Forest.

Kelli Boylen of the recently-established Friends of Yellow River State Forest group provided statistics and information relating to concerns in changing the current ATV/UTV Ordinance. Boylen discussed safety, noise, damage to a fragile ecosystem and that only a minority of residents would benefit with less than 14.5 percent of county households owning an ATV/UTV.

Sophia Landis of the Driftless Area Bird Conservation Initiative discussed noise concerns relating to ATV/UTV use, which she indicated will have a negative impact on the public’s enjoyment of the State Forest. Director Jon Stravers of that same organization expressed concerns relating to noise and safety issues relating to mixing ATV use with horses.

Other concerns were raised including the economic impact of the 40,000 visitors annually, many of which are from out of state, that are currently using the State Forest for hiking, camping and mountain biking. Changing the ordinance was discussed as an opportunity for disabled individuals to have greater access and enjoyment of the State Forest through ATV/UTV use.

Retallick stated that various ATV/UTV rides are already coordinated allowing their use on trails for specific events. Retallick indicated that there is a willingness to discuss further and to do more of these events.

Allamakee County Sheriff Clark Mellick discussed concerns with ATV safety after dark and the need to have directional signals on such vehicles for greater safety in their operation.

In addition to expanded road usage, Blocker also provided a recommendation to allow ATV use from one hour before sunrise to 10 p.m. Waterville Mayor Dave Monserud agreed ATV use could be allowed past sunset with supper clubs closing at 9 or 10 p.m. and a change in the current ordinance benefiting the public and eating establishments.

Schellhammer reported receiving 38 emails relating to this matter with 12 in favor of allowing ATV/UTV use and 26 being opposed to changing the existing ordinance. Supervisor Dennis Koenig discussed feedback received from the City of Postville indicating that there has been a positive economic impact in allowing ATV use within that community.

Byrnes discussed a recent Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) meeting with this polarizing issue being a topic during a panel discussion. Byrnes indicated that he is not in favor of expanding ATV use. Schellhammer further indicated that the discussion of this matter should move forward in the spirit of finding a compromise with a panel discussion suggested as a possibility.

The Supervisors approved to continue the process of allowing further discussion and public input relating to a possible change to the ATV/UTV Ordinance. Koenig voted for the measure, Byrnes voted against and Schellhammer voted in favor of the measure indicating that in doing so it would be in an effort to further look at the ordinance for a possible change while expressing that his opinion leans more towards the opinion of Byrnes.
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