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ATV riders and hikers sign agreement for Ice Age Trail

Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, and Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association sign memorandum of understanding: guidelines to foster cooperation, enhance outdoor experiences among both groups.

From the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation and the Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association

Map of Wisconsin

A historic partnership between the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation and the Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association was forged recently when the presidents of the two groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding (October 5, 2005).

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a working relationship between the two organizations, and is designed as a guideline to develop proactive solutions to the challenges faced by both groups.

Wisconsin ATV logo
Ice Age Park logo

The ultimate goal of the memorandum is to provide quality outdoor experiences for ATV riders and hikers. Safety, respect for each groups trail experiences, trail building and maintenance needs are major issues facing both organizations.

Endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by John Shank, president of the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, and Randy Harden, president of the Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association.

The Memorandum of Understanding lays the groundwork for both organizations to work together on common objectives, including the development of safe highway and/or railroad crossings, better signage to prevent unwanted trespassing, and new options to protect, preserve and expand each groups' trail experiences.

"Both groups have issues that impact their chosen form of recreation," explains Shank. "It is in both our interests to work together to ensure the future of our outdoor activities."

The groups explain that there are issues in which both groups have a common ground. "Safety, respect for each groups trail experiences, plus trail building and maintenance needs, are three of the major issues facing both organizations," Harden says. "This document sets is the framework to find common-sense solutions to the issues that face both groups."

The Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association is a statewide organization that addresses the issues and opportunities facing people concerned with creating a positive future for ATV recreation. The mission of WATVA is to create and sustain an ongoing communications forum through which ATV enthusiasts and their organizations and supporters can share information and experience, participate in educational opportunities, and become partners in creating a positive image of the sport.

The Ice Age Park & Trail Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer- and member-based organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis. Established in 1958, it now has more than 5,000 members who support the Ice Age Trail. Working cooperatively with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service, many local governments, businesses and private landowners, IAPTF staff and volunteers work to protect, promote, build and maintain the many segments of the Ice Age Trail-- a thousand-mile national and state scenic trail located entirely in Wisconsin.


BETWEEN Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association, Inc. AND Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, Inc.

ENDORSER: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

This MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING is hereby made and entered into by and between the Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association, hereinafter referred to as WATVA, and the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, Inc., hereinafter referred to as IAPTF.

1. PURPOSE: To foster a working relationship between the two organizations that provides ample opportunities to discover and build respect for each others chosen form of outdoor recreation. Both organizations desire to establish a meaningful communications network between and with their respective memberships that develops and encourages proactive solutions that meet the combined trail challenges of WATVA and IAPTF to provide quality outdoor experiences of both activities.

2. STATEMENT OF MUTUAL BENEFITS AND INTERESTS: WATVA and IAPTF shall work together to support each others efforts to locate and build separate trail systems. Where it is feasible and possible, both organizations shall extend opportunities to share road, highway, railroad, and major river crossings. Provisions shall be made for the adequate safety of all users with speed limits, barriers, trail materials, and precautionary signage.

Both organizations shall strive to inform and educate local communities about these joint efforts that protect, preserve, and where feasible, expand both hiking and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riding recreations. Both groups shall work collectively, striving to promote the Ride Smart Trail Patrol Ambassador (TPA) program which works along side and with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) law enforcement, county sheriff and recreational officers, as well as town, city and/or village credentialed law enforcement.

Small committees and/or task force teams should be formed from both organizations to work together formalizing public service announcements (PSAs) or other direct or indirect communication systems to curb inappropriate advertising to the general public. Working collectively, the teams shall strive to adjust tourism advertisements to minimize misunderstandings on what trails are open to specific uses and recreation, and work together to establish better signage and directional guidelines to alleviate trail infringements by unauthorized trail uses.

Both organizations shall work together, developing protocols and procedures for assisting TPAs and credentialed law enforcement, as well as jurisdictional land managers, developing standardized incident reporting forms with assistance and advice from the WDNR and the National Park Service (NPS). Furthermore, guidelines shall be established on how to best deal with incident reports and complaints. Members from both organizations shall jointly assess and analyze the reports of trespass and/or illegal or inappropriate activities to solve mutual trail problems and challenges.

WATVA SHALL: Invite IAPTF to attend and participate in Ride Smart TPA training sessions, to participate and offer insights and input at the trainings, and to offer opportunities to IAPTF to request qualified TPA assistance at locations that are deemed problem areas related to ATVs riding on the Ice Age Trail.

IAPTF SHALL: Invite WATVA to attend and participate, and offer insights and input at their Mobile Skills Crew trail building events, learning the tools and techniques of our trail building system, thus establishing a basis of trust and understanding for both groups as to their respective trail desires and expectations.

3. PARTICIPATION IN SIMILAR ACTIVITES: This document in no way restricts

WATVA or the IAPTF from participating in similar activities with other public or private agencies, organizations, and/or individuals.

4. COMMENCEMENT/EXPIRATION/TERMINATION: This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) takes effect upon the signature of the WATVA and IAPTF and shall remain in effect for 5 years from the date of the execution. This MOU may be extended or amended upon written request of either the WATVA or the IAPTF and the subsequent written concurrence of the other. Either the WATVA or the IAPTF may terminate this MOU with a 60-day written notice to the other.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTIES: The WATVA and IAPTF will handle their own activities and utilize their own resources, including the expenditures of their own funds, in pursuing these objectives. Each party will carry out its separate activities in a coordinated and mutually beneficial manner.

5. PRINCIPAL CONTACTS: The principal contacts for this instrument are:

Wisconsin ATV Association Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation

6. ESTABLISHMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY: This MOU is not intended to, and does not create, any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity, by a party against the other, its officers, members or any one person.

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