Friends of Gandy Dancer State Trail (F.O.G)
Talking Points of the Gandy Dancer State Trail
Try to be factual not emotional.
Bullet points to be expanded into real conversation.
- Research other “multi-use” trails in WI. Buffalo Creek, Pecatonia, Tri-County, Tuscobia, Cattail have driven off all other users. Where is the proof “multi-use” trails are successful? Changes should require additional study.
- Motorized and hiking/biking/running users need to be separate.
- Trail surface damage
- There is a groundswell of support for keeping the trail designation as it is currently. (that seems to be being ignored) 230+ written comments for Silent Sports vs. 30 motorized for Stower.
- WI DNR Report: 27 fatalities, 52% involving drugs or alcohol, 100% of operators involved in on accident reported no ATV/UTV safety education course (#4 of ATV/UTV violations =155), just shy of 1500 ATV/UTV violations.
- Woolly Bike Ride uses the Gandy: 430 participants
- Gandy Dancer Marathon: 330 participants, 12 states + volunteers, families/friends cheering—supporting local restaurants, bars, and hotels. The first year, Luck restaurants ran out of food. Has donated $30,000 in 5 years to local non-profits such as Luck Rural Fire Dept, American Legion, Ice Age Trail Alliance, etc.
- In Polk County alone, 484 annual trail passes sold, 1140 daily passes sold with a total revenue of $17,800. Of the total revenue, $10,680 went directly to Polk County. With 42 miles of the State Trails (Stower & Gandy) that equates to $254/trail mile to Polk County. Trail pass revenue has averaged about $10,000 per year for the past 10 years.
- Public Events: Solstice Chase and the Mammoth Gravel Ride, Woolly, Gandy Dancer Marathon, Run Down Hunger, 3 Lakes Tour, Fat Fish 40, High School Track and Cross Country Teams from St. Croix Falls to Webster. There are at least 3 state wide sponsored rides that use the Gandy, including Tour of MN that had 190 participants in 2017. Gandy Dancer Air Show 5k and in previous years the Siren Fire Department held a fundraising run.
- Destination for events: Frederic Festival on the Gandy, Gandy Dancer Days
- The WI Bike Guide was requested 20 to 1 over the State ATV publication at the WI State Fair
- State Trail-belonging to the people of WI
- Should be kept in seasonal dual use status. That was the original compromise. We don’t need to be rushing to make decisions. Why is there a need to change now?
- WI Obesity rate is 42%. The Gandy provides a safe place to exercise for all abilities on a quality surface to protect our aging population joints.
- City people to experience quite. Safe place for locals to recreate or commute.
- Quality of Life for residents and tourist (they want our QOL)
- The Gandy offers a place for everyone to recreate: from the very young to the very old; from the fittest among us to those who need a firm, flat, safe place to find their footing (or wheelchair).
- You need to only be 12 to operate an ATV, 16 years old for UTV, must complete safety cert course (if born after 1988). We don’t allow 12 year olds to operate a car on the streets where people may be walking!
- Burnett Co. just passed ATV’s on county roads, except the roads were it was gravel! Same surface of the Gandy.
- Burnett Co. has 56 miles of summer ATV trails, 87 miles of frozen ground, 130 miles winter. Plus county roads and township roads.