Snowmobilers to pay yearly trail pass with new law - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Snowmobilers to pay yearly trail pass with new law

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) - Snowmobilers riding state trails are getting ready to pay up with a new law.

"It's a change in the registration system for snowmobilers in the state of Wisconsin," said Allan Zahrt, a Trailmates Snowmobile Club board member.

The law called Cap/Step will require all registered snowmobilers to have a yearly trail pass sticker starting in late 2015. Until now, only riders from out-of-state had to pay.

"We're looking for a little bit more revenue for the clubs," said Zahrt. "We are paid by the mile to sign, brush groom all the trails."

The sticker prices are $30 for an in-state rider, a discounted $10 for a club member, and $50 for an out-of-state user. But there is a break in registration. It will stay at $30, but go to a three-year cycle instead of two years.

"We can make the trails safer, we can groom them better, we can just take care of them better,” said Zahrt. “There's just no doubt about it."

The law will provide more funding for the 25,000 miles of trails. Snowmobile club members say paying the price will be a big help.

"We can make plans,” said Zahrt. “Can we put in a new bridge over a stream that we're having trouble crossing, or can we update an old bridge, a piece of grooming equipment that's looking ragged that we can replace with a newer better one."

Members say it will help make snowmobiling across the state better too.

The law goes into effect in July of 2015. State leaders plan to evaluate the program after four years.

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