March 14, 2024


NEWS RELEASE:                                                Representative Calvin Callahan – (608) 237-9135

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             Senator Robert Cowles – (608) 266-0484                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Representative Callahan, Senator Cowles

Applaud Signing of Snowmobile Trail Legislation

MADISON – Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) released the following statement after the Governor signed Senate Bill 136, which they authored with Senator Mary Felzkowski and Representative Rob Swearingen, into law as 2023 Wisconsin Act 110:

“Snowmobiling is a huge tourism generator and economic engine in Wisconsin,” stated Rep. Callahan. “We must ensure folks are able to access the funds needed to maintain the state’s more than 25,000 miles of snowmobile trails. I am proud of this legislation that will help support Wisconsin’s snowmobiling culture in a fiscally responsible manner.”

“Hitting the snowmobile trails is one of the most time-honored traditions to do during a Wisconsin winter. But this activity depends on proper trail maintenance by snowmobile clubs,” Senator Cowles stated. “With the signing of Act 110, these bodies can now claim often-underused funds generated by snowmobilers to continue their work as good stewards of our snowmobiling trails.”

Act 110 changes a series of laws that govern how the Department of Natural Resources uses revenue generated by snowmobilers through registration fees, trails passes, and gas taxes to reimburse local governments and snowmobile clubs for eligible trail maintenance expenses. Under prior statutes, clubs were eligible to receive $300 per mile in the initial payment, and up to an additional three times the per-mile payment for expenses over the initial $300. Act 110 raises the per-mile reimbursement cap to five times the initial payment, or up to $1,500, meaning clubs that incur higher expenses maintaining their trails will be able to better manage some of Wisconsin’s most scenic trails without requiring the allocation of additional funds.