Team Rubicon volunteers help clean up July storm damage in Northwoods


OCONTO COUNTY (WLUK) -- More than two months after severe storms blew through Northeast Wisconsin, cleanup is still going on.

In just a few months snow will fill trails, bringing people to the Northwoods for recreation.

"I don’t know where this community would be without our snowmobile guests. Our businesses? Many of them would probably not exist," said Gary Wagner, the president of the Red Arrow Snowmobile-ATV Club in Townsend.

But storm damage could hurt that tourism. Many of the trails still cant be used after July’s storms ripped down trees and caused other damage along the trails.

Team Rubicon, an organization made up of military veterans and volunteers, is in Forest, Langlade and Oconto counties this week. The organization is clearing snowmobile trails that were covered by downed trees. The 125 crew members will spend 10 days in the area helping.

"When Townsend put their hand up for Help Team Rubicon came in and realized the scope of the work here realized the economic impact to the area," said Ryan Barkman with Team Rubicon.

"We don't have the resources that they do and the time like they do," said Wagner.

"We’ve already cleared, oh I would say, anywhere in the neighborhood from three to 10 miles worth of snow mobile trails from end to end," said Barkman.

Meanwhile, the Chute Pond Snowmobile Club is collecting donations of money or food to feed the Team Rubicon volunteers. Food items the club is looking for include protein bars, bananas, apples, oranges, pears, melons, peanuts, cakes, bars, muffins, popcorn, mini candy bars, butter, grape or strawberry jelly and peanut butter.

Donations can be dropped off at Kelly’s Mountain Top, 14031 Hwy. 32, Mountain; during regular business hours. Call (920) 373-8578 to learn more about donating or volunteering to serve meals.

Team Rubicon was founded by former Wisconsin Badgers football player Jake Wood. He served in the Marine Corps as a scout-sniper, with tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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