Proposal would open 35 miles of state forest roads to motorized access for hunting

…but not for ATV/UTVs
BOULDER JUNCTION, Wis. – The public has an opportunity to submit comments on a proposal to open 35 miles of existing roads in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest to motorized access from Sept 1 to the last day of the December four-day antlerless gun deer season to provide additional access for fall hunting opportunities.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking comment on an “Implementation Plan for Motorized Access for Fall Hunting [PDF].” Public comment period will open from July 9 through July 23.

The state Natural Resources Board amended the NHAL master plan in October 2017 to included elements related to road access and fall hunting use.

The implementation plan proposes 35 miles of existing roads to be opened to provide additional access for fall hunting opportunities from Sept. 1 to the last day of the December 4-day antlerless gun deer season, which this year is Dec. 9. None of the proposed roads connect to all-terrain vehicle or utility vehicle trails, routes, or Town roads designated as ATV/UTV routes, therefore ATV/UTV use is not proposed at this time.

Roads would be opened in two phases: Phase one, 21 miles opened Sept 1, 2018 and Phase two, 14 miles opened in 2019. Roads proposed to be opened are existing forest management roads used frequently for management activities. The road base and footprint exists and located on dry ground. The vast majority of proposed roads are located in forest product management areas and currently used for management purposes throughout the year.

The public can review the proposed implementation plan and comment online by searching the DNR website,, for keywords “Northern Highland” and clicking on the tab for “management and business.

Established in 1925 to protect the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau and Manitowish rivers, the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest is the largest state forest, occupying more than 232,000 acres in northern Wisconsin. The forest provides employment and economic support to rural and urban communities through the production of forest products, recreation and tourism.