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Plan floated to make it easier to ride on the border in both Michigan and Wisconsin

July 2, 2010
By Michael H. Babcock - DMG Sports Writer

CRYSTAL FALLS - An effort is being made to make trail stickers for off-road vehicles in Michigan stretch into neighboring counties in Wisconsin, and vise-versa.

"A lot of people on the bordering counties will not go from Iron River to Iron Mountain through Wisconsin because they have to buy two trail stickers, and that stops ma-and-pa shops and gas stations from being utilized," Iron County Commissioner Robert Black said. "My idea is that the bordering counties within a few miles can use one sticker, that way the local residents can go across state lines without breaking a law."

The move could be a major boost to tourism, and as Black puts it, it could open the door for additional tourism throughout the Upper Peninsula.

"It's a big money maker for the U.P., ORV is getting bigger and bigger," Black said. "It's a door opener, (Wisconsin riders) will come in and decide, 'Hey, I want to go to Copper Harbor,' so they'll then buy the sticker."

That logic was enough for both Baraga and Houghton County's boards of commissioners to pass a resolution supporting the idea.

"Everybody likes the idea," Black said.

Black said a prime example of this helping the U.P. is residents from southern Wisconsin who already have passes in Wisconsin. If they make a trip to neighboring counties, they'll be much more likely to spend time and money in Michigan if they don't have to buy a separete pass.

"I'm asking the states for all neighboring counties," Black said. "I got the idea from fishing, where I don't have to buy a seperate license to cross the state line."

Michael H. Babcock can be reached at mbabcock@mininggazette. com.



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