(Courtesy Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources)

WisDNR to offer funds for safe ATV/UTV operation

Metro Wire Staff

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has announced funding opportunities for organizations recruiting and training ATV/UTV safety instructors and volunteer trail ambassadors.

Organizations are encouraged to apply for the two-year program by June 12 for up to $302,067 in funding.

Eligible organizations must prove they are registered with the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s office as non-stock organizations and have an established board of directors. Applicants must also provide a business plan detailing the methods they will use to promote the safe operation of ATVs and UTVs. Methods must not harm the environment nor conflict with laws, rules and DNR policies.

Applicants are expected to use the funds for:

  • Assisting the DNR in recruiting and providing support to volunteer safety instructors, ATV/UTV clubs and organizations, and promoting the ATV safety education program.
  • Assisting the DNR and the Department of Tourism in creating an outreach program to inform local communities about appropriate ATV/UTV use and the potential economic benefits of promoting tourism to attract ATV/UTV enthusiasts.
  • Recruiting, training and managing volunteer trail patrol ambassadors to monitor the recreational operation of ATVs/UTVs on public trails.
  • Maintaining and improving a relationship with the DNR, Dept. of Tourism, ATV/UTV dealers, manufacturers, recreation partners and off-highway motorcycle clubs.

Applications must be postmarked no later than June 12, 2023. Additional requirements apply, and organizations receiving funding must provide supporting documents showing they have met objectives.

Riding ATVs and UTVs is a growing sport in Wisconsin. Along with the privilege of enjoying the sport comes the responsibility of safe and responsible operation. Operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who are at least 12 years old for ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV and UTV safety certification course to operate on public ATV/UTV trails in Wisconsin. DNR Conservation Wardens recommend all ATV and UTV operators complete a safety course.

To apply, visit the DNR’s ATV/UTV Enhancement Funding webpage.