In 2022 the Town Board tabled a request from a group of local citizens to allow recreational use of ATVs and UTVs on Town roads and committed to revisiting the request in one year. This year the Town Board is deciding if an ordinance should be drafted and adopted allowing for recreational use of ATVs and UTVs on Town roads.
Agricultural use of ATVs and UTVs on Town roads is permitted on all Town roads according to State statute and Department of Natural Resources rules. Recreational use is permitted only if the local municipality (in this case, Town of Wyoming) adopts an ordinance allowing for it. Read the Iowa County ATV/UTV ordinance (PDF).
The Town has great flexibility in what an ordinance would allow for. If the Town adopts an ordinance, the ordinance may allow for recreational use on some Town roads and not others.
A Town ordinance does not apply to County roads. Once a municipality enacts an ordinance, the County makes its own decision about use on County roads. Iowa County generally approves such use if a municipality chooses to allow it. The County also has the right to exempt certain roads.
State law prohibits any recreational use on state highways (Hwy 23, e.g.), nor can a user cross a state highway unless there is a direct crossing without a jog from one side to the other. Highway 23 has no such crossing and, as such, effectively becomes a barrier by law. View the Iowa County ATV/UTV routes map (PDF).
A town can permit any legal uses and, if it’s legal to do so, restrict certain uses. For instance, we can permit recreational use to daylight hours only, or specify times of the year or, perhaps, establish a maximum number of vehicles permitted in a group. We cannot, however, legally open the Town roads to residents only.
That remains to be seen. We don’t know how property owners in the Township feel. That’s why we are asking you if this is important to you and what, if any, restrictions seem appropriate to you.
ATV and UTV enthusiasts have promised to pay for and maintain road signage in consultation with the Town. Road signage posting roads open for recreational use and signage indicating where use is prohibited would be erected. Any other restrictions will be published in the ordinance and could be communicated by local ATV and UTV users.
Iowa County deputies and DNR wardens do not regularly patrol Town of Wyoming roads. Infractions would only be enforced by chance or if a citizen calls in a suspected violation.
The Town Board is currently assessing property owners’ level of interest in enacting such an ordinance. Collective public opinion will be an influential force in the decision-making. The Board will ultimately determine if the Township will or will not enact an ordinance — this is the first step.
If the Township moves ahead with adopting an ordinance, then the work of determining the details of the ordinance will begin. This work would include consideration of the comments received by interested parties. The draft ordinance would then be acted on by the Town Board.
Any enacted ordinance would then be submitted to Iowa County for their records. Iowa County would make their decision regarding recreational use on County roads with input from the Township.