HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAYS
Highway right of ways are the areas outside of the surfaced and vehicle-traveled portion of the highway. Local governments such as the Town of Oakland are responsible and liable for the management of their highways, including right of way maintenance. Wis. Stat. 82.03 & 893.83.
The Town of Oakland shall cause the removal, cutting or trimming of any tree, shrub or other vegetation in the highway right of way to provide safety to the users of the highway. Wis. Stat. 66.1037(1) If the right of way being maintenance is by either deed or plat, the trees are owned by the municipality. No one can cut down or otherwise injure the trees on these highway right of ways except for the town or someone with the town’s permission
NO CULTIVATION WITHIN THE HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY
Active cultivation within the highway right of way by adjacent owners or occupiers of lands is prohibited. With the towns permission you may plant trees, shrubs or hedges within the highway right of way. This type of cultivation is only permissible within the first ten feet of the highway right of way from its outer edge. Any plants so cultivated may still be removed later by either the town or the residents. Wis. Stat. 86.03(3) Farming is excluded from the highway right of way. No person may plow, cultivate crops or otherwise work the land such that its drainage may be affected. Nor can any person operate farm or other machinery such that it damages the right of ways. These are misdemeanor violations. Wis. Stats. 86.021
NO ALTERING OF THE HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY WITHOUT PERMISSION
It is also a misdemeanor violation to make any ditch, depression or embankment such that it impedes use of a highway, or to place any obstruction in a highway or in a ditch that drains the highway. Wis. Stat. 86.022 No person may dig in a highway right of way without first getting permission/permit from the town. Violators may be fined and the highway authority may return the highway to its original condition. Wis. Stats.86.07 Anyone wishing to place utility-type lines within the highway right of way with either poles or pipes must make a written request to the town first, with the town required to respond within twenty days while having the option of adding reasonable conditions. Wis. Stats.86.16 Violators of this statute may be cited for a forfeitures.
Property owners are responsible to keep the highway right of ways free from encroachments such as fences, stands, buildings and other structures or objects. The town provides the offending occupant or owner of land with the encroachment an order specifying the extent and location of the encroachment with reasonable certainty and allowing 30 days for its removal to beyond the highway right of way. Wis. Stats. 86.04