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Great Lakes Article:

DNR Responds to MRR Petitions with Completion of Environmental Assessment Worksheet. MRR Provides Electronic Release for Public Comment
January 5, 2001

In the past year, MRR and collaborating groups have petitioned the DNR to complete basic "Environmental Assessment Worksheets" on DNR proposed scramble areas and trails for all-terrain vehicles, dirt-bike motorcycles, and four-wheel drive trucks. Many of these proposals are certain to negatively impact the environment and quality of life across 40 counties in Central, Northwest, and Northeast Minnesota.

On December 14, 2001 the DNR released its completed "Environmental Assessment Worksheet" for its Moosewalk/Mooserun ATV Trail proposal in Southern Lake County. The Moosewalk/Mooserun All-Terrain Vehicle Trail would be superimposed on the North Shore State Trail near Finland. The DNR has simultaneously released an amendment to expand the original "1.1 miles" of this proposal to "allow ATV use on a 6.6 mile segment which will become part of a ...35 mile ATV trail system along with the Moosewalk and Mooserun Trails."

Comment period on the EAW and proposed amendment ends January 23, 2002. A public information meeting regarding the above proposed amendment will take place on Tuesday, January 15, 2002, 7 p.m. at the Finland Recreation Center on County Highway 7, one mile Northeast of Finland.

THREE THINGS TO DO:

1. Read and evaluate the accuracy and scope of the Moosewalk/Mooserun ATV Trail EAW (provided in electronic format courtesy of MRR at our website link below). Consider in your evaluation your own personal experience and documented environmental impacts of off-highway vehicles (see MRR's website for additional information).

2. Send signed comment letters (no e-mails) to the following DNR address by January 23. (Direct questions to the DNR by calling Don Buckhout at 651-296-8212.)

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Office of Management and Budget Services ATTN: Donald W. Buckhout 500 Lafayette Road St. Paul, MN 55155

3. Include in your comments requests that the DNR provide adequate notice and opportunity to inspect proposed sites for OHV scramble areas and trails and electronic access to future EAWs. Commencing the DNR's first EAW comment period on December 24, during the busiest holiday season of the year, when many are away from their homes, and when the proposed project will soon be under snow and ice does not maximize citizen involvement in mitigating the impacts off-highway vehicles. Request that: EAWs for OHV plans be considered in the Spring, Summer, or Fall when citizens can inspect proposed trail and scramble area sites. EAWs should be posted on the DNR website (as the OHV system plans have been posted) for wide distribution and public comment. MRR's website is currently the only electronic access to these important and time sensitive DNR documents.

Watch MRR's website for the public comments of MRR and members. Watch also for announcement of a hoped for Cass County District Court decision to require EAWs on DNR proposals for North Central Minnesota.

Read on!

http://www.cpinternet.com/~mrr/mooselist.htm

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Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation P.O. Box 111 Duluth, MN 55801

www.MnResponsibleRec.org

Tel:(218)525-0584

Fax:(218)525-0303

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