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Off-Highway Vehicle Management in Minnesota: 1984 - 2004. Laurie Martinson, T&W Director Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources. In the beginning… 1984 – 1994. Legislature requires ATV/OHV/ORV registration. Dedicated funding accounts established. OHV grants-in-aid program begun.

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Off highway vehicle management in minnesota 1984 2004 l.jpg

Off-Highway Vehicle Management in Minnesota: 1984 - 2004

Laurie Martinson, T&W Director

Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources


In the beginning 1984 1994 l.jpg
In the beginning…1984 – 1994

  • Legislature requires ATV/OHV/ORV registration.

  • Dedicated funding accounts established.

  • OHV grants-in-aid program begun.

  • First designated OHV trails on State Forest lands.

  • 1993 Legislature requests OHV Mgmt Study & restricts development of ‘Motorsports Areas’.

OHVs in MN: 1984 - 2004


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The formative years, 1995 - 1999...

  • OHV Program created, DNR Coordinator retained (95’).

  • State forest rule revisions begun (MR 6100.1950).

  • Iron Range OHVRA authorized & funded (96’ & 99’).

  • Non-controversial OHV rules adopted (97’).

  • Hearings held on interim State Forest Classifications (98’).

  • Regional OHV System Planning begun (98’).

  • Legislature amends rules to permit off-trail travel (99’).

OHVs in MN: 1984 - 2004


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Two steps forward… 2000 - 2002

  • Final forest classifications & rules adopted (00’).

  • Off-trail travel ban reinstated – ‘limited’ forests (00’) and‘managed’ forests (02’).

  • Petitions & lawsuits filed on OHV Plans (00’-01’).

  • Trail guidelines project begun (01’).

  • SE / SW MN OHV System Plans approved (01-02’).

  • Suit filed on Moosewalk ATV Trail; eight EAW’s ordered.

  • Legislature created Motorized Trails Task Force & called for audit of Motorized Trail Programs (02’).

  • Iron Range OHVRA @ Gilbert opens (02’).

OHVs in MN: 1984 - 2004


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Measured change…2003 - 2004

  • Task Force & Audit Reports presented to legislature (03’).

  • So. portion of Foothills State Forest reclassified (03’)

  • Moosewalk ATV Trail opens for regular use (03’).

  • Legislature creates OHV Damage Acct; local enforcement grants, wetland operation prohibited, ditch riding subject to local controls, and calls for state forest road/trail inventory and OHV trail designation (03’).

  • Wetland riding prohibitions modifed, and trail designation is exempted from rulemaking by 2004 legislature.

  • Appleton (County) OHV Park opens June 2004.

OHVs in MN: 1984 - 2004


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What the future holds…2005 and beyond??

  • No off-trail or cross-country OHV travel.

  • Trails‘closed’ unless posted ‘open’ to OHV.

  • More road ditch closures.

  • Increased public scrutiny of OHV proposals.

  • More privately funded and grant-in-aid OHV projects, including OHV Recreation Areas.

  • Flattening of OHV registrations, use trends.

OHVs in MN: 1984 - 2004