Crow Wing County has applied the brakes to a proposed all-terrain vehicle trail and expects to look at other options on public land.
Few topics have fueled as much debate or been as polarizing in the county as ATV trails. On one hand designated trails are seen as a way to put controls on recreational riders and ease tensions with property owners. For others, the routes will serve as a traffic beacon drawing more noise, dust and safety issues. Finding middle ground has not proved to be easy.
The county recently canceled a planned Jan. 29 meeting about a proposed ATV trail with board supervisors from Fairfield, Perry Lake, Wolford, Irondale townships and the city of Emily.
In a letter to the township and city officials, Tim Houle, county administrator, noted many of the smaller jurisdictions passed or planned ordinances prohibiting ATV traffic on township or city roads.
"From our perspective, it would be a real loss to the existing residents of the area to no longer be able to use your jurisdiction's public roadways on their ATVs as a result of our proposal," Houle wrote. "In addition, since the proposed ATV trail would have included township roads as an integral part of the proposed route, we are currently withdrawing our proposal for the ATV trail in its current form."
The county expects to continue to examine a potential trail for ATV recreation on state and county public land.
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