If you repeat a lie often enough pretty soon some people will believe you and some of those people work for newspapers and will print it. I'm talking about the recent Dispatch article that implied the MRR lawsuits caused ATV damage.
I was a board member of MRR when we were forced to take the DNR to court. I supported the decision then and I still do. Many good people signed petitions to ask the DNR Trails and Waterways (T&W) to do environmental reviews when designating ATV trails. An internal DNR document recommended that environmental reviews should be opposed even if it meant going to court. The DNR refused so there was no option left except court. The judge agreed that EAW's were necessary. Trails and Waterways then teamed up with the ATV and mudder truck associations to appeal the decision.
We also tried to get the DNR Trails and Waterways to reverse its careless decision of classifying 95 percent of our state forest land as un-"managed" where ATVs went anywhere and did anything. That effort failed but the judge upheld environmental reviews on I think eight of the nine trails in question. Much of the damage that has happened would have been avoided if the Trails and Waterways had not chosen the un-"managed" classification for 95 percent of our state forest acreage. T&W falsely tries to imply the legislature made them choose that classification.
The DNR T&W should stop trying to deny it's responsibility for their decision to turn our forests into un-"managed" ATV free-for-all zones.
Remember; until MRR took them to court, Trails and Waterways called Spider Lake the "model" of things to come for our state forests.
Having moved recently from another Minnesota city, it was surprising to discover the lack of snow removal in this area. We've heard budget cuts are the reason for the reduced removal. Upon the first snowfall, our prediction for condition of the streets proved true -- no plowing of the snow caused the roads to become snow packed and icy. The roads became icier and more dangerous as time went by. We thought of school kids waiting for the morning bus on the street corners. This seems the most dangerous place for kids to wait, as drivers attempt to stop and/or turn at intersections on the icy streets. Our greatest concern proved true in Baxter when a car impaled a bank of snow just feet away from where a young girl had been sitting waiting for the bus. Had the circumstances been any different, it may not have only been the snowbank that the driver hit. Will it take a tragedy before the snow removal situation is improved here?
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