DULUTH (AP) -- A statewide group has started a radio advertising campaign in hopes of persuading lawmakers to restrict the use of all-terrain-vehicles on state lands.
In a series of 60-second ads, the Duluth-based Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation claims that the state Department of Natural Resources has failed to enforce ATV rules and protect the environment from damage caused by the vehicles.
The group is pushing for legislation that would close all trails on state forests to ATVs unless the trails are specifically posted for such use. The measure was expected to be discussed during a Senate committee meeting Thursday.
The proposal by Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation goes beyond a deal reached last week that prohibits ATVs from cross-country travel in most state forests. That agreement still allows ATVs on virtually every trail in most forests, said Jeff Brown, executive director of the Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation.
"We think most Minnesotans would be shocked to hear that ATVs can go on whatever trail they see, or whatever trail they can find, on 95 percent of our state forests," Brown said.
"There's no way you can enforce ATV laws when you have so few officers trying to patrol the entire forest. If the riding is done on designated trails only, it becomes enforceable," he said.
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