INTERNATIONAL FALLS (AP) -- Koochiching County officials said they'll go forward with plans for a county-sponsored snowmobile race in Voyageurs National Park this weekend, in spite of the park superintendent's refusal to grant a permit to do so.
Park Superintendent Barbara West said the "radar run" challenge set for Saturday on Lake Kabetogama in northern Minnesota would violate national park regulations and that organizers could be prosecuted.
County commissioners said Tuesday they're taking a stand for local resort owners against what they see as arbitrary and unfair restrictions by park managers, who have refused to grant a permit for the event.
"We're fighting for the rights of our citizens to have tourism and economic development," said Commissioner Wade Pavleck.
West said Park employees won't confront racers or organizers, and probably would use the event's promotional materials and local permits as evidence that an illegal event occurred.
Pavleck said U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., told the board Tuesday that he would immediately take up the issue with Interior Secretary Gale Norton.
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