There has been a big push lately by the environmentalists to get Crow Wing County to close all 103,00 acres of county managed lands to Off Road Vehicles unless posted as open. Their argument is that simply posting signs to close sensitive environmental areas would not work because in their opinion, the ORV users are a bunch of criminals that would immediately tear these signs down and this would get very expensive. It would take a lot of signs to close 102,900 acres.
I have been a member of the Northern Lites motorcycle club for 18 years and one of my duties has been to secure permission from landowners and managers to hold off road motorcycle and ATV events. It takes many, many hours of work to get permission to cross one small piece of land for just one day.
If you enjoy riding or driving your ORV I want you to think about this! If this closed unless posted open policy is adopted, who is going to go through the red tape and expense of getting this land opened again. Even after they go through the environmental impact studies and dust control plans for each small piece, how long will it be before someone actually purchases and posts the open signs? If all goes well in a few years you might be able to go on a short trail ride.
Please contact your county commissioner and attend the public meetings to let them know that you want your public land to remain open for everyone to enjoy. I have worked many times with our Land department and they do an excellent job of managing our lands , we should trust them to continue to make decisions as to the appropriate use of our lands.
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