WALKER -- Cass County Administrator Robert Yochum shared with the county board Tuesday the recommendations made by a board-appointed committee in regard to recent all-terrain vehicle legislation.
The committee found the state law application of licensing and wetland impact on private land is well beyond the county's financial capability to enforce and recommended ATV license fees should go toward a permanent ATV trail maintenance and enforcement fund similar to that for snowmobiles.
In the meantime, Cass County will spend $3,000 to expand the sheriff's boat and water safety education program into proper and safe use of all-terrain vehicles, off-highway vehicles and off-road vehicles.
The land department will purchase a $7,000 all-terrain vehicle for the sheriff's office to use to enforce ATV laws.
No county roads will be designated as ATV prohibited at this time, because ATV's can legally use 50 percent of the county roads with ditches and back slopes, but cannot use the 50 percent of county roads without ditches.
To designate individual county roads would create an expectation of enforcement the county currently cannot financially meet, Yochum said. To designate corridors as the county comprehensive plan suggests will greatly assist in managing conflicts between recreational activities and other uses. The plan should address funding, he said.
County Engineer David Enblom said he expects the county's effort to expand public education on all-terrain vehicle use and the new state legislation will bring better cooperation from riders.
Land Commissioner Norm Moody Tuesday obtained county board approval to reclassify 23 land parcels as non-conservation land to initiate a DNR review necessary for the county to sell these lots located in Wilderness Park Estates plat.
Appraised value for the parcels ranges from $500 to $17,500.
The commissioners approved a 33-foot easement across county land to give access to Jeff McQuarrie to property he owns in Kego Township, approved the low quote from Custom Manufacturing to install a bridge on the Heartland Trail east of Pike Bay and authorized seeking state approval for a land exchange with Mark and Holly Wiebolt.
They gave their approval to a DNR State Forest Legacy Program plan to include 4,790 acres of Potlatch commercial forest land in the program, which keeps forests in private ownership, but permits public recreation on them.
This acreage lies adjacent to Pillsbury State Forest in Fairview Township.
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