Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, wants to repeal portions of last session's all-terrain vehicle bill that was co-authored by Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point.
Koering's bill would remove restrictions on the use of ATVs to cross a marginal private wetland on private property. The bill also would allow a deer hunter to reach a hunting area or retrieve legally taken game as long as the operator uses the most direct and safe route.
"My No. 1 concern is property owners' rights and last year's bill infringes on those rights," Koering said in a news release issued this week. "My constituents deserve to be upset when the government tells them what they can or can't do on their own land. It isn't right and I'm going to do all I can to change it."
Ruud said today she has met with senators, DNR officials and other interested parties and is continuing to collect information on how the new law is working. She cautioned against knee-jerk reaction to the law's implementation.
"I think to get all the parties excited when you don't have all the information is not the way to go," Ruud said.
She said it wasn't the bill's intent to stop deer hunters from retrieving game and the DNR doesn't want to hinder deer hunters either.
Ruud said the bill prohibits ATVs from wetland types 3, 4 and 5. Type 3, she said, which is the driest of those three types, ranges from 6 inches of water to three feet. Wetland Type 5 can be as much as 10 feet of water.
"You're not looking at something a typical hunter is going to take their ATV through," she said.
In his news release, Koering said people were not made aware the ATV law would extend the jurisdiction of the government over private lands and private wetlands.
"We need less government intrusion into the rights of property owners and we need to vigilantly protect landowners from over-regulation."
Regarding private property rights, Ruud said federal, state and local government already regulate wetlands on private property. Her bill didn't represent an extension of government control, she said.
Koering said he was upset the new ATV law takes away property owners' right to travel across their land to get to a farm field if they crossed a marginal wetland.
"This is just plain bad law," he said in his news release. "It is government over-reach."
Ruud said she wants good and balanced legislation. "We don't want ATV wars," she said.
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