MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The special Minnesota task force on off-road vehicles failed to reach consensus on a single recommendation to legislators that deals strictly with protecting natural resources.
That fact struck committee member Lois Campbell after she spent 50 hours in seven cities discussing what should be done about ATVs and other off-road vehicles.
The 21-member group began meeting in June, but six months later it remained unable to agree on anything because every proposal had been vetoed -- usually by one or more members from riding clubs.
Campbell, of Rice, a former vice president of the Minnesota Four Wheel Drive Association, had cast several of those votes herself.
Now, those unresolved issues will return to the Legislature, which had directed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to create the advisory task force to find solutions in the first place.
The task force still plans to issue a report next month with 31 recommendations, but its members have disagreed on the main issues.
The report will include recommendations on the need for better trail design, more safety training for riders and greater enforcement of off-road rules.
But unresolved are issues that have polarized rider groups and critics of off-road driving: the extent of environmental damage caused by ATVs and other vehicles; who should pay for trail repairs; whether some trails should be closed; and how many miles of trails on state forest land would suffice for recreation.
The task force began meeting in June in response to concern about widespread environmental damage in state forests and other public lands from all-terrain vehicles.
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