June 4, 2019

Legislators’ attempt to open State Parks to off-highway vehicles kept at bay in 2019

Attempts to open state parks to off-highway vehicles (OHVs)—such as ATVs, four-wheelers, and dirt bikes—have come in a variety of ways over the past several years despite the fact that the Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Act prohibits such activity.

During the 2019 Legislative Session, a handful of legislators* tried to advance a bill (HF 48/SF 1568) that would mandate a pilot project at Hayes Lake and Lake Vermilion State Parks to allow all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to use the campground and access routes within these state parks. The bills never made it out of committee thanks to strong opposition from key environmental committee chairs Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point) and Reps. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and John Persell (DFL-Bemidji).


We expect momentum for this bill to continue to build next session as it is still in play for the second year of the biennium.



*Reps. Dan Fabian (R-Roseau), Dale Lueck (R-Aitkin), Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls), Sens. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) and Andrew Lang (R-Olivia)


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