Advocacy News

clouds
February 14, 2022
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Priorities for 2022 legislative session

Letter from Parks & Trails Council President. If we've learned anything during the pandemic it is how important parks and trails are to all of our lives. And while the explosion in their use has been especially pronounced over the past two years, the truth of the matter is that growth in visitation is well evidenced over the past decade.
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man bicycling on fresh pavement
February 10, 2022
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2022 Legislative Monitoring: Community-driven trail projects

We support volunteer friends groups to advocate for trail projects in their communities. The table below highlights key actions that have been taken on this priority issue during the 2022 Legislative Session. We will work to update this table throughout the session. Casey Jones State ...
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February 10, 2022
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2022 Legislative Monitoring: BIPOC Programs

We encourage legislative efforts to develop new programs that welcome more BIPOC communities into parks and trails. The table below highlights key actions that have been taken on this priority issue during the 2022 Legislative Session. We will work to update this table throughout the ...
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February 10, 2022
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2022 Legislative Monitoring: No OHVs in state parks

We oppose all efforts to introduce or expand the use of motorized, off-highway vehicles in state parks and alongside state trails. The table below highlights key actions that have been taken on this priority issue during the 2022 Legislative Session. We will work to update ...
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Minnesota State Capitol Dome
February 10, 2022
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2022 Legislative Monitoring: Capital Improvement Projects

We support funding the agencies' requests for capital improvement projects at state and regional parks and trails. The table below highlights key actions that have been taken on this priority issue during the 2022 Legislative Session. We will work to update this table throughout the ...
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August 18, 2021
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ATVs transforming Minnesota outdoors

Earlier this year, the Star Tribune reported on the rise in all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and other off-high- way vehicles (OHV) use in Minnesota. According to the article, "Minnesota ATV registrations grew to 323,956 machines last year, a 36% increase from 15 years ago."
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Minnesota State Capitol
July 30, 2021
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Despite early concerns, strong outcome for parks and trails

It took a special session of the Minnesota Legislature to keep Minnesota’ s financial affairs in order, but a new two-year $52 billion state budget was passed in late June and went into effect on July 1. Despite a tumultuous session, a government shutdown was avoided, state parks remained open and most of the policy items P&TC worked to secure as part of our legislative agenda fared well.
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Parks & Trails Council's Research Bike
March 10, 2021
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House Legislative committee hears our case for state trail rehab

On Tuesday, our staff presented at the House Capital Investment Committee to share our State of the Trails report.
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February 1, 2021
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2021 Legislative Session underway

State park fee increases proposed in governor's budget Lawmakers convened the 2021 legislative session in early January in what will be one of the more unusual yet consequential sessions in recent memory. Legislators have a short but complex list of tasks: battling the ongoing COVID-19 ...
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Entrance sign to park
October 29, 2020
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Portion of Lake Vermilion State Park opens to OHVs

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) advocates have been pushing to open up state parks to ATVs for years, and in 2020 their focus was on Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeast Minnesota.
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Minnesota State Capitol
October 29, 2020
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Bonding bill passes, key parks and trails projects funded

Minnesota's Legislative Session was unprecedented, which is to say, it fit perfectly into the year 2020. For most of the year, the much anticipated bonding bill was stalled. It didn't get passed in regular session (Feb - May), nor in the June, July, August, or September special sessions. Then, finally, in October, during the fifth special session, the House and Senate passed a massive, $1.9 billion bonding bill, which was signed by Gov. Walz on Oct. 22. The bill funds a wide variety of items from roads, affordable housing, and college buildings to parks and trails projects.
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boy biycling along trail
October 22, 2020
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Mill Towns: Trail development

Add one new trail mile near Dundas and renovate three miles of trail along the Cannon River between Northfield and Dundas.
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Aerial shot of bikers on trail
October 22, 2020
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Heartland: Itasca Connection

Extend the Itasca State Park multi-use trail system about two miles from the park’s contact station though a tunnel under Hwy 71.
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October 22, 2020
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Goodhue Pioneer: Trail acquisition and development to close gap

Trail acquisition and development connecting Zumbrota and Goodhue to Red Wing and the Cannon Valley Trail.
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Bicyclists riding at underpass
October 22, 2020
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Gateway: New segment

Build a 3-mile segment from William O’Brien State Park to the Scandia Village Center, including a tunnel under County Road 52
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