All News

May 30, 2017

Legislative Session ends with mixed bag for parks and trails

The 2017 legislative session is finally over. Minnesota lawmakers wrapped up a four-day special session early Friday morning, and Gov. Dayton signed most of the bills into law on Tuesday following the Memorial Day holiday. While there are still a few outstanding issues at the …

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Minnesota State Capitol
May 19, 2017

Legislative Update: Uncertainty remains as the end of session draws near

The end of the legislative session is only three days away, and important pieces of legislation that will impact Minnesota’s parks and trails are still up-in-the-air. Lawmakers have spent most of the week going back-and-forth on what the overall size of the state budget should …

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Minnesota State Capitol
May 16, 2017

Mill Towns State Trail Segment Grand Opening Celebration at Lake Byllesby

Saturday, June 3 from 2-5 pm at Lake Byllesby Regional Park in Goodhue County (Google Map) We’ve been looking forward to this day for five years, since we began partnering to acquire a key parcel for the trail, and now it’s here! Come celebrate the opening of the …

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boy biycling along trail
May 15, 2017

Stalemate in budget and bonding for state parks and trails

We've reached the end of a contentious week at the Minnesota State Capitol. Budget negotiations between Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders have reached a stalemate, and will be suspended over the weekend as lawmakers celebrate Mother's Day and the state fishing opener. Negotiations are expected to resume early next week.
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Minnesota State Capitol
May 11, 2017

Noise pollution invading protected areas, new report shows

The great outdoors is becoming a lot less peaceful. Noise pollution from humans has doubled sound levels in more than half of all protected areas in the United States—from local nature reserves to national parks—and it has made some places 10 times louder, according to a new study. And the cacophony isn’t just bad for animals using natural sounds to hunt and forage—it could also be detrimental to human health.
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Parks & Trails Legislative News

After a flurry of activity, lawmakers are entering the final stages of the legislative process. The House and Senate presented their budget proposals to Gov. Dayton earlier this week, and now the three sides are working towards agreement on overall spending goals for each area …

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Minnesota State Capitol
April 22, 2017

Legislative Action Alert – Tell Lawmakers to Support Parks and Trails Funding

Lawmakers returned to the Minnesota Capitol this week after their Easter and Passover break and now have a full agenda of work to complete before the constitutional adjournment deadline of May 22. Most policy and finance bills have been passed and are in conference committees to compare the House and Senate version of each bill. Gov. Dayton is also involved in the process as all sides are working to reach an agreement on the final budget.
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Boy crossing rocks at the Headwaters
March 27, 2017

Willard Munger State Trail to be reconstructed near Duluth

MnDNR News Release -- A 5-mile section of the Willard Munger State Trail, between Grand Avenue and Becks Road in West Duluth, will be closed for an extensive construction project from mid-April through August, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
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March 8, 2017

North Country Trail Needs Congress to act to continue development in Minnesota

The longest National Scenic Trail in the country–the North Country Trail (NCT)–runs right through Minnesota on its way from New York to North Dakota; but there’s a snag in completing it that only Congress can fix. In 1982 a route was planned that would bring the trail through 70 miles …

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North Country Trail hikers and sign
February 9, 2017

Keeping OHVs out of state parks

Efforts to add off-highway vehicles into Minnesota State Parks are popping up in unexpected places like the Taconite State Trail Plan and Lake Vermilion State Park Plan.
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Lake with evergreens in foreground
February 9, 2017

We’re partnering to re-open ski trails in four northern Minnesota state parks

After laying fallow last winter, cross-country ski trails are once again being groomed and welcoming skiers at Hayes Lakes, Lake Bronson, McCarthy Beach and Zipple Bay State Park in northern Minnesota, thanks to a partnership between Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota (P&TC) and the …

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Volunteer grooming trails at Zippel Bay State Park
February 6, 2017

Local Grants

Grants for regional and local parks and trails to fund four grant programs that have historically been managed by the MnDNR:

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December 12, 2016

Helping right a wrong for Lake Superior

Few outcomes are more satisfying than when a big-time polluter is caught in its tracks. This summer, one such polluter was brought to justice by the U.S Attorney’s Office when a whistleblower reported a ship was illegally dumping dirty bilge water into the Great Lakes. Part of the punishment included a $200,000 criminal sanction against the company that will be used to protect Lake Superior and its watershed. This fall, Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, along with three other environmental nonprofits were awarded grants from this settlement.
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Kayakers on Lake Superior with Gold Rock Point
December 12, 2016

Our Friends Group program expands

We're happy to announce the expansion of our Friends Group program with the creation of the staff position of Friends Group Coordinator. We welcome Jen Lasar to this role that will be dedicated to fostering and enhancing the efforts of the many volunteer-based groups working on behalf of Minnesota's parks and trails.
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Group walking through prairie and looking at plants
October 11, 2016

Interview with Debbie Kippen, winner of 2016 photo contest

Debbie Kippen spends a lot of time in Minnesota state parks; she is just one park visit away from having hiked every one. And she says each one is special. In August, Kippen was awarded the first place honor in our photo contest. We chatted ...
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Blue Mounds State Park by Debbie Kippen