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March 21, 2018
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Action Alert: Stop bill that would open state parks to all-terrain vehicle (ATVs)

Stop this bill from redefining state parks

A bill (HF3142 / SF3063) is making its way through the legislative process this session that would erode the definition of Minnesota State Parks. This bill allows all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to be ridden within two state parks–something that has always been considered to be incompatible based on the definition of state parks set out in the Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Act.

What you can do:

  1. Ask Sen. Ruud to oppose bill SF3063

  2. Thank Gov. Dayton for his support

Sen. Ruud is chair of the committee where this bill has been referred and she needs to know that there is opposition. Gov. Dayton has expressed his opposition to this bill and he needs to know our gratitude.

Here are some key points to consider when contacting Sen. Ruud and Gov. Dayton:

  • Sen. Ruud and Gov. Dayton have been a longtime champions for parks and trails.
    • Please thank Sen. Ruud for her past support for parks and trails and urge her to stick up for them once again by opposing SF3063.
    • Please thank Gov. Dayton for expressing opposition to this bill (HF3142/SF3063)
  • This bill goes against all previous interpretations of the Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Act.
    • As such it redefines Minnesota state parks, which have always been interpreted by the Legislature as places where ATVs are incompatible.
  • State Parks are unique places that deserve special protections.
    • Less than one percent (0.42%) of land in Minnesota is protected as state parks.
    • These places were set aside to protect their “unspoiled natural resources” (M.S. 86A Subd. 2.c).
    • ATVs would irreconcilably disrupt the enjoyment of natural areas for silent recreation.
  • Allowing ATVs within campgrounds or state park trails is a safety hazard.
    • Campgrounds are already congested places and used by many small children who bike around and explore–adding motorized recreation to this mix is dangerous.
  • Introducing ATVs into state parks would perpetuate a disproportionate use of resources.
    • According to the DNR’s data, there is nearly 18 times more state land available for off-highway vehicles, such as ATVs, compared to the amount of land available to state park users.
    • This disparity exists despite the fact that only five percent of Minnesotans own an off-highway vehicle compared to the 30 percent who visit state parks.
  • We are not opposed to ATVs, but we simply believe they do not belong in state parks.

Please visit our advocacy section for a full array of reasons why we oppose off-highway vehicles such as ATVs in state parks. Plus a list of FAQs on this issue.

Email Sen. Ruud and Gov. Dayton by Sunday, Mar. 25.
Sen. Carrie Ruud
sen.carrie.ruud@senate.mn
651-296-4913

Gov. Dayton
Send email via the Governor’s online form

We appreciate seeing your comments. Please consider forwarding your comments or sharing any other opinions on this matter to us at info@parksandtrails.org.