prairie grass
June 5, 2019
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Hayes Lake State Park saved from an OHV campground

After a lengthy public-input and planning process that was designed to weigh the best location for an off-highway vehicle (OHV) campground in Northwestern Minnesota, the MnDNR is recommending the best location as Beltrami Island State Forest rather than Hayes Lake State Park. Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota is relieved by this recommendation, as it upholds the precedent established within the Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Act, that OHVs are incompatible with state parks.

The factors that the DNR considered in reaching their final recommendation included infrastructure considerations, natural resource impacts and operational costs. They specifically cite the fact that Hayes Lake State Park is home to sensitive plant communities, which have been restored within the park. They also reference the intent of the Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Act (M.S. 86A) and State Park Rules (M.R. 6100) to prohibit OHVs within State Parks.

Photo of the quiet lake at Hayes Lake State Park courtesy of Lisa Filter