|OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN
MN LEGISLATURE (News Release provided by the Friends of the
Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation (MRR), supported by the Friends
of the Boundary Waters, announces OHV legislation. On Thursday
March 8, House File 1551 was introduced by sponsor Rep. John Tuma (R,
Northfield). The introduction of the Senate companion, sponsored
by Sen. John Hottinger (DFL, Mankato) impending.
The legislation proposes several solutions to Minnesotašs off-highway
Minnesota is one of the few states in the country that allows off trail,
off-road, random, cross-country use of dirt bike motorcycles,
all-terrain vehicles, and
four-wheel drive trucks on public land. The proposed legislation
would establish a "designated routes only" policy for OHV use
on public land.
Every time a person on a registered ATV, dirt-bike motorcycle, or
four-wheel drive truck buys gas for their machine, the tax from that gas
goes to the DNR to provide these machines access to our parks and
forests. However, while we have 600 state troopers to patrol
our highways in Minnesota, we have only 150 Conservation Officers (CO's)
to patrol the entire state of Minnesota. Conservation Officers are
budgeted only 23 hours per year to enforce OHV laws. HF 1551 makes
enforcement of off-highway vehicle laws and monitoring of accumulating
OHV impacts a priority in the spending of OHV dedicated account funds.
- Prioritization of Enforcement and Monitoring in Use of OHV
"Dedicated Account" Funds
It has been widely documented that off-highway vehicles have the
potential for significant environmental effects on air, water, soils,
vegetation, wildlife, and other forest visitors. HF 1551 would
mandate environmental review of proposed all off-highway trails, random
scramble areas and other facilities.
- Environmental Review of All OHV Facilities
The small registration letters and numerals currently required on ATVs
and dirt-bike motorcycles, make it hard to identify vehicles at a
distance or while a machine is in motion. HF 1551 enhances
enforcement efficiency and effectiveness by requiring automobile size
and type license plates front and rear.
- Automobile Size License Plates Front and Rear
It is currently often difficult to identify and reach the proper
authorities or obtain a timely response to motorized recreation
problems. HF 1551 would create a toll-free hotline for reporting
complaints about or violations by operators of OHVs, snowmobiles, or
motorized watercraft. Data would guide enforcement policy
- Motorized Recreation Enforcement Hotline
What You Can Do:
1) Please contact Rep. TUMA and Sen. Hottinger and thank them for their
bipartisan leadership in sponsoring effective solutions to Minnesota's
off-highway vehicle problems.
Representative John Tuma
533 State Office Building
100 Constitutional Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1298
Senator John Hottinger, Majority Whip
75 Constitution Ave
St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
2) Contact Rep. Dennis Ozment, Chair
House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
479 State Office Building, 100 Constitutional Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1298; 651-296-4306.
This committee is our bill's "next stop". Tell Rep.
Ozment to give our bill a careful hearing and to support its passage
from his committee.
3) Contact House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
members, especially legislators representing your district.
View the committee roster at:
Call House Information Office at 651-296-2146/1-800-657-3550 to get the
name of the legislator representing you.
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