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how come you cant ride a wheeler in the ditches until august but farmers can go out and cut down all the grass and bail it. isnt the the point of no wheelers in ditches to help the pheasant pop. out if im wrong please tell me, but if thats right. two tire tracks in the ditch isnt as bad as farmers going in and cutting all the grass down at the end of june or begining of july cuase that way they are taking down all the habitat right??

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you're exactly right, it's the law in order not to disturb nesting sites of any bird, not just pheasants....I've always said, there are two sets of laws, one for farmers and one for the rest of us!! it's the law though.

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this topic has come up many times before nad I'll repeat what I've said in the past.

We live in the agricultural zone of the state if we're south and west of HWY 95 and HWY 10. We currently have very few riding areas in this portion of the state. Take away the ditch mowing from the farmers, and we'll have no chance of gaining private property to establish areas to ride since the farmers own the majority of the land in this area.

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I don't live in that area but it's just another senseless law made up by the dnr. With all the land around do birds really need to nest in the road ditch? Just like certain areas where they don't mow the ditches due to wildlife, just what we need along the highway, grass higher than the hood on a truck, with deer hiding habitat...senseless.

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The agricultural area of the state has very few remaining fencelines that used to provide habitat for nesting wildlife. The majority of the land around here is row crops such as corn or beans that does little for nesting pheasants.

If it weren't for local chapters of organizations like Pheasants Forever and the NWTF, we'd have even less habitat for the pheasants we do have.

Also keep in mind that some ditches are private property to the center of the road and any travel in them would be punishable under the trespass laws.

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Well I would think that if birds have been nesting there for hundreds of years that they should still be able to do that! Habitats need to be preserved so that sportsman are still able to hunt. I do think that if you can't ride fourwheeler in the ditches for nesting reasons there should be no cutting of the ditches by farmers or the counties though. Otherwise the law really makes no sense at all!!

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From what I see on my property, the road ditches are rarely used by the birds, if at all. I'll tell you where I do find them. In my Alfalfa, in my small grain, and in the grass sloughs that I don't cut but I don't think I have yet found a bird nest in any of my road ditches.

I don't think they really want to build them there because it is too close to the road and too much activity causing too much disturbance with moving vehicles and such.

From my personal experience I have a hard time believing that the road ditches are that important to the birds' survival.

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It doesn't seem right when one group is shut out of an area and yet another is allowed to harvest a crop. IMO, there is little to no benefit to the wildlife who may be in the middle of a nesting cycle at the time of mowing.

In the case of ATVs where we've gotten a large share of bad publicity, the best thing we can do is first prove that we're a group who can police ourselves and secondly talk to your legislators to have this rule changed.

If we insist on doing this, you can count on farmers banding together and shunning out the ATV riders in MN and pull the plug on any GIA trails that run across their land.

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I agree that it isn't right to allow farmers to mow the ditches while denying the ATV riders access. I also agree that it is important to be careful about how we would go about changing the law. Ticking off the competition would only serve to a disadvantage.

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...the road ditches are that important to the birds' survival.

I read somewhere that pheasants wouldn't nest within 40 feet of a field edge. If that is the case they wouldn't use most of the actual ditch, but the more of the field adjacent to the ditch becomes suitable nesting by not mowing the ditch.

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I agree that it isn't right to allow farmers to mow the ditches while denying the ATV riders access. I also agree that it is important to be careful about how we would go about changing the law. Ticking off the competition would only serve to a disadvantage.

agreed

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I thought the banning of riding in the ditches atleast for Washington Co was because there was buried wires and gas lines that were being exposed in some areas due to ATVs.

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you're correct, some counties do have a total ban of ATVs in ditches. Washington County being the most notable. Blue Earth County was also thinking of the same but decided not to because of the efforts of a local ATV club.

This brings up another point. The club mentioned above has since disbanded due to lack of interest and declining memberships. It takes work and many hours to continue to do what this club did while they were active. They had many radar runs in the winter time as well as some summer events. Ultimately, it came down to a few people left and those few were doing the lion's share of the work. Now thye're gone and there's nobody left to fight on behalf of the ATV riders in this area.

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