Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Volunteers on the trails making a difference

1 post in this topic

(August 5, 2008)

For conservation officers, members of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) Trail Ambassador Program are another set of eyes. For trail riders, the ambassadors provide education about safe and responsible trail riding. And the 69 ambassadors themselves have the satisfaction of trail protection along with the joys of community service.

“These folks came to training sessions earlier this year and said they wanted to help protect and preserve Minnesota’s trail system,” said 2nd Lt. Leland Owens, DNR Enforcement Recreational Vehicle coordinator. “And they have delivered. They give of their time, talent and energy. They are making a difference.”

Established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2007 to meet the growing number of motorized recreationalists in the state, the program exists to promote safe, environmentally responsible operation of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) through informational, educational contacts and monitoring efforts. OHVs include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as four-wheel-drive trucks.

Trail Ambassadors are specially trained volunteers sponsored by qualifying organizations. They are assisting land manager efforts to provide a recognizable presence on the lands they enjoy, while offering a positive and informative role model for fellow OHV and trail users.

“We’ll be the motorized and non-motorized recreationalists best friend,” said Kevin Hennen of Pierz, a member of the Eastern Morrison County 4-Wheeler Club and a member of the DNR Trail Ambassador Program. “We’ll emphasize the positive things about the sport to everyone.”

Volunteer ambassadors are responsible for greeting fellow outdoor enthusiasts, educating trail users, giving minor aid in emergencies, and providing useful information about responsible OHV use on public lands. And they’ll watch for more than reckless riders. Through a special DNR training program they have learned to identify invasive plants and determine what constitutes trail damage.

The volunteers also received training in the use of Global Positioning Systems to note locations of trail damage, invasive plants, off-trail riding incidents and irresponsible or illegal OHV use. DNR Forestry, Trails & Waterways, and Enforcement staff teamed up to provide the training.

Trail Ambassadors carry no law enforcement authority. Their influence lies in their knowledge, friendliness and willingness to help others. They have a high degree of commitment to maintaining the environment and the responsible use of OHVs on public lands. The first fully qualified and trained ambassadors started working trails in May.

Reports from ambassadors like Hennen are forwarded to local conservation officers such as Paul Kuske who patrols parts of Morrison and Crow Wing counties where a portion of the Soo Line Trail is located.

“This is a way of empowering user groups to patrol their own ranks,” Kuske said. “And they are already proving valuable at Nemadji. St Croix, Chengwatana, General Andrews state forests.”

Ambassadors’ reporting data adds to the monitoring and assessment information that the DNR is now gathering for OHV work planning. Their timely and accurate reports have helped Trails and Waterways’ staff continues to focus on top work priorities, adds Joe Russell, a supervisor in the Moose Lake area.

Volunteer Ambassadors also are reporting on unique wildlife sightings found while out on the trails. For example, Trail Ambassadors with the Lake of the Woods/Roseau Sportsman Club reported the GPS location of Trumpeter Swans seen recently along the Krull and Carp Trails in Beltrami Island State Forest.

DNR Enforcement’s Owens said the volunteers are the core of the Trail Ambassador Program, but building public trust is essential for the program to succeed.

“It’s a new initiative so there’s a great focus on accountability, because public trust is essential to its success,” he adds. “Providing safe and ethical riding education, proper management of taxpayer assets and good stewardship of Minnesota’s trails systems are critical components of the Trail Ambassador Program. With the public’s support, volunteers on the trails will continue to make a difference.”

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Posts

    • I gave mine a week and then mulched.  For me, its kind of a guessing game.  I don't think you want to mulch real warm ground and have the garlic grow too much under that mulch and on the other hand you don't want to let the ground start freezing.  I'm sure there is an ideal soil temp, but I guess I don't know what that is.  I mulched on a morning that we had frost on the ground.  I don't think you want a couple of weeks of warm sun to really get it growing.  
    • I was out on Saturday as well, and boy was it tough. We stuck a couple of fish and missed a couple more right away in the morning, then ran to the access to pick up the third guy, and when we got back to the spot the fish were shut down.

      We marked tons of fish all day but found very few biters. Still a heck of a nice day to be on the water, though!
    • Thanks for the link. I saw another lake on that list that was good bass fishing, but they had discontinued stocking trout several years back. Nice to see they resumed, even if it is only a few hundred. I'm fishing perch lake for sure on Friday, but am looking to add a 2nd lake to fish, since it's so small. Square lake, here on the Minnesota side would be ideal, but I can't get a hold of the DNR regarding trout stocking there. I'm down to an electric motor with my little boat anyway, as I need to do some carburetor work on the outboard.
    • I thought there wasn't any proof it was the russians and it could have been a 400lb guy on a bed.    I can't help but find some humor in the dems tactics, playing the Trumpers like a fiddle, and how the repubs are butthurt about it.   Plant some dudes in planned parenthood t-shirts and then watch the Trumpers to blow their tops and start punching people. 
    • She's a nasty women....   (Hilly would look somewhat similar without her catheter strapped on...)  
    • Might not want to fill that diaper up with claims of rigging and fraud too soon.  You've still got two weeks.  
    • Still indecisive ??  
  • Our Sponsors