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Mlaker3

Sunday Tribune Article

59 posts in this topic

Hard to believe no one has posted about the Tribune rant about ATV damage to wetlands. I own 2 4-wheelers myself but don't do much trail riding. I am ashamed as an outdoorsman of this behavior by a few bad apples. With all the cell phones out there I am surprised more TIP calls aren't made to CO's about abuse. Turn in these abusers or the common public will come down on all users in time. Even the DNR is getting sick of the time wasted chasing them. Just my .02. No offense to reponsible enthusiasts, but you must lead the way to curtail the abuse by turning in your neighbor.

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MNexplorer, I know the media only reports the bad things about atv's, so that just means we need to police ourselves that much more, for the reasons that you listed. We cant turn our heads on a few law breakers, because once others find they wont get in trouble, then more will just break the law. Although in my opinion, the law should loosen its belt some and open some areas for atv activity, but until then we need to obey the laws and report those that break it, otherwise we atv'ers will just get more bad media.

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Ok sorry about the rant. I know we need to work things out with the DNR, but I feel that we are giving up alot of places to ride and not getting anything in return. I know we were suppose to get alot of trails built but I havent seen any new trails. I totally understand that ATVs are hard on the ground, they do make ruts. The thing I dont like is how the Star Tribune reports this stuff. The make it sound like all the trees and animals are going to DIE if we ride a atv through the forest. Now I dont think ATVs should be allow everywhere. They need SOME regulation.

I think I'll be re-newing my ATVAM membership ASAP!!!!

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MNexplorer, I feel the same way you do, but we cant break the laws, that wont get us more trails, that will get the few trails we have, shut down!

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I am going to reply to this thread not only as a MOD, but also as MN DNR ATV Instructor.

To begin with, let's not get too upset about the Strib article. If all we can muster up for motivation on this issue is to jump up and down and scream fowl, we're not doing ourselves any favors. We know the people are out there who insist on going where they please. It's up to us to police ourselves.

Another thing that I cannot let stand is the constant finger pointing at the DNR.

Let's get something straight. The DNR, nor the state for that matter, is obligated to create more areas for us to ride. Thus, the privilege of being able to ride on what trails we do have can and will be taken away. The Strib article just gave us a huge push down hill.

There are countless ATV forums out there where people show a total disregard to our natural resources. Often times we see members who get on their soap box and preach to the choir that they're not the ones doing the damage. But in many cases, and as many CO's will tell you, the first ones to complain are the biggest offenders. I am in no way pointing the finger at any FM members here. We have, IMO, one of the greatest groups of riders on these forums.

I'm going to close my post in noting that the very second this thread starts to go south, it will be deleted.

It's time we start becoming part of the solution and not part of the problem.

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Lep, agreed. And I do believe that in the state of MN we will have many more trails in a few years, its just not going to happen over night, and until then we just need to be the best sportsman that we can.

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I, too, just read the article and watched the videos. I wasn't surprised by who wrote the article. This type of "reporting" has been going on for years.

You can look at the article(s) two ways, IMO 1. Some will never be happy with one's recreational activity (as every recreation has) and try to deter it from happening every chance they get and 2. Use this article as a warning for some in "this" recreation to wake up; the enemy is not going away.

As noted, the DNR takes great offensive when people say this recreation hasn't been more controlled or improved (I forgot the exact wording) And, they should. A ton of work has been completed over the years to try and get it in check and to please everyone who uses the outdoors. As you guys know, there are some that will never be happy.

While out on the trails, or in any recreatioanl activity, you have to do what's right, whether it's staying on the trail or calling in a violation to the DNR.

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Take away the right to ride of anyone caught for a few seasons, fine them and make them pay not only restitution but a complete restoration of the damaged area they got caught in. In short catch em, fine em and make um fix it.

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I find myself agreeing with everything said above.

For short term, yes, we need to be responsible riders to keep areas open. In the long term, we need to have more trails and opportunities for people to ride.

The DNR is actually here to help us more than anything. They are just trying to enforce the laws, so we can stay on the good side of some of these groups. Although, like Dave said, some will never be pleased until they are banned.

Our privileges are slowly being taken away everyday on one level or another. This is a great time to support ATVAM and other organizations that fight for us. It's also time to get those trail ambassadors out on the trails.

ATVAM has very good intentions, but yes, it seems like forever for things to get done. I'm sure there is more red tape than most people think though.

I choose to ignore anything written in a newspaper about ATV's. Most of those type people are cup-o-tea yuppies who just like to look at wildlife pictures on their wall. They don't like to see anyone have any fun whatsoever.

I have not read the article yet.

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I have to laugh after watching those videos. Most of them were yahoos who deserve a ticket for what they were doing. If it's a legal trail, fine, but when someone takes down fences or trail signs, they are what makes us look bad. How about giving out $1000 tickets....I think that would slow them bad apples down.

I don't like it either, but we can't ride water or mud in MN and that's that. Doesn't really bother me so much anymore and my atv's stay in better shape also.

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I think those breaking the laws should get restitution and do some trail repairs. For alot of people money wont hurt them, but 100 hours of some good labor repairing and blocking off ilegal trails may keep some of the hoodlems from roaming freely!

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I have an ATV safety certificate after voluntarily taking the training 3 years ago. I don't own an ATV but plan to get one in the near future for ice fishing trips, big game hauling, and infrequent private property use and riding. But for whatever reason, I'm one of those people that seems to stumble into bad ATV damage, and it drives me nuts. I'll hold off on those stories, since everyone has seen it on one occasion or another (and for the record I have reported it). While I'm not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I think there is some enforcement and funding reform within this state that should help.

First, why aren't ATV riders required to have an operator's permit, like firearms and snowmobile users are? I'd like to see that changed. I know kids under such and such an age are required, but I'm talking about the majority of riders by targeting adults...On the same thought, maybe there is a way to pick up some more enforcement to curtail some of these violations as we wait for the rewards of education? Changing thoughts and attitudes works but sometimes it takes an entire generation, look at the decrease in firearms safety accidents since education became mandatory. I don't pretend to have all the answers though; where those extra enforcement dollars would come from is anyone's guess.

Secondly, why isn't some or more of the gas tax money being used to nail the repeat or gross offenders? I guess if I'm running a local trail club and I want more trails, I would like to see the bad apples nailed to preserve my sport as much as I'd like to see new trails. Public sentiment and perception is as important to the ATV community as it is to the blood sports community. I know it's hard to keep slicing up the pie in new ways, but if you can do some internal fund raising, you can throw the DNR a bone that they can in turn put into enforcement and follow up.

Thirdly, I would like to see state judges get tougher. Maybe that's what needs to happen, the associated or recommended punishment for a conviction is community service on other lands destroyed as a result of ATV use, and not just a few measly hours, a BUNCH of time. Before this measure is taken however, I would like to see marking signs made more permanent. This is going to get expensive, but no sign or a (re)moved sign means no ticket (Isn't ATV enforcement fun grin)

I do like that the state has changed trail designation and has closed some trails as part of the five year review on state forests. The federal Farm Service Agency takes aerial photos of the whole state. Documenting the changes on state forest and other trails with the help of this sort of technology and finding where violators are getting off trail should help enforcement-either by showing where to put those 3 ton boulders or cemented signs or by at least letting officers know where to wait for offenders.

I think for a lot of people it's a cultural thing...they don't have an understanding of environmental sensitivities so they think going off road doesn't mean anything. You see ATV Offroad Fury video games, commercials for Polaris and Honda showing guys fording rivers and ripping up hillsides, and you get the mentality that buying or using an ATV is like operating a miniature monster truck and 'lets go mudding'. It's a shame, and I know it's not everyone, but in what other recreational pursuits do you have this sort of noncompliance, and noncompliance that is so detrimental to the resource? It's all speculation at this point as to some of the numbers and both sides can trot out some numbers, but IMO, the DNR surveys of state forests will bring out some high numbers that everyone will get worked up over and challenge.

I think that MRR is a little too far out in left field...everyone should be able to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity, even ATVers. But when that right infringes upon the rights of others, then we have a problem. Maybe ATVAM needs to find a tiny shred of common ground with MRR and help get after the bad apples.

Let's hear some more constructive ideas for helping with renegade riders.

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Quote:
Let's hear some more constructive ideas for helping with renegade riders.

I think if the state made a few areas for this type of riding, most of them would trailer them there and wouldnt be out making their own trails where they arent suppose too. I know of several gravel pits that were shut down by the state, or were not allowed, that before gave this type of riders a place to ride.

Most of these people arent criminals, they just have a different idea of what atv'ing is. Some people dont like the gravel road type trails, some like to hill climb, play in the mud, jump wheelie. If there were a couple atv parks set up for this style of riding, I think alot of the bad apples would rather bring their atv's to the park and be legal and still have fun.

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Sounds like a business opportunity to me. smile

Nice post da_chise31. There is mandatory safety training for anyone born after a certain date in 1987, I believe. Some of the others here will have more info on that.

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Thanks for the post da_chise31.

As you mentioned, there is mandatory safety training for people born on or after July 1, 1987.

The problem we really face is the older generation IMO who in many cases seem to have this mentality of they've paid their dues by way of car licenses, ATV registration fees, state/federal taxes, or even something as simple as they've lived in this area their entire life, they've ridden there for decades and noone is going to stop them. Albeit, this characterization doesn't fit everyone. There are those of us capable of rational thought.

I watched a couple of the videos on the strib site and even though I have never ridden on the Pine Center trails, one of the areas did resemble an area on a video that I did see on youtube.

This is only my opinion, but after the Strib finishes with their 2 follow ups to this story, we're going to be seeing some major changes in the way the DNR manages the trail network.

Thanks to all for keeping some focus on this. It's greatly appreciated.

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It is unfortunate that usually the only press we get is when people are abusing the sport/lands...but that is the story. There's no glamour in telling everyone that ATV'rs respect the land and only ride on designated trails.

Something that illustrates the problem is this:

Our cabin is 20 miles from about 75 miles worth of designated trails, and about 50 miles from another 100 miles of trails as well as an off-road park. Yet we have neighbors who choose to tear up the gravel road, ditches, water-runoff area, designated non-motorized trails and, on at least two occasions, other peoples land around our properties. They trailer their ATV's up to their property, yet won't go the extra distance to ride in legal areas. The Sheriff has talked to them, other property owners have spoken with them, the road association has intervened; yet the next weekend, there they are again. It boggles the mind, but that is what we, as responsible riders are up against.

I agree that the punishment should be much more. Much higher fines that go into a kitty for new trails, mandatory restoration of affected areas, loss of riding privileges, confiscation of ATV etc. Until we send a message that there are real consequences, people will continue the abuse.

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ATVAM email this morning says they are working on a response to this biased article.

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Good to hear! Now if they will print it, and print it without editing it frown

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This past spring, I got a new 750 Brute, leaving behind

my old two wheel drive Yamaha. While I am beyond cutting

fences or going around marked barriers, I now have a real

off-road machine, and quite frankly, really dig getting

it muddy, doing wheelies, and raising some he**. I guess

that has me somewhat labeled as a bad apple, since I leave

an impact from some ripped up dirt in some areas. These areas

being remote in nature and not tearing up any private

property in the process.

Are they truely expecting us to be satisfied going around

the trails closed throttle and steering clear of the muddy

areas?? Why do they even allow winches to be on the ATV??

Cause they look cool?? I agree with 4wanderingeyes. There

needs to be more places you can MUD/climb in. It seems everytime a trail gets muddy or rutted, the DNR closes it down!

And these are side trails and not the main line.. WHY??

With thousands of miles of paved and improved roads

criss crossing the whole dang state,(across wetlands

and other habitats), the impact the ATVer puts on the

planet seems quite small in comparison. I have no doubt

there are complete idiots out there breaking the law,

but there seems to be a lot of finger-pointing at

people out enjoying the fun of getting the machine

dirty and having some fun.If you are one of those,

stay on the smooth,boring,main trail with your riding

lawnmower, and have a nice day. I will be off pushing

my machine to the limit, with the knobbys a spinning!!

Life is too short...enjoy it while you can.

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It is really too bad that a few bad apples can ruin a sport enjoyed by thousands in this state. I know the story sounds a little one sided, but they have to fix something here. After all who is going to pay for fixing these areas back up. The tax payers will be footing the bill. I guess I would like to see some real harsh penalties for these nuckleheads. I posted a few pictures below of the damage that is done by these FEW bad apples. If you look hard you will notice the State Park sign in the background. YES, they tore up a State Park. I took these pictures as the CO had these guys detained just out of sight.

Ruts.jpg

Ruts2.jpg

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Could someone put a link to the article?? Most areas I ride

don't have cell coverage, so if someone saw somebody that

was breaking the law, it wouldn't help get the law out there.

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