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Dave S

Ditches to close April 1st

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Just a reminder that ditches in the Agricultural Zone in MN will be closed effective April 1st. This is the last weekend to get out and enjoy a ride (if you're into ditch riding) until they open up again in August.

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I contacted the DNR about this regulation a couple times. Why can't I ride an ATV in the ditch when landowners are allowed to run tractors, swathers, balers and hayracks up and down the ditch cutting and baling the very grass that is supposed to be the nesting habitat for wildlife that they don't want me to ride my ATV in. They couldn't give me a straight answer.

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I contacted the DNR about this regulation a couple times. They couldn't give me a straight answer.

The best thing you can do is contact your legislator and express your concerns and see if the laws can be changed to not allow any motorized traffic in ditches in this time frame.

Do keep in mind who owns the majority of the land in this area where it's already difficult to establish trails in the southern 2/3 of the state.

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The best thing you can do is contact your legislator and express your concerns and see if the laws can be changed to not allow any motorized traffic in ditches in this time frame.

won't happen,way to many people,including me,cut ditches for hay for cows,this is where alot of the hay for winter comes from. alot of people around here cut ditches too. and there isnt any pheasants around here that nest in the ditches along Hwy 14,they all nest in the DNR land and around Swan Lake

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Originally Posted By: LEP7MM
The best thing you can do is contact your legislator and express your concerns and see if the laws can be changed to not allow any motorized traffic in dithces in this time frame.

won't happen,way to many people,including me,cut ditches for hay for cows,this is where alot of the hay for winter comes from. alot of people around here cut ditches too. and there isnt any pheasants around here that nest in the ditches along Hwy 14,they all nest in the DNR land and around Swan Lake

I wasn't going to get into too much detail Scott, but that's what I was, in a round-a-bout way, referring to. Take that away from farmers, and you'll be very hard pressed to gain access to establish trails across their lands.

Thanks for the post.

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Take that away from farmers, and you'll be very hard pressed to gain access to establish trails across their lands.

dont even start about taking that from the farmers. thats not there land in the first place they just bail it and once they do that they think they own it and everyone should bowe down to them.

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i ride the ditches around here anyway ive been pulled over but they just tell me i shouldnt be riding in them until like june or something. doesnt make any difference its not like im ripping them up or anything and if they kick me off the ditchs ill just ride the gravel roads.

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Tyler,

my point was that farmers are privileged to be able to mow ditches. Privileges can be taken away from them as well as any of us. Do understand the overall ramifications if a group of ATV riders band together to keep farmers out of the ditches.

Although you may believe that farmers don't own that land, I suggest you stop to think that there are some cases where property owners do own to the center of the road and YES, they do own the ditch in this situation.

As far as riding gravel roads, a bill has been introduced to allow Class 1 ATVs on county roads. We can already ride township roads year-round as long as the township hasn't established a ban.

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Bottom line is there are way to many rules for atv's in this state and they need to stop being babies and let people with atv's do there thing.

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The rules were put in place because of damage done by people who ride ATVs. So who's to blame for tighter regulations?

I originally posted about the ditch closure to notify riders of their last chance to get out and enjoy some riding. It's clear this thread is starting to take a turn for the worse. The thread will be locked for a day and reopened. In the meantime, I ask that we all consider what actions prompted the tighter restrictions.

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i ride the ditches around here anyway ive been pulled over but they just tell me i shouldnt be riding in them until like june or something. doesnt make any difference its not like im ripping them up or anything and if they kick me off the ditchs ill just ride the gravel roads.

Yes, actually the land owner owns up to the center of the road and pays land tax on it, even though it is open to the public as far as hunting, riding, and the likes, they should be able to do as they please with it.

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correction ac777.

The property owner may post the ditches if their property line extends to the middle of the ROW. This means if you hunt or ride, you'll be trespassing.

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yes but idk what its like around where you live but around here ONE farmer bails ALL the ditches around my place and doesnt own any land? 95% of it is crop land and none of the ditches are posted. so its not like the owner of that land is bailing it just one guy that thinks its his.

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For clarification sake:

Q) Are all ditches privately owned?

A) No

Q) Is it illegal for someone to mow the ditch between April 1-August 1 in the Ag Zone?

A)No

Q) Can Class 1 ATVs operate in the ditch between April 1-August 1?

A) Not in the Ag zone.

Q) Can Class 2 ATVs operate within the ROW on Township, County and State roads?

A) They can operate within the ROW of Township and County roads. They MAY NOT operate within the ROW of a State HWY.

A) They MAY NOT be operated in the ditch at any time.

Q) Can Class 1 ATVs operate within the ROW on Township, County, and State roads?

A) They can operate on the normally traveled portion of the ROW on township roads.

A)They may be operated on the normally traveled portion of a County ROW, ONLY IF they have the Private Use (AG) license and are using the machine for farming type practices i.e. harvesting wood.

A) They MAY NOT be operated on the normally traveled portion of the ROW of any State HWY. Some exceptions do exist (please refer to the MN DNR ATV regulations for clarification).

I hope this clears up some of the confusion of what we can do. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer any questions.

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i know but they dont own the ditch is what im getting at. i was told around here its first come first serve?

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Pretty much the same in my neck of the woods. I know of one guy who bales several miles of local ditches.

Does not seem to be a big deal, though I wish he'd wait a little later in the summer.

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Originally Posted By: Scott Stein
Originally Posted By: LEP7MM
The best thing you can do is contact your legislator and express your concerns and see if the laws can be changed to not allow any motorized traffic in dithces in this time frame.

won't happen,way to many people,including me,cut ditches for hay for cows,this is where alot of the hay for winter comes from. alot of people around here cut ditches too. and there isnt any pheasants around here that nest in the ditches along Hwy 14,they all nest in the DNR land and around Swan Lake

I wasn't going to get into too much detail Scott, but that's what I was, in a round-a-bout way, referring to. Take that away from farmers, and you'll be very hard pressed to gain access to establish trails across their lands.

Thanks for the post.

Yeah, because there are so many trails in southern Minnesota!

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Jasper,

being from Mankato you maybe know how the SMC Pit turned out and why. That matter aside, the majority of the land owners (farmers) aren't going to give up part of their income (harvestable lands) to allow ATV trails to cross their property.

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i know but they dont own the ditch is what im getting at. i was told around here its first come first serve?

Then what are you getting at? All this confusion on here isn't going to do you any good. Find a place to ride legally, and you won't have to worry about trespassing and breaking rules. And anyone can bale a ditch as long as they have PERMISSION from the landowner. It's not first come first serve.

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