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Wade Joseph

Atv use in Voyagers Nat'l park

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On a year like this with little or no snow cover, could a guy ride his atv across the lakes in Voyagers Nat'l park?

I was thinking about doing a winter camping ice fishing trip into Sandpoint lake and I'd like to drag the stuff with my wheeler.

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As goofy as it sounds it's illegal. You can drive a car on the ice and you can drive a snowmobile on the ice but not an ATV. A buddy of mine got ticketed a few years back riding wheelers on Sand Point Lake. They had gone up to Grassy Bay crappie fishing. I think what they are concerned about is that people would drive across the portages an rut them up. To get to Grassy Bay you do have to cross a couple of portages. People should be allowed to drive on the lakes as long as you don't drive on the land to get there.

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Wade,, You can use the ATV on the ice... You cannot travel on land in the Park.. Thus the portage trails are off limits... The people is Grassy bay had to cross land portages. I use my wheeler for fishing when little snow on the ice. Never had a problem.. Wheelers are on Kabetogama alot... Hope that this helps... Fishkab

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Theres away around that. If you have a bit of snow like we do this year. Follow me on this now, Two people and their wheelers with two "otter sleds". Put the wheelers in the the sleds, one sled for each side and portage the atv's to the next lake. I sure wouldn't want to pull my 700 to far, however there is nothing wrong with a bit of American ingenuity (SP).

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Not a bad idea Firemedic, then again, my buddy who I would go with has a snowmobile, so we could pull the wheeler with the snow machine...saves on back strains and heart attacks.

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I called the visitors center at the Rainy lake entry yesterday and spoke with a ranger. His reply this.

"Technically, ATV's are not aloowed in the park but if you kept it on the surface of the lake you probably wouldn't have a problem from anyone provided you could prove this. This means you would need to drive it thru the narrows between the lakes which is typically unsafe ice. Additionally, gas powered augers are also technically illegal but they have let those slide as they are so widespread. They have also allowed chainsaws for cutting spear holes. He said he would reccomend borrowing or renting a snowmobile as he cannot say for certain how other rangers would react to seeing an ATV on Sandpoint or Namakan and thinks many would assume you came across park land to get there. Thus you may be ticketed or you may not."

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Quote:

.

"Technically, ATV's are not aloowed in the park but if you kept it on the surface of the lake you probably wouldn't have a problem from anyone provided you could prove this. gas powered augers are also technically illegal but they have let those slide as they are so widespread. They have also allowed chainsaws for cutting spear holes. He said he would reccomend borrowing or renting a snowmobile as he cannot say for certain how other rangers would react to seeing an ATV on Sandpoint or Namakan and thinks many would assume you came across park land to get there. Thus you may be ticketed or you may not."


I gotta love when they say a LEO will assume you did something wrong. Nothing agains you, mind you, but last time I checked we were still inocent until proven guilty. Look at it this way, you have a Corvet or some other go fast car, even a crotch rocket for that matter, it would then be safe for a LEO to assume that you have broken the law resulting in speeding, recless driving, endangering lives, endangering property, heck lets toss in an open bottle also, then write you a ticket on the spot. It would be up to the park service to say/prove you actuly were not off of the lake and in the park, not for you to prove that you were not. Beating them over the head with their own rules always has the tendency to anger the Law Enforcment Officer, so one must make sure that all the I's have dot;s and the T's are crossed.

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We were fishing some local lakes last year with the wheeler and ran into the CO both days. He told us about about a lake inside the Park and he said you need a snowmobile as wheelers are not allowed. He was a great guy and I would suggest looking his number up on the DNR-Enforcement HSOforum. Great way to avoid any trouble especially for that far of a drive. One phone call could save a fine or two.

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