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OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN MN LEGISLATURE  (News Release provided by the Friends of the Boundary Waters)

Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation (MRR), supported by the Friends of the Boundary Waters, announces OHV legislation.  On Thursday March 8, House File 1551 was introduced by sponsor Rep. John Tuma (R, Northfield).  The introduction of the Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. John Hottinger (DFL, Mankato) impending.

The legislation proposes several solutions to Minnesotašs off-highway vehicle problems:
  • Designated Routes Only
Minnesota is one of the few states in the country that allows off trail, off-road, random, cross-country use of dirt bike motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and
four-wheel drive trucks on public land.  The proposed legislation would establish a "designated routes only" policy for OHV use on public land.  

  • Prioritization of Enforcement and Monitoring in Use of OHV "Dedicated Account" Funds
Every time a person on a registered ATV, dirt-bike motorcycle, or four-wheel drive truck buys gas for their machine, the tax from that gas goes to the DNR to provide these machines access to our parks and forests.   However, while we have 600 state troopers to patrol our highways in Minnesota, we have only 150 Conservation Officers (CO's) to patrol the entire state of Minnesota. Conservation Officers are budgeted only 23 hours per year to enforce OHV laws.  HF 1551 makes enforcement of off-highway vehicle laws and monitoring of accumulating OHV impacts a priority in the spending of OHV dedicated account funds.

  • Environmental Review of All OHV Facilities
It has been widely documented that off-highway vehicles have the potential for significant environmental effects on air, water, soils, vegetation, wildlife, and other forest visitors.  HF 1551 would mandate environmental review of proposed all off-highway trails, random scramble areas and other facilities.

  • Automobile Size License Plates Front and Rear
The small registration letters and numerals currently required on ATVs and dirt-bike motorcycles, make it hard to identify vehicles at a distance or while a machine is in motion.  HF 1551 enhances enforcement efficiency and effectiveness by requiring automobile size and type license plates front and rear.

  • Motorized Recreation Enforcement Hotline
It is currently often difficult to identify and reach the proper authorities or obtain a timely response to motorized recreation problems.  HF 1551 would create a toll-free hotline for reporting complaints about or violations by operators of OHVs, snowmobiles, or motorized watercraft.  Data would guide enforcement policy decisions.

What You Can Do:

1) Please contact Rep. TUMA and Sen. Hottinger and thank them for their bipartisan leadership in sponsoring effective solutions to Minnesota's off-highway vehicle problems.

Representative John Tuma
533 State Office Building
100 Constitutional Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1298

Senator John Hottinger, Majority Whip
120 Capitol
75 Constitution Ave
St. Paul, MN  55155-1606

2) Contact Rep. Dennis Ozment, Chair
House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee
479 State Office Building, 100 Constitutional Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1298; 651-296-4306.

This committee is our bill's "next stop".  Tell Rep. Ozment to give our bill a careful hearing and to support its passage from his committee.

3) Contact House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee members, especially legislators representing your district.

View the committee roster at:

Call House Information Office at 651-296-2146/1-800-657-3550 to get the name of the legislator representing you.


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