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Continued: Snowmobiles in parks outcome: Satisfied but wary

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 14, 2014 - 3:28 PM

But others offered differing views.

“Too many snowmobilers go off the trails and damage vegetation where they go,” one person wrote. “Also, snowmobiles disturb natural movements of small mammals and the noise disturbs other species.”

A Hennepin County park neighbor added:

“Seriously — have you ever watched these people operate? I live right across the street from Elm Creek park on the northwest edge. I am especially grateful when the stewards of the environment go racing through my front yard.”

Three Rivers emerged from that process with a series of outcomes affecting not only Scott but its whole system, Themig said. Among the key points:

• “The board felt we need to preserve existing snowmobiling opportunities because it’s working well” for the most part.

• No longer is there to be annual board approval to renew use of snowmobile trails, putting their future into question all the time and casting a cloud over longer-term plans.

“Unless there’s a major change, it will be handled administratively.”

• A policy was changed to allow situations like the one at Orchard Lake where there’s a connection not to trails but to a boat launch used as a park-and-ride.

• “The board adopted a concept of limited shared use of certain trails like the one at Murphy Hanrehan, along with strong enforcement of rules.”


David Peterson • 952-746-3285

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