Snowmobiles and ATV’s have used a 35-mile long trail around Tettegouche State Park unofficially for years, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposed to designate it an official ATV trail, requiring six extra miles of trail construction. Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation (MRR) filed suit claiming that miles of wetlands were not protected by the DNR during construction of the trail. The DNR claimed there were 1,000 feet of wetlands, whereas MRR claimed it was closer to six miles.
In a recent ruling, a judge decided that the DNR had adequately investigated the environmental effects of the ATV trail.The judge stated that the DNR had both identified environmental concerns and also addressed ways to mitigate potential environmental affects.MRR has not decided whether they will appeal the ruling. This battle in Minnesota will continue, as the DNR conducts an environmental impact survey on a proposed 39-mile ATV trail west of Itasca State Park.