Bill Proposes to Charge Bikers and Rollerbladers $20 per Year to Use State Trails

Categories: Outdoors, Politics

mungertrail.jpg
red.raleigh via Flickr
Should bikers and rollerbladers have to chip in for trail maintenance?

Minnesota loves its trails and keeps building more without having a long-term funding source in place to maintain them.

State Reps. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings) and Ron Erhardt (D-Edina) think another dedicated user fee could help fix that problem. Yesterday the two legislators introduced a bill (HF1656) that would charge bikers and rollerbladers $20 annually or $4 daily to use state trails.

See also:
Some Republicans Say Walkers and Bikers Should Pay Extra Fee to Use State Trails


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Lone Wolf Chasing Snowmobilers Closes Trails in Voyageurs National Park

Categories: Outdoors

wolf1.jpg
Public Domain via National Parks Service
A lone wolf is on the prowl in Voyageurs National Park

A lone wolf is chasing snowmobilers on trails near the Minnesota-Canadian border, causing sections of two different trails to be closed and rerouted.

Yesterday Voyageurs National Park Superintendent Mike Ward announced the closures as a precaution "for the protection of the visitors and the wolf," after the wolf followed snowmobiles at least three different times in the same area during the last 10 days.

See also:
Wolves Thriving Up North, But Does That Mean It's Time to Stop Protecting Them?


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St. Paul Reopening Parts of Lilydale Park After 2013 Landslide Killed Two Kids

Categories: Outdoors, St. Paul

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City of St. Paul
Three of the four fossil sites will remain closed

Two years ago a fossil-hunting field trip turned tragic when a landslide at Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul killed two fourth-graders from St. Louis Park. Later a City Pages investigation found the city had known about safety issues at the park for years, but Mayor Chris Coleman never found the money to address them.

Yesterday the head of St. Paul Parks and Recreation presented a plan to the City Council that will finally address those safety concerns and reopen some sections of the park this summer that have been closed since the landslide.

See also:
How Mayor Coleman's City Hall Tried to Spin the Deaths of Two Children


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Lake Superior Ice Caves Likely Open Saturday, But Conditions "Treacherous"

Categories: Outdoors

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Ben Johnson
As long as the weather holds, the caves should be ready for the second year in a row

If you didn't get a chance last year to join the frozen masses gaping at the ethereal glittering beauty found inside of one the Apostle Islands ice caves, you might want to clear your schedule this weekend.

One of the North's great natural wonders will be open to the public for the second straight year on Saturday -- as long as the wind doesn't break apart the ice before then. And be warned: Exploring the caves isn't going to be the cakewalk it was last year.

See also:
Incredible Ice Caves on Lake Superior [PHOTOS]


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DNR to Ice Fishers: Please Pick Up Your Bags of Poop and Garbage Before Spring

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Courtesy of Minnesota DNR
Get it together, ice fishers
The state DNR is sick of picking up all of the disgusting garbage ice fishing shacks leave behind.

Greg Salo, an operations manager with DNR enforcement, said you wouldn't believe all the crap they find: assorted garbage, empty propane tanks, scrap wood, beer cans, liquor bottles, bags filled with human poop...wait, what?

See also:
Poop Epidemic at Minnesota State Parks


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Tim Walz Thinks Volunteers Can Solve America's Trail Maintenance Problem

Categories: Outdoors

SuperiorHikingTrail.jpg
midnightcomm on Flickr
Trail-lovers are going to have to pay for maintenance one way or another
Across America more and more trails are getting built while maintenance costs skyrocket. What kind of solutions are our politicians cooking up?

Last week some of our state's tax and spend Republicans suggested charging trail users an extra fee to pay for maintenance, while yesterday Democrat US Rep. Tim Walz introduced a bill ordering the National Forest Service to recruit and organize more volunteers to keep trails passable.

See also:
Some Republicans Say Walkers and Bikers Should Pay an Extra Fee to Use State Trails

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Some Republicans Say Walkers and Bikers Should Pay Extra Fee to Use State Trails

TettegouchTrail.jpg
Doug Kerr via Flickr
The tax and spend GOP is at it again
Republicans sitting on the House Environment and Natural Resources committee are sick of freeloading walkers and bikers using state trails for free.

Rep. Tony Cornish channeled his inner Ron Swanson during a hearing Wednesday, calling for an extra fee for trail users. He envisions people paying to "attach a sticker on the back of the bike, or a pass on the back of your shirt or a patch on your leotard or whatever they wear on those bikes," according to MPR.

See also:
A One-Mile Bike Path With a $9.2 Million Price Tag

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U of M Study Finds Climate Change Will Eventually Ruin Minnesota's Forests

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, via Flickr
Trees like this 88-foot, 13,000-pound spruce, which was chosen as the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree this year, are finding it harder to survive in Minnesota
A University of Minnesota study published earlier this week reaffirmed that the thick stands of majestic evergreens defining northern Minnesota's forests are slowly giving way to a patchy mix of oaks and maples. And invasive buckthorn, already a menace in the southern part of the state, is primed to fill in the gaps.

"It's already happening," said U of M forest resources professor Peter Reich, who led the series of experiments dubbed "B4WarmEd." "More oaks and maples are showing up when surveying younger trees than what you would've seen 30 or 40 years ago."

See also:
I Can't Stop Staring at This Forest Shaped Like Minnesota [PHOTO]

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I can't stop staring at this photo of Chewbacca running the Twin Cities marathon

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Look at this amazing photo of a person in a Chewbacca costume running the Twin Cities marathon.
It takes quite a bit of dedication to run a marathon, but times that by a thousand to run a marathon wearing a heavy, hairy costume.

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Chewbacca

Guns for sale: DNR confiscated firearms auction tomorrow [PHOTOS]

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Hiller Auction Service
Up for grabs.
Over the past year, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers have busted a lot of hunters and anglers up to no good, and in certain cases, they've confiscated their gear.

Now, those lawbreakers' mistakes can be your gain: The seized items are hitting the auction block tomorrow, including more than 200 guns, 200 hunting and fishing items like poles and deer antlers, and 40 bows.

See Also:
- DNR shoots alligator near Scandia; one still on loose
- DNR says buck with record rack was poached


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Tags:

Auction, DNR
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