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opinion Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

We hope both those in favor of and those opposed to a proposed off-highway vehicle trail in northern Hubbard County take full advantage of a public comment period beginning Monday.

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The proposed trail, which would go through the Schoolcraft State Game Refuge in northern Hubbard County, would likely see mostly ATV traffic. It is near the Schoolcraft River, where existing trails are used for logging trucks and snowmobiles.

Cindy Dudley, president of the North Woods Riders OHV Club said that the location has jackpine sand on the soil, which can be easily repaired if damaged. The opposition has cost the county grant money.

Members of the Headwaters Canoe Club are concerned about ATV riders being near the water or going into the water. They worry that could cause bank erosion and other environmental concerns.

But ATV riders say the proposed trail is far enough away from the water. The DNR hasn't heard of any misuse of the existing trails in that area.

Canoeists are also concerned about maintaining the wilderness.

Each group wants the same outcome: To be able to enjoy this beautiful area of Hubbard County.

It's a good idea to take the time to consider any and all concerns about the trail and we're glad that is what's happening.

The DNR is welcoming all comments and DNR Trails & Waterways Area Supervisor David Schotzko said all will be taken into consideration.

We hope that if there are certain issues that need to be resolved, that will happen. Hopefully these two groups are able to reach common ground and both enjoy the area.

The public comment period runs through Aug. 14. Comments can be sent to Schotzko at the DNR office at 6603 Bemidji Ave. No., in Bemidji, 55602, or via e-mail at david.schotzko@dnr.state.mn.us.

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