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MN4WDA https://www.mn4wda.com Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:06:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 https://www.mn4wda.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/cropped-mn4wda_logo-32x32.png MN4WDA https://www.mn4wda.com 32 32 August 2017 https://www.mn4wda.com/august-2017/ Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:06:59 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=961 Hello MN4WDA Members! We hope you are all doing well as our wheeling season begins to come to a close. We are terribly sorry that there was no July newsletter, as the person who normally writes it was on vacation at the time of the meeting. Everyone deserves a break once in a while! Here is a recap of our August meeting, which took place on August 28:

  • Thank you to everyone who joined us at the state fair on August 24th! We will certainly be back next year, and we hope to be bigger and better!
  • We would like to give a warm welcome to the two newest entities of the MN4WDA! In July, the Ladies Rock Off-Road Club joined the MN4WDA, and we are proud to stand with them in their new and exciting adventure! We also welcomed another business associate! 4 Wheel Parts out of Brooklyn Park, MN joined the MN4WDA in the beginning of August! We are very excited to work with both of these organizations in the future!
  • The Legislative session wrapped up between our July and August meeting, so we have now published our last legislative update for this session. Head here to view the update!

We hope to see you at our next meeting on September 25th! As always, we’ll see you on the trails!

August 2017 Legislative Update https://www.mn4wda.com/august-2017-legislative-update/ Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:04:26 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=964 MN4WDA Members, here is the latest update from our lobbyist, Dan Larson.

MN4WDA had four legislative priorities for the session:

– Require DNR to provide a reason for denial of Grant-in-Aid application. Chapter 42 – MN Session Laws. This goal was ultimately successful.

– Secure $1 million in funding for Phase One – Prospector Trail. Chapter 8 – MN Session Laws, 1st special session. This goal was ultimately successful.

– Require trail access that meets constitutional requirements on any new acquisitions with legacy funding. This issue needed additional interim review. This goal was ultimately unsuccessful, due to the end of the session.

– Eliminate the ORV Prohibition in Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard. Senate chair said she would eliminate if counties agreed. Counties did not agree. MN4WDA decided to put the ORV prohibition on the side-burner and keep moving forward with projects that are progressing. Will continue to look for opportunities to address counties, but it will take time and effort. This goal was ultimately unsuccessful, but we will continue to pursue this goal in future sessions.

Other Legislative Issues:

Identified and eliminated a provision in the Senate Transportation Finance bill that would have shifted revenues from the ORV unrefunded fuel account to the Highway Users Tax Distribution Fund (HUTDF) to use for road and bridge costs. This was caught early on in the session and our lobbyist ensured this provision was eliminated.

Thank you for supporting us through the latest legislative session!

June 2017 https://www.mn4wda.com/june-2017/ Mon, 03 Jul 2017 22:05:04 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=911 Greetings everyone! We at the MN4WDA hope everyone is having a safe and fun 4th of July weekend! Here is a recap of our June meeting, which took place on June 26th:

  • We would like to thank everyone who volunteered at our National Trails Day event! It went well, as always, and the Gilbert employees were happy and thankful that everyone came out!
  • Our Lobbyist, Dan Larson, consulted with the MN4WDA officers to create a list of our projects ordered by priority. The Border to Border project is our #1 priority, and the Virginia expansion to the currently open IROHVRA park fell as #2.
  • Recently, the Minnesota Motorized Trail Coalition and the MN4WDA got together with the DNR to discuss our joint priorities, find ways to improve the relationship between all of the groups, and improve outcomes for all groups involved.
  • Elections, which had previously been delayed, occurred at the meeting! Geoff O’Brien was re-elected as Vice President, Dave Beer and Doug Peterson we re-elected to the Board of Directors, and current Membership Director Morgan Wendt was elected to fill the third seat on the Board of Directors.
  • We also voted to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors, which is a one-year term that was created when a previous Director resigned. Ian Hunter, who is also a member of the Public Relations Committee, was elected to fill this vacancy.
  • Our Legislative Director position is still open! PLEASE contact morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com if you’re interested!
  • We hope you saw the survey for our Border to Border Trail on our Facebook page! The “Forest Badge” logo won! Please see the attached media to view the logo!
  • The DNR is currently accepting comments on IROHVA Expansion Master Plan Amendment! Comments will be accepted until 4:30 PM on July 5th. Go here to learn more! And go here to learn more about current proposals for all user groups in the state, find completed proposals, and view trail planning resources.
  • We will be at the Great Minnesota Get Together again this year! Be sure to visit us on August 24th, near the DNR booth.
  • July is a busy month! Here are some upcoming events to keep an eye on:
    • Ostrander Mud Race in Ostrander, MN on July 9.
    • Geneva Mud Race in Geneva, MN on July 15.
    • Crawl 4 the Cure in Gilbert, MN from July 13-16. The MN4WDA will be here!
    • West Concord Mud Race in West Concord, MN on July 22.
    • Tough Trucks at the Allamakee County Fair on July 23.
    • Houston Hoedown in Houston, MN from July 28-30. We have a project in this area, so it would be a great idea to make an impact at this event!
    • Apple Valley Farms Open Wheeling in Chetek, WI from July 29-30.

We hope you’ll join us at our next meeting on July 24th, as always, at the Green Mill in Woodbury, MN! See you on the trails!

May 2017 https://www.mn4wda.com/may-newsletter/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:12:22 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=906 Sorry to be bringing this update to you so late, but this is the recap of the May MN4WDA Meeting!

  • We would like to thank everyone who came to our Spring Convention! We had a blast, and can’t wait to do it again next year!
  • Our elections have been postponed one additional month, so we will be holding elections at our June meeting.
  • On May 2, a Houston Advisory Committee Meeting was held, and it went well! Stay tuned for more news regarding this project!
  • There should also be news soon regarding our Pine County project! One of our clubs has expressed interest in sponsoring the project, and there is discussion of finishing the project!
  • A representative from the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council joined us at this month’s meeting! We discussed logo artwork for our Border 2 Border Trail, and she alerted us of this wonderful booklet so you can learn more about the process of creating, building, and maintaining a trail! We hope you will look at this and realize how much effort it takes to run this association and will consider volunteering, which leads us to our next point…
  • We have a ton of open positions for those of you looking to get involved! The MN4WDA needs more help now than ever! As they say, many hands makes light work, however right now we simply do not have enough hands to pay attention to all of our projects. If you want new trails to continue to open, we will need more volunteers! We currently have open:
    • One-year board of directors position
    • Legislative Director
    • Positions open on the Membership, Legislative, Public Relations, and Land Use Committees

We hope to see your at our next meeting!


B2B Artwork https://www.mn4wda.com/b2b-artwork/ Tue, 30 May 2017 22:29:40 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=902

Forest Badge

Landscape Logo

Log Artwork

State Badge

April 2017 https://www.mn4wda.com/april-2017/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:25:06 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=858 Greetings everyone! Here is the recap of the April meeting for our members who were not able to attend:

  • Our spring convention is this weekend! Join us out in Atwater, MN at Freedom Ridge! Check here for more info! Walk-ins are welcome!
  • Trails Day is also coming up on June 3! Join us up at the Gilbert IROHVRA for a day of maintenance! If you’d like to be involved in planning this event, contact Morgan Wendt at morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com.
  • On May 2, there will be a meeting of advisors for our project in Houston, MN. If you’d like to become an advisor, contact Geoff O’Brien at geoffrey.obrien@mn4wda.com
  • On May 9, we will have our quarterly meeting with the MN DNR at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Central Office in St. Paul. Go here for more info!
  • Our Legislative Director has made the decision to step down, which means we have an opening! If you’d like to work closely with our lobbyist and be deeply involved in the fight to protect your right to go off-road, this could be the position for you! This is an appointed position, so you will be asked to interview with our President, Rick Langness, and our Board of Directors. Contact Morgan Wendt at morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com for more information!
  • We also have an opening for a “point person” for our Pine County project! The responsibilities of a point person include keeping close tabs on the project’s progress, reporting progress back to the MN4WDA, organizing and attending trail cut and maintenance days, and working with the DNR on project-related matters. Contact Morgan Wendt at morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com for more info!
  • 2017 Elections have been postponed until May 2017.
  • Check here for the latest legislative update from our Lobbyist, Dan Larson!


Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Legislative Director
  • Pine County Point Person
  • Trails Day Event Planning
  • As always, you can join one of 4 committees: membership, public relations, legislative, or land use


Dates to Remember:

  • April 28-30: MN4WDA Spring Convention
  • May 2: Houston Advisory Committee Meeting
  • May 9: DNR Quarterly Meeting
  • June 3: National Trails Day


Thank you to everyone that was able to attend our April meeting! Our next meeting will be on Monday, May 22 at 7:30 at the Green Mill in Woodbury, MN! We’ll see you on the trails!

April 2017 Legislative Update https://www.mn4wda.com/april-2017-legislative-update/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:11:27 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=860 MN4WDA Members:

The Legislature returned from the weeklong Easter / Passover break today, and went right to work on the conference committee process where differences will be hammered out between the House and Senate omnibus spending bills.

The conference committee on Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance was named today for both the House and Senate. The committee will meet for the first time tomorrow to go over side-by-side comparisons of the two bills to get a sense of same, similar, and different provisions.

MN4WDA is working on four primary issues of concern as we enter the critical final month of the legislative session. Three of the issues are in the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance conference committee and the fourth provision is in the bonding bill. This is a breakdown of those issues:

Environment and Natural Resource Policy and Finance Omnibus:
DNR Grant-in-Aid Denial Explanation
Requires DNR to explain an ORV grant-in-aid-denial.

The provision is included in the Senate bill and needs to be adopted in the committee conference report.

Environment and Natural Resource Policy and Finance Omnibus:
Requires lands acquired with Lessard – Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund revenues to be open to all recreational trail uses unless the land does not support the recreational trail use or the constitutional requirements as determined by the DNR commissioner.

The provision is in the House bill and needs to be adopted in the committee conference report.

Environment and Natural Resource Policy and Finance Omnibus:
The senate bill (SF723) creates a the Natural Resources Enforcement Account, which pools moves ORV, ATV, OHM, snowmobile and water rec dedicated funds into a pool of revenues. Enforcement says it gives them more flexibility in how they utilize the fund, but the language is vague. We are looking for more clarity from enforcement and have told them we oppose unless and until we get clarifying language.

Capitol Investment Bill / Bonding:
A $1 million provision for Phase I of Prospector Trail.
The provision is included in the senate bill (SF210), which has already passed the full senate and awaits House action. MN4WDA is working to get the provision included in the house bill.

Conference Committee Process:
Conference committees are where differences between the House and Senate bills are worked out. Conferees must produce a single, identical report that is sent back to the respective full committees (floor) of the House and Senate for an up or down vote. There are no amendments. The resulting committee report, once adopted by the House and Senate goes to the governor.

Important Note: Politics will play and key role in the remaining weeks of the Legislative Session – which is scheduled to conclude on May 22nd. The House and Senate republican majorities will be sending bills to the governor that are loaded with provisions that agency staff have been opposing throughout the session. The strategy will either be to conference the bills and send them to the governor for veto, or to hold the conference process open while negotiating with the governor. In the case of a veto, Republicans would need to make the determination if they want to let the veto stand, or head back to the conference process to address the governor’s concerns. The strategies will become more clear this week, but the thing that is crystal clear as we enter this critical period in the session, the Legislature and governor are miles apart on most bills – including the ones important to MN4WDA.

Dan Larson
MN4WDA Gov’t Affairs

March 2017 https://www.mn4wda.com/march-2017/ Thu, 30 Mar 2017 03:01:03 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=770 Here is a recap of the March 2017 Meeting for our members who were not able to join us:

  • Our annual Swap Meet is approaching quickly! Join us on April 8 at the Anoka County Fair Grounds for 4×4 parts and food trucks! Head over to the event’s facebook page for more information!
  • Our annual Spring Convention is also sneaking up on us! This annual 3 day 4-wheel event is being held at Freedom Ridge in Atwater, MN from April 28-30! With off roading, food, fun, friends, and some sweet raffle prizes, you won’t want to miss out on this event! Head over to the facebook page for more info! Register here!
  • The MN4WDA will be up at the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert, MN for National Trails Day (June 3) this year! More info to follow soon. We hope to see you there!
  • Elections in the MN4WDA are happening! Open positions are Vice President and three seats on the Board of Directions. If you’re part of a club, your delegate will receive a ballot (be sure to tell them who you want to represent you!). Ballots will be counted and positions announced at the April Meeting.
  • We’re welcoming a new technical specialist! Current Webmaster Eric Crist will be stepping down at the end of his current term, and our new Technical Specialist will be stepping in! We’d like to welcome Laura Daluge to the association and we look forward to working with her to bring better content to our members!

Legislative Update:

  • Bills of significance to us are Senate File 723 and House Bill HF888, which are about DNR Pooled Enforcement Policy and Explanation of Grant-in-Aid Denials.
  • These bills are moving through the finance committee process at a rapid pace to meet the March 31st deadline, when all bills must be to the floor. Republican majority leaders in the House and Senate are pushing the pace a full month ahead of the usual legislative schedule in anticipation of pushback from Governor Dayton on major spending proposals and building time in to manage vetos.


We hope to see you at our upcoming events! Our next meeting is on April 24 at 7:30 PM at the Green Mill in Woodbury, MN!

Project Areas https://www.mn4wda.com/project-areas/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 01:57:19 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=642 The MN4WDA is constantly working to gain access to more land, build new off-highway trails, and advocate for off-roading rights. Here is a list of all of our current project areas. Click on a project in the drop-down menu to learn more about it.

MN4WDA Monthly- February 2017 https://www.mn4wda.com/mn4wda-monthly-february/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:51:47 +0000 http://www.mn4wda.com/?p=578 We hope you are enjoying the new year so far! Here is a recap of the February meeting for those who were not able to make it:

  • Sadly, we will no longer be attending World of Wheels due to limited space. However, we will be there in 2018, so plan on attending next year!
  • The Taconite State Trail Master Plan is now available to the public! Head over to the DNR’s website to check it out! http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/trails/taconite.html
  • At the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, the bridge and tunnel access are complete! We are also excited to announce that we are planning 2-3 trail cuts in the Virginia expansion area in the summer of 2017! Stay tuned to the website and our Facebook page to know when the trail cuts are happening. We would love to have volunteers!
  • It’s election time! This season, we will elect 3 board members, vice president, and a technical specialist. Anyone who has been a member of the association for 2 or more years can become an officer, and nominations can be made until March 27th! Email morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com for more info or to make nominations.
  • We need volunteers! If you would like to become more involved in the advocation for your off-roading rights, volunteering is the way to do it! We are accepting volunteers in Public Relations, Membership, Legislative, Land Use and more! We could also use volunteers to help with our many projects around the state! Email morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com to get started!
  • Our technical specialist is stepping down this election season, which means we need a tech guru to volunteer with us! This is a two year long, elected position within the MN4WDA, which could open doors for someone in the tech industry who wants to add volunteering to the resume! Plus, they get to plan and attend all sorts of cool events and make connections in the field (and even with the DNR)! Contact morgan.wendt@mn4wda.com for more info!
  • As you may or may not know, the Border to Border Trail (B2B) hosted meetings in Finland and Orr recently, and they went exceptionally well! Hop on to our social media to check it out!


Legislative Update:

  • At the January meeting, we discussed our 2017 priorities with our Lobbyist, Dan Larson. Our priorities for this year are:
    • Secure $1 million in bonding for Prospector Trail. This provision was included in a 2016 bonding bill that passed the House but not the Senate last. We are redoing the effort this year.
    • In 2015, MN4WDA passed a bill requiring the DNR commissioner to approve or deny an ORV grant application within 60 days of receipt. This year we are working to amend that law to require an explanation of any denial. This is to add a level of accountability to the process, and to guard against denials without explanation. It would also start making the divisions that are throwing up road blocks to think twice. The comments would be public and staff would need to be prepared to defend the comments.
    • Currently, there s prohibition of off-road vehicles on state administered lands in Hubbard, Cass, and Crow Wing Counties. This year, we are looking to eliminate those prohibtions to bring tourism and income to those areas, as well as provide more off-roading opportunities for the sport. To eliminate the prohibition, all three counties must support (not oppose) this action.
  • We reviewed these priorities with Dan Larson, and he updated us on the progress.
    • Prohibition: We are working with Sen. Carrie Ruud, who championed for this prohibition to be put in place in 2007, to lift the prohibition. There have been and there will continue to be county meetings occurring, and we have encountered some opposition, but we aim to work with these three counties to eliminate this prohibition.
    • Grant Application Denial: This action is going through legislation this week and we hope to see beneficial results from it!
    • Prospector Trail: Committee meetings are taking place in early March, and we hope to have more information and action on this priority by the March meeting.

2017 is looking to be a fantastic year for our sport! We hope to see you at the next meeting on March 27th at 7:30 PM at the Green Mill in Woodbury!