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Now is the time to complete snowmobile safety training

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Those who wait until cold, snowy weather arrives before taking snowmobile safety training may find they're too late to enjoy the season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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"Some snowmobilers wait to see how much snow is in the forecast or on the ground before taking a DNR snowmobile safety training course," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement Education Program coordinator. "Snowmobilers who wait may find that classes are full or have concluded for the season. No Snowmobile Safety Certificate means no snowmobiling." He added that plenty of snowmobile safety training classes are available right now.

To legally ride a snowmobile in Minnesota, residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, need a valid snowmobile safety certificate. There are two ways to obtain the certificate: take the traditional classroom course taught in communities around the state for anyone 11 or older; or request the DNR Adult Snowmobile Safety CD ROM, available to those 16 or older. To request the CD-ROM, or a copy of DNR's 2008-2009 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call 651-296-6157 (toll free at 888-MINNDNR), or send an e-mail to info@dnr.state.mn.us.

"CD ROM users can learn from the comfort of home, fill out the quizzes and exam, and send their results in to be officially certified," Hammer said.

More than 1,800 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state. For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR Web site: www.dnr.state.mn.us or call 1-800-366-8917.

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