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DNR to hold motor vehicle use meeting for Mississippi Headwaters

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public meeting in Bemidji next week to receive comment on its motor vehicle use classification and route designation proposals for state forest lands in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. The meeting will be held at the student union at Bemidji State University on Jan. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8:30. Joining the DNR will be representatives from the land departments for Beltrami, Clearwater and Hubbard counties.

The DNR's draft plan recommends that the state forest be classified as "limited" with regard to motor vehicle use. If the recommendation is adopted, motor vehicles will only be permitted on routes posted open to motorized use. The Mississippi Headwaters State Forest is now under a "managed" classification, where all state forest roads and forest trails are open to recreational motor vehicle use unless posted closed.

In all, the draft plan makes recommendations concerning about 44 miles of roads, trails and other routes on about 11,500 acres of state forest lands in the Mississippi Headwaters Unit. The draft plan recommends designating some forest roads and trails in the forest, while leaving the majority as non-designated routes that will not be signed. For the designated trails, about 1.3 miles is proposed for ATV/OHM use and 3.8 miles will be designated non-motorized trail for hunter walking purposes.