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Meeting to be held on vehicle use for state forest lands

A public meeting to gather comments on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) motor vehicle use classification and route designation proposals for White Earth State Forest and scattered DNR Forestry-administered lands in Becker, Clearwater and Mahnomen counties will be held Tuesday, July 15, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Mahnomen High School, 209 First Street S.W.

The DNR will present recommendations detailed in the draft plan, which also includes recommendations for forest road and trail designations for Clearwater County-administered tax-forfeit lands inside the state forest.

In all, the draft plan makes recommendations for approximately125 miles of roads, trails and other inventoried routes on about 70,000 acres of state forest lands in the state forest and associated scattered lands. The proposal, which includes some route closures, will ultimately determine where motorized vehicles, including cars, trucks and off-highway vehicles (OHVs), will be allowed to operate on state lands in the forest and in these counties.

The White Earth 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.

The DNR also recommends a "limited" classification for DNR scattered state forest lands outside the forest boundary in Becker, Clearwater and Mahnomen counties.

This is the only public meeting the DNR will hold on this proposal. During the first hour, people can informally review the plan, maps and other summary materials. The DNR interdisciplinary team and other supporting staff will be present to answer questions.

Written comments on the draft proposal will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 25. Written comments, questions or requests for copies of the planning documents should be directed to Bill Johnson, DNR Trails & Waterways, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 52, St. Paul, MN 55155-4052; to, or by calling (651) 259-5643, (651) 296-6157 or toll free at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).