11 Apr

April 10, 2007
Township Board Meeting

Supervisors Present: Mark Freeman, Rick Fry, Scott Mead

Officers Excused: Keith Stoneburner

Others: Marialice Arndt, Town Clerk

Approximately 55 residents and guests

The meeting was called to order at 7:30  PM.

It was discussed and determined that Mark Freeman will continue as Chair and Rick Fry will continue as Road & Bridge Supervisors.

Regular Business

The March  board minutes were read and approved by Supervisors Freeman & Mead.  All ayes, motion carried.

Treasurer Report

The March treasurer report available for review.

Old Business

Planning Commission Summary

A summary letter has been received from St Louis County Planning Commission recommended denial of the rezoning (without prejudice).  Fry has had communication with Scott Smith who has replied that they are waiting for a soil report from the federal government and a decision on county wide rezoning could come in mid-to- late summer.

New Business

Website Creation

Fry is investigating creation of township website and volunteers to maintain it.  Site would offer  approved and unapproved minutes, agenda  and e-mails for all of the supervisors.

C Freeman moved to authorize Fry to proceed with website with supervisors being given consideration to content and bring facts back to the May meeting.  Mead second.  All ayes, motion carried.

Northshore ATV Club Request for Support

A letter was received from the Northshore ATV Club requesting support for a Grant and Aid trail.  A lengthy informational discussion was had with questions taken by the Northshore ATV Club officers.  Freeman requests names of citizens that were willing to work with the ATV Club to see if a compromise on this issue could be reached.

Resident Chris Larsen presented the following and requested that it be placed in the record:

Pequaywan is in the Cloquet Valley State Forest.

The Minnesota Legislature has directed the Department of Natural Resources to complete by 2008 an OHV reclassification of all State Forests. Recommended reclassifications of several northeastern State Forests are now approaching the point for public comment. The Cloquet Valley State Forest undergoing this process of forest OHV classification and OHV planning. The map of the forest has been released and is attached, it is a draft map, bear that in mind.

The next step in the process is to present it to the public at two meetings in June on about the 20th and 21st. At that time you can learn more about the plan, although more will be available on the DNR website sooner.

Trail planning in northern Forests has become more contentious because the Legislature intervened through the infamous “North of Highway 2” legislation which directed DNR to declare all Forests in the region to have “Managed” status : OHV road and trail use allowed unless posted closed) rather than the possibility of “Limited” status which restricts OHV use to roads and to trails clearly posted as open. (Some forests are closed to all OHV use.) DNR has some flexibility in the matter but legislative intent is all too clear.

Counties are the wildcards in OHV planning. Counties in northwestern Minnesota have been strong ATV supporters. St. Louis County has been very strongly supportive of OHVs and ATVs. The tougher decision making stages of trail planning have yet to occur and use of county lands and right of ways are on the table. Fortunately, local opposition to more extreme ATV proposals has led County officials to review their course and they have sent the plan to the public without an endorsement of either limited or managed designations.

The Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest supports the designation of the forest as Limited and within that structure will try to work with others to find trails for reasonable use of ATV as a form of transportation and recreation in the forest. ATVs, however, have proven to be especially damaging and intrusive in the some areas of the CVSF and almost everyone seeks to preserve and protect the areas from harm. The County has worked with the DNR on this and the plan is being sent out without a determination of what designation it will be.

The plan is based at this point on a “Managed” designation, the most liberal one legal for the forest. The other designations are the compromise “limited” in which motorists have to stay on trails like the Northshore Club is proposing. But at this time they can go on anything that appears to be a trail. Not just marked ATV trails. If you think it’s sensible for ATVs and Trucks and Motorcycles to stay on Marked Trails like the Northshore Club trails, then you want the “limited” designation. Otherwise trails like the Northshore one is proposing will be in ADDITION to all the other trails. If you think this is confusing you’re right. We have our legislature to thank! There are lots and lots of different kinds of roads and trails that OHVs are permitted on, learn the difference. Read the attached information. When you read information consider the source, is this someone who derives their livelihood from OHV business? Factor that into the equation. Clubs receive reimbursement from many sources. They get funding via the county and DNR from funds derived from gas taxes and registration taxes, they get support from the industry in the form of grants and gifts, they get support from those who sell ATVs in many different forms. A big part of their work is as advocates for the ATV industry.

The problem with the “Managed” designation, is even if a specific trail is ideally constructed and situated, even if there are no objections to a specific trail. As long as we have a “managed” forest instead of the limited designation ( Limited makes sense and provides far more riding than the closed forest)

If we support more trails in a “Managed” forest, we will have all the problems as before, with MORE ATVs trucks and motorcycles. People will wonder why are they still riding on the ditches and sides of the roads? Why are they coming thru trails and ending up on my property? Why are they making a mess out on Fred’s place, they’ve got a mud pit. Why is there an ATV rental agency down the street?

So on or about June 21 you’ll have a chance to hear what the DNR and County have to say,
from then you can give information to them. Do so in WRITING and send the responses BOTH to the County Commissioners and the DNR.

This is not hard! And it’s all that is asked of you as a citizen, participate! Let them know your questions and your thoughts.

Be polite and specific. These folks are all good people working hard.

Ask the DNR and County Commissioners to make the Cloquet Valley State Forest a Limited Forest. Then and only then will Grant in Aid trails solve problems

Please take every opportunity to offer written comments to our County and DNR. A good turnout for the open houses that are planned for on or about the evenings of June 20 and 21 will help the DNR and County understand that while we wish to be tolerant of other’s hobbies, we do wish to put the needs of the forest first.

Forrest Boe
500 Lafayette Road
Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
651 259-5615
Brian McCann and Forrest Boe
500 Lafayette Road
Box 52
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
e-mail: brian.mccann@dnr.state.mn.us 

(651) 259-5627

3rd District
Commissioner Bill Kron, Board Chair
Please share with All Commissioners
Room 208
100 N. 5th Avenue W. Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 726-2562
email: kronb@co.st-louis.mn.us

Definitions
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this shall be interpreted so as to give them the same meaning as they have in common usage and so as to give its most reasonable application. The words “must” and “shall” are mandatory? the word “may” and “should” is permissive. Words used in the present tense shall include the future, and words used in the singular number shall include the plural number as well.

ATV All terrain vehicle” means a motorized flotation tired vehicle of not less than three low pressure but not more than six tires, that is limited in engine displacement to less than 800 cubic centimeters.

County Administered Tax Forfeited Lands: State owned lands held in trust for the taxing districts which are administered by the County
Designated trails. – Trails that are indicated on maps, and/or signed for specific uses.

DNR: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Forest Road: are not public roads like federal, state, county or local highways. Forest roads are typically open to use by both highway –licensed and off highway vehicles but are subject to closure to some or all types of vehicles at various times for safety or resource management reasons. Forest roads are classified as system or minimum maintenance depending on the frequency of use and intended maintenance standards

Highway Licensed vehicles: Any motor vehicle current and duly licensed for public highway/road travel.

Limited Forest – means motorized vehicles may operate only on forest roads and trails that are posted or designated as open.

Managed Forest- Motor vehicles may operate on forest roads and forest trails unless they are posted and designated closed. Signs will need to be posted if trails cross private land and the owner wishes to keep the public off.

Closed Forest -Motor vehicles and snowmobiles are not allowed Minimum Maintenance road – forest roads that are used for forest management access on an intermittent basis. These roads normally are not through roads and may be gated and opened only during certain times of the year. These roads are typically not maintained to the level where low clearance highway vehicle can routinely travel on them and will be signed for specific uses.
Motor Vehicle – Any self propelled vehicle including, but not limited to , automobiles, trucks, dune buggies, minibikes, motorcycles, trail bikes, and all terrain vehicles (ATVs), but not including snowmobiles.

Nondesignated trails – trails that are not designated and signed for a specific use and are therefore generally closed to motorized use in a limited forest. They all remain entirely open in a “managed” forest unless specifically closed.

Non Motorized trail: Trails that are designated and/or signed for recreational use including but not limited to walking, hiking, ski, horse and bicycling.

OHM “Offhighway motorcycle” means a motorized, offhighway vehicle traveling on two wheels and having a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control, including a vehicle that is registered under chapter 168 for highway use if it is also used for offhighway operation on trails or unimproved terrain.

OHV – Off Highway vehicle a generic term used to refer to all terrain vehicles (ATV), off Highway motorcycles (OHM), and off road vehicles (ORV).

ORV “Off road vehicle” means a motor driven recreational vehicle capable of crosscounty
travel on natural terrain without benefit of a road or trail. Offroad vehicle does not include a snowmobile an all terrain vehicle a motorcycle a watercraft a farm vehicle being used for farming a vehicle used for military, fire, emergency, or law enforcement purposes a construction or logging vehicle used in the performance of its common function a motor vehicle owned by or operated under contract with a utility, whether publicly or privately owned, when used for work on utilities a commercial vehicle being used for its intended purpose? snowgrooming equipment when used for its intended purpose? or an aircraft.

System Forest Road – are more frequently used and will typically be designed and maintained to a higher standard graveled with class five material that allows use by most highway – licensed vehicles

In state forest land classified as managed:

* Motor vehicles may operate on forest roads and forest trails unless they are posted and designated closed. Signs will need to be posted if trails cross private land and the owner wishes to keep the public off.

* Counties may adopt a resolution to modify the above restrictions on county-administered land within state forest boundaries.

* EXCEPT: Persons lawfully engaged in hunting big game or constructing hunting stands during October, November and December, retrieving big game during September, or trapping during open seasons, may use ATVs off forest trails in a manner consistent with the general operating restrictions. This exception does not apply in the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest.

In state forest land classified as limited:

* OHV use is permitted on state land and on county administered land within the boundaries of a state forest on all designated OHV roads and trails. These will have signs.

* Counties may adopt a resolution to modify the above restrictions on county-administered land within state forest boundaries

* Motor vehicles may operate only on forest trails or other areas that are posted and designated open.

* EXCEPT: Persons lawfully engaged in hunting big game or constructing hunting stands during October, November and December, retrieving big game during September, or trapping during open seasons, may use ATVs off forest trails in a manner consistent with the general operating restrictions. This exception does not apply in the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest.

In state forest land classified as closed:

* Motor vehicles and snowmobiles are not allowed except:

o Vehicles licensed for highway use may use forest roads that are not posted or gated closed.

o Vehicles may operate on frozen public waters where it is not otherwise prohibited.

o Snowmobiles may operate on designated trails.

Kristin Larsen is a member of Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest
More information is available regarding the issue by contacting
friends@friendscvsf.org

The group is devoted to responsible development in the Cloquet Valley State Forest

Meeting Dates

May  Monthly Meeting May 8 at 7:30 PM.

C Freeman moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:45  PM.  Fry seconded, motion carried.

Prepared by Marialice Arndt Date

______________________________

APPENDIX TO APRIL 10, 2007 MINUTES

List of Volunteers

The following residents have volunteered to work with the Northshore ATV Club to discuss if a compromise can be reached for the club to build a grant and aid ATV trial in the Pequaywan Township area.

Dave Allison
9211 Pequaywan Lake Road
Duluth, MN 55803
218-848-2248

Ray Barnes & Deb Pomroy
8143 Pequaywan lake Road
Duluth, MN 55803
218-525-7502

Bonnie Dressen
9241 Pequaywan Lake Road
Duluth, MN 55803
218-848-2010

Kris Larsen
9424 West Branch Road
Duluth, MN 55803
218-848-2368

I HAVE SUBMITTED THIS LIST TO THE BOARD AND AM WAITING FOR INPUT ON WHOM THIS IS TO BE PRESENTED TO.

MARIALICE ARNDT

TOWN CLERK

4-11-07