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Bemidji School District designates ski trails as GIA

Bemidji School District's board of education approved a proposal Dec. 17 to designate some Bemidji High School ski trails as Grant-In-Aid trails, as recommended by the Bemidji Area Cross Country Ski Club.

Through this designation, ski trails will receive regular grooming, a trail head will be established and liability insurance will be provided to cover accidents or injuries while on the trails.

The Ski Club requested that the school district sign a Landowner Permission form with Beltrami County, which would designate ski trails at BHS as GIA trails.

The designation would allow funds from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to be used by the Ski Club to improve and groom the trails.

The trails adjacent to the Enbridge property near the BHS campus will not designated GIA because the district wants to maintain flexibility for the future uses of that property once acquired.

According to Chris Leinen, director of business services for Bemidji School District, the cost of ski trail maintenance to the district has been minimal in the past, as some of the work was done on a volunteer basis.

Leinen estimated the district paid the Ski Club $400 last year for trail grooming and other services.

Students enrolled in the school district will have the right to use the trails without a ski license.

The school district may occasionally need to close the trail to host a ski competition. The agreement will be from Dec. 1 through April 1 annually.