Maps of ATV trail proposal ready

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released on its Web site a revised set of maps for its proposed road, trail and other route designations in the Beltrami Island State Forest.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released on its Web site a revised set of maps for its proposed road, trail and other route designations in the Beltrami Island State Forest.

The DNR is proposing to maintain the current "managed" classification framework and to designate routes for highway-licensed and off-highway vehicles and other non-motorized uses.

The BISF planning team, which includes representatives from the DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Roseau, Lake of the Woods and Beltrami county commissioners, is requesting that the public submit their comments on the proposal.

The team has also been exchanging information with the Red Lake Band on parcels of lands it owns and manages within the forest boundaries. Red Lake Band of the Chippewa lands is only open to tribal members, except by the express permission of the Red Lake Tribal Council for specific occurrences/events proposed by the Council.

"The team has spent the better part of a year creating a revised proposal for Beltrami Island that responds to the public comments received to date," said Mary Broten, Thief River Falls area Trails & Waterways supervisor. "The planning team has been very thoughtful in its consideration of public comments--often visiting field sites where more information was needed to make decisions. The team and cooperating agencies now encourage people to review and submit comments on the proposal so the work team can continue to incorporate that input."


The working draft maps include proposed areas closed to motorized use, existing and new walking/non-motorized trails, ATV trails, proactive closures of some routes, and minimum maintenance roads. The team and cooperators also identified additional needs to accommodate forest users, such as potential parking areas and support facilities.

The DNR classification proposal, road and trail designation plan, and related maps are on the DNR Web site at . Click on the OHV riding button on the right-hand side of the home page to navigate to the OHV plans and proposals section of the Web site.

The DNR will accept written comments on the proposals until 4:30 p.m. on March 1. Comments and requests for copies of the planning documents should be submitted by mail to Jack Olson, DNR Trails & Waterways, 1601 Minnesota Drive, Brainerd, MN 56401, by phone (218) 833-8716, or by e-mail to .

Spring goose hunting begins March 1

In Minnesota the harvest of snow geese, including blue-phased and the smaller Ross' geese will be allowed under a federal conservation order this spring.

Since 2000, when Minnesota began participating in the conservation order, the state harvest of light geese has varied dramatically from a few hundred to 6,000 depending on weather conditions. Hunting this year will be open from March 1 to April 30.

"Minnesota is at the extreme eastern edge of the spring migration through the Midwest," according to Ray Norrgard, Wetland Wildlife Program leader with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "March weather, particularly snow and ice conditions, can have a tremendous effect on the migration routes of light geese."

A Spring Light Goose Permit is required and may be obtained after Feb. 18 at any of the 1,800 Electronic License System agents statewide. Spring light goose permits will also be available by telephone at 1-888-665-4236 or online after March 1 at .


No other license, stamp or permit is required to participate.

Although the permits are free, there is a $3.50 application fee to cover the cost of issuing the permit.

Nontoxic shot requirements and federal baiting regulations as well as most regulations that apply to fall goose-hunting seasons will also apply during the spring light goose conservation action.

Electronic calls and unplugged shotguns are allowed.

Refuges closed to either duck or goose hunting during fall seasons are also closed during the spring conservation action. Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset each day.

No daily or possession limits apply.

The conservation order is part of an international effort to reduce by 50 percent populations of lesser snow geese that breed in Arctic coastal areas and the Hudson Bay area.

High populations of the birds cause habitat damage on the breeding grounds.


A summary of regulations will be available from license vendors, DNR wildlife offices, or by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

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