Friday, March 24, 2006

Johnson Now Opposes ATVs on Gunflint Trail

County commissioner Jim Johnson announce at the Gunflint Scenic Byways Committee meeting March 20, that he no longer supports opening the Gunflint Trail to ATV use. According to Johnson that the residents and businesses on Trail have told him "loud and clear" that they did not believe that ATVs on the Gunflint would be a good idea. According to Johnson, after listened to their concerns, "my positions on opening the GunflintTrail to ATVs has evolved and I no longer support opening the Trail to ATVs.

The Scenic Byways Committee then when on to vote to oppose opening the Gunflint to ATVs and to send a letter to all County commissioners express the Committees position.

In Commissioner Johnson's most recent commissioners newsletter issued on March 25 he re-states this position as follows;

ATV’s: This topic has been discussed extensively at recent County Board
Meetings. Using trails in the backwoods would be enhanced if loops could be
established, so the idea of using remote county roads as connectors has come up.
There is some support for this, but the use of the Gunflint Trail and other
heavily traveled county roads does not have much support. There is much concern
about the misuse of ATV’s, but using them as a hauling tool around private
property has general acceptance. There is also opposition to opening the North
Shore State Snowmobile Trail to ATV’s. The County Board has taken no action. I
think we need to find more common ground before we make any
recommendations.

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