48° and Partly cloudy at 2:35pm in Pine City

Deer hunters, forest users advised about wet conditions across much of northland

Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges people visiting state forests to use caution when operating motor vehicles or riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to avoid negative impacts to forest access trails and roads. Current road and trail conditions are wet throughout much of northern Minnesota due to the recent heavy rains.

“We are asking everyone to use good judgment when they are out in the forest,” said Jim Rupert, regional forestry manager for northeastern Minnesota. “Some parts of northern Minnesota have had three to six inches of rain in the last 30 days. Water stays in the soil at this time of the year because there is very little evaporation.”

More people are in the woods during the fall for small game hunting and to prepare for the deer hunting season, Rupert noted. Motor vehicle uses allowed in many state forests have changed. Signs are up to identify roads and trails, and to indicate whether motorized vehicles are allowed or restricted.

With increased use and poor soil conditions, the DNR is concerned about possible trail impacts. “No matter what you are riding or driving, be cautious to avoid damage to the forest roads and trails,” Rupert said.

“We do not want to close trails, but may have to if rutting or other damage begins to occur,” said Bob Moore, DNR parks and trails supervisor in Grand Rapids. “The DNR will monitor forest roads and access trails. If we must temporarily close some trails, information will be available on the DNR Web site.”

Find trail closure information at mndnr.gov/trailconditions/listing.html or go to mndnr.gov and click on recreation on the top green bar, click on Off-highway Vehicle Riding, then under Find a Trail, click on Forest Road Closures.

Find state forest motor vehicle use and restricted area information at mndnr.gov/input/mgmtplans/ohv/designation/ or go to mndnr.gov and click on recreation on the top green bar, click on Off-highway Vehicle Riding, then under Plans & Proposals, click on Forest Classification.

Weather data is available at water.weather.gov/

(From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

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