DNR, partners work on motorcycle experiences

Published 8:00 pm Friday, August 28, 2020

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in conjunction with the consulting firm Up! Outside and District 23/Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association, is creating a master plan for off-highway motorcycle use across Minnesota, according to a press release.

The master plan will gauge current use and trends, the desires of riders, the views of non-riders, and current and proposed opportunities. When completed, the plan will be used as a strategic tool to guide the department’s future management of off-highway motorcycle experiences.

OHMs are used in Minnesota for a variety of recreational activities. The most common are dirt bikes or trail bikes. They are used on motocross tracks on private property, and for flat track racing, off-road racing and noncompetition trail riding. There are also specialty OHMs called trials bikes, which are used for similar activities as BMX bicycles. Other OHMs can include dual-sport motorcycles which are highway licensed and capable of traveling both on and off paved roads.

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The DNR and ARMCA work together to manage OHM trails on state lands and within the grant-in-aid program.

The master plan will focus on recreational trail use, but additional types of OHM use will also be reviewed. The final plan will assist the DNR and its partners to manage trail use and development strategically. This will include trail maintenance, environmental protection, and users’ interests in higher levels of difficulty on current or proposed trails, skills building areas, and training areas.

UP! Outside will use surveys and conference calls as initial scoping and information gathering tools. When that information is analyzed, the team will use public meetings, surveys, or web conferencing to gather public input.