County approves ordinance change!

by admin on July 28, 2015

This section of the Gunflint Trail that is NOW OPEN to ATVs on the far right side/shoulder. This section of the Gunflint Trail that is NOW OPEN to ATVs on the far right side/shoulder.

As most of you know, in May, the Cook County Commissioners set up a committee to study a Cook County ATV Club proposal to allow ATV traffic on approximately 4 miles of the Gunflint Trail. The ATV Club—and some Gunflint Trail residents and businesses—made the request to complete a route to reach Trail Center, Hungry Jack Lodge, Windigo, Nor’Wester and Big Bear Lodge. A public hearing was held today, July 28. After nearly two hours of public comment and commissioner debate, the county board approved the changes to the ordinance with a 4-1 vote.

That means as soon as the signs are erected, Class 1 ATVs will be allowed to ride on the shoulder and far right side of the Gunflint Trail on two approximately 2-mile section of the Gunflint Trail. The sections are from Pine Mountain Road to the South Brule Road and then from Lima Grade to County Road 92.

Although we’ve been riding on all other county roads since 2009 and in the busy City of Grand Marais since 2006 without significant problems and despite the fact that Class 2 ATVs (side-by-sides) can ride on the entire Gunflint Trail now, there was much opposition.

A dozen people spoke in opposition to the ordinance change, most citing concerns about the safety of riding ATVs on pavement and on a road with mixed traffic speeds. A retired doctor talked about the injuries he had seen from ATV accidents, including people who had become paraplegics. Others expressed concern about ATVs introducing invasive species to the Gunflint Trail, about the loss of peace and quiet and about ATVs trespassing on their property. One man stated that none of the people who are asking for this live in the MidGunflint Trail area. One man claimed that he and his wife were walking on Hungry Jack Road and they had to dive into the ditch to avoid being hit by two racing ATVs. There was more, but that gives you an idea of the concerns.

Fourteen ATVers spoke, urging the commissioners to open these sections of the Gunflint Trail, based on the record of responsible riding that we have demonstrated since 2009.

One caveat—the ordinance will be reviewed in a year. At that time commissioners will decide whether to revoke the right to ride on these sections; whether to keep the ordinance and continue to review it annually; or make the change permanent. The county board is going to work with the sheriff’s department on establishing some sort of criteria for this evaluation.

Thanks to the commissioners who voted yes–Garry Gamble, Frank Moe, Ginny Storlie and Heidi Doo-Kirk. They are probably get some flack from the folks in opposition, so be sure to let them know you appreciate going out on a limb for us.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out and spoke out! Thanks also to everyone who talked to commissioners one-on-one outside of the meeting and/or sent letters! Congratulations—you did it!

Although the ordinance change was made, we need to wait until the signs are up to ride. We’ll let you know when that happens. Stay tuned!

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All are invited to July ATV Club meeting

by admin on July 19, 2015

Please join us Monday, July 20, 6 p.m. at 1920 County Road 7 in Grand Marais for the July ATV Club meeting.  Join us for pizza and hear what’s happening with ATVing in Cook County, such as the proposed changes to the ATV ordinance.

And mark your calendar — the public hearing on opening two sections of the Mid-Gunflint Trail is July 28 at 10 a.m. Plan on coming to the meeting to let commissioners know that you support opening the Gunflint so we can get to Trail Center, Hungry Jack Lodge & up to County Road 92.

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County board sets public hearing for ATV ordinance change – July 28

July 14, 2015

One meeting down! At the County Board Meeting today, the Commissioners agreed to set a public hearing to accept comment on the proposal to allow ATV traffic on approximately 4 miles of the Gunflint Trail. The public hearing will be Tuesday, June 28 at 10 a.m. in the Cook County Commissioner’s Room. Yes, it’s hard […]

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ATVs on county board agenda July 14

July 12, 2015

As most of you know, the Cook County ATV Club is working to get part of the Gunflint Trail open to ATV traffic to give us a way to get to Trail Center, Hungry Jack Lodge, Windigo, Nor’Wester Lodge and Big Bear Lodge. The Gunflint is open to ATVs on the road shoulder/far right of […]

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Join us for the Tom Lake Ride & Shoot!

July 6, 2015

Cook County ATV Club 2015 Tom Lake Ride & Shoot July 11, 2015 – 11 a.m. We’ll have a guided ride and maps available for those who want to venture out on their own. On the approximately 46-mile guided ride, we’ll have a few stops including one for lunch. Bring a bagged lunch and beverages […]

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Cook County ATV Club June Meeting

June 29, 2015

Tuesday, June 30 at 6 p.m., 1920 County Road 7, Grand Marais. Join the club for pizza and to hear what’s been happening with ATVing in Cook County and the hard work the club is doing. Thanks for your support!!

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