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Northwoods Regional ATV Trail Funding

Our local Emily / Outing / Moose River and Emily / Blind Lake ATV Trails connect into the more expansive 336-mile network of ATV trails which make-up up the Northwoods Regional ATV Trail System. In 2022 the OTHG ATV Club joined the established eight-club Northwoods Regional ATV Trail Alliance. As an alliance we took a hard look at our trails and realized that some major repairs and design changes were needed. Many of the original trail sections, opened in 2007, were designed around Class I ATV use, resulting in many bridges and boardwalks that are undersized for the more predominant Class 2 (Side x Side) style machines. Many trail sections are compacted and lie below adjacent land surfaces, which then make them prone to soil erosion and difficult to maintain.

In December 2023, Alliance members attended the ATV Minnesota Legislative Summit and received approval for a $500,000 funding resolution. The funding would be allocated from the ATV Dedicated account, which is where our registration fee's go. This resolution has since been carried forward to the State Capitol by the ATVMN Lobbyists. Today, the resolution has been turned into two bills at the MN Legislature. Senate bill S.F. 2170, authored by MN Senators Nathan Wesenberg, Justin Eichorn and Robert Farnsworth as House bill H.F. 2379, authored by House Representatives Ben Davis and Spencer IGO

The two bills will need to pass in committees before being sent forward for a full chamber vote. We are very hopeful that passage of this bill will provide some much needed funding on our Northwoods Regional ATV Trail System. When possible please thank our local legislators for authoring and introducing these bills during the 2022-2023 MN Legislative Session.

Club Approves New Bylaws

What exactly are Bylaws and why are they needed? Bylaws are a legal document that outlines the rules, regulations, and guidelines of our club organization. They contain the basic rules of order for the why our club is in existence, and the how of the method in which the club will conduct decisions in support of our members. The OTHG Bylaws have not been amended since 2011 and needed some changes to reflect the changes of the club, riders and trails we manage. For example, in 2011 the club did not have any Grant-In-Aid trails. The Emily/Outing & Moose River ATV Trails opened in 2014, and since that time the club has needed a Grant Manager and more Trail Coordinators. The club has grown in memberships, individual/family/and business, each year, now with 325 paid individual /family memberships and almost 60 business memberships. This makes us the largest or one of largest of the 70 active ATV clubs in Minnesota. The number of Club Officers which make up the Board of Directors has stayed constant at five Officers. This has put a tremendous burden on our Officers for keeping club activities organized and fun.

In September of 2022, a group of members recognized a need for change to help our expanding club and trails. A Bylaws Committee was formed, and after a number of revisions, inputs from members, and a 45-day public review process, a final amended version of the OTHG Bylaws was presented at the March 4, 2023 club meeting. The new Bylaws were passed by a unanimous vote by members in attendance.

Major Bylaw Changes include:

  1. Moving Board of Director elections to October (end of riding season)
  2. Creating a Grant Manager and Director at Large Position on the Board of Directors
  3. Creating eight standing committees, each with oversight to one Board member
  4. Enhanced Board of Director position descriptions
  5. Added language for the club "to borrow funds" for trail equipment or short-term coverage of trail expenses while grant expense reimbursements are being processed

We hope all changes will help spread around the work that is needed, enhance the level of riding opportunities, and provide more opportunities for members to get involved, which increases the fun at events that our members have come to enjoy. Club Bylaws are available to any club member by requesting a copy to overthehillsgang@gmail.com

Thank You to the Bylaw Committee: Kim Dylla, Tim Sink, Dave Thompson, Perry May, Rod Wegner

Other News

Riding With 500 Of Our Closest Friends. 2022 Ride & Rally Is A High-Octane Success!

We unloaded trailers in the rain. We stood in line and registered in the rain. Then, just before the 2022 Ride & Rally kicked off, it stopped raining. Rain gear was put away, smiles got bigger, and the rally cry heard among hundreds of hardy, puddle-lovin' riders attending was “No Dust!”

 

This year’s ATV MN State Convention -- attracting 200 riders on Friday and over 500 on Saturday -- took on a fresh new look from previous years. Held September 16-18 in Fifty Lakes, Minn, it had guided rides and raffles of course, but also food trucks instead of a banquet, plus live music from solo artists and local bands, Sherp rides, fireworks, and an ATV Fair with some of the event’s 70 sponsors displaying their products and services. Watch for more details and photos in the next issue of Minnesota Wheelin magazine

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Above: Many groups stopped at the selfie station on the new Emily Blind Lake Trail to capture the day's ride with a photo. Riders on both days were welcomed with the smiling faces of Erv Kleinschmidt, ATV MN treasurer, Jenn Jancsek, ATV MN admin, and many volunteers who checked in riders, sold ATV MN gear and answered dozens of questions. Thanks to all! And thanks to everyone at the City of Fifty Lakes for your cooperation and assistance over the past year, helping organize an outstanding event!

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Above: Attended by 200 riders, the Friday President's Ride was 52 miles of forest roads and tight twisty trails, with a BBQ lunch at the Pickled Loon Saloon in Emily (below).

ATV MN recognized current and retiring State Legislators who have been instrumental in supporting motorized recreation, ATV trails and the clubs that build and maintain them.

Perry May gives retiring State Senator Carrie Ruud a plaque in recognition of her support of ATV MN and its legislative efforts.

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Above: Event receptions, the general membership meeting with elections, updates from the DNR, raffle drawings, entertaining video productions, and live bands were staged under a giant tent with room for 400 riders.

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Above: Corporate, business and club sponsors totaled 70 this year, many with displays of their products, club gear...and a dancing woodtick

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Above: Ann Raph, Fifty Lakes Deputy Clerk, was the first to take a free Sherp Ride, provided compliments of The GetAway adventure resort, Pequot Lakes.

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Local musicians and live bands provided background music and evening entertainment throughout the Ride & Rally.

They included: Gigfoot, Katie Switzer, Muddy Water Band, and Adam Pearce Band.

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Above: Displays for the ATV Statewide Master Plan, and Ride Command, gave riders an opportunity to talk about future trail connections, and improving navigation on rides with a trails app.

State Rep Josh Heintzeman (right in photo) visits with ATV MN president Ron Potter, NE Regional Director Darrel Palmer, and lobbyist Ray Bohn. "Our office is always ready to fight for you and the sport we care about," said Heintzeman during the Friday night membership meeting.

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Above: The Over The Hills Gang was the host club this year, with chief organizers Perry May and Rod Wegner (left in photo) and dozens of volunteers doing a great job planning, organizing and making this year's Ride & Rally fun, safe and a huge success. Thanks to all!

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Above: Members of the Cass County Search And Rescue ATV Team displayed the military RZR used on missions, and to help deputies monitor trails and assist at community events. Members of the Woodtick Wheelers and Over The Hills Gang clubs participate in the SAR program.

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Above: Loney Sales & Service, Walker, a Platinum Sponsor, displayed the latest CFMOTO vehicles, answering many rider questions during the ATV Fair on Saturday

Thanks to all 70 Ride & Rally Sponsors and those who donated to the event. We will be recognizing and thanking the full list of sponsors in a future newsletter

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OTHG Club Hosts WCCO/CBS TV, Goin' to the Lake - Emily, MN Edition

The You Tube video is a "Goin to the Lake" / Emily segment from WCCO /CBS TV newscast that aired on Thursday July 13th, 2017 on the WCCO/CBS TV 10pm newscast. The Over the Hills Gang ATV Club organized a 7-mile ATV ride for the WCCO crew that started at Granny's Bar and Grill and ended at Sweets & Such in Emily, MN where they were treated with ice cream. OTHG Club members brought ATV personal protective equipment, such as gloves, helmets,goggles, splash pants, and boots to ensure the safety of the WCCO crew, and conducted some safety training before the ride. Club Members brought ATV Class I machines for Meteorologist Chris Shaffer, News Anchor Liz Collin, to ride individually, and Class II ATV's to transport a cameraman, photographer, social media and promotions team member on the ride. Additional information and videos can be found on the WCCO /CBS Facebook page.

Shown below, WCCO/CBS Meteorologist Chris Shaffer and News Anchor Liz Collin along with OTHG ATV Club Members and MN DNR Volunteer Trail Ambassadors Dave Kodada, Daniel Olmshenck, Ben Allen, John Halverson, Lynn Remington, Bub Moser and Perry May.