Moose Lake residents, the local ATV club and Carlton County worked together to solve problems at Carlton County's Soo Line Trail and Soo Pits in Moose Lake.
The Carlton County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Monday, July 27 to change language in the county ordinance for the Soo Line Trail and Soo Pits to prohibit alcohol consumption by people who drive in the pits and on the trail, bringing it in line with state laws. The ordinance also set hour of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the Soo Pits. The Soo Trail remains open 24 hours a day.
Eric Senarighi, president of the Carlton County Riders ATV Club, spoke to the Carlton County Board of Commissioners about residents' concerns and possible solutions during the regular board meeting Monday.
Senarighi said he learned earlier in the year that several residents bordering the recreation area had issues with noise, dust and increased traffic. From stir crazy residents flocking to Moose Lake to enjoy the outdoors to the early spring, Senarighi said it was a perfect storm.
“Let’s change frustration and anger to viable solutions,” Senarighi said.
He offered several solutions, including moving a portion of the trail, increasing law enforcement presence at the parking lot and purchasing a decibel meter to monitor noise levels.
He suggested the county move the trail below the hill, which will bypass several residents' homes. The hill would provide a natural dust and noise barrier for the neighbors, he said.
Carlton County Land Commissioner Greg Bernu agreed. He said he hopes his department can purchase fencing, gates and signage to change the trail direction.
Gail Lundgren lives across from the trail. She said moving the trail would be a tremendous help.
Senarighi said the ATV club is willing to help purchase a decibel reader for local law enforcement to help reduce noise problems. He said a good reader will cost around $3,000. The club will make a donation and get additional donations from local businesses and other ATV clubs, Senarighi said.
ATV club member Jeff Birman said the club can also help by posting the rules for the trails and pits when they organize an event in the area.
Michelle Lee lives across from the Soo Trail. She said she thinks officers handing out tickets will help, however, Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake said budget constraints are an issue.
“It comes down to awareness and enforcement,” Lundgren said. “Having an ordinance gives conservation officers and deputies something to work with.”