This question was asked on Facebook using #AskPS:
Are there plans to create more ATV trails or riding areas in Minnesota? And how does Minnesota benefit from ATV tourism and tax dollars?
Mary Straka, Minnesota DNR division of parks and trails off-highway vehicle program consultant answered:
Most ATV trails and riding areas in Minnesota are at the initiatives of enthusiasts or clubs who work with state and local governments, we call them grants-in-aid trails. While planning varies across the state, the Minnesota DNR is considering improvements to trail sustainability and enhancements to user experiences for both motorized and non-motorized trails on over 5 billion acres of state forest lands including adding new trails or trail connections, changing allowable trail uses and closing trails that are unsustainable. These are working forest lands so there are a variety of things that affect trail planning. For example, there could be logging that changed the layout of the trails and what's available.
Based on a 2008 University of Minnesota study, approximately $200 million and some 1,434 jobs were supported by direct and indirect spending as well as induced impacts from ATV riding in Minnesota. No new economic impact studies have been done in Minnesota since 2008. Minnesota does not directly benefit from tourism and tax dollars collected by other states. Indirectly we may benefit by people traveling through Minnesota to reach other destinations.
Thanks for asking!