ATV Optimization Study
- ATV use on private and public lands, and the need for ATV trails has been an ongoing issue identified by citizens throughout the Central Region during civic engagement sessions. In 2006 the ATV Optimization Study was initiated to:
- Identify important attributes for ATV riders and other trail users, landowner issues and concerns
- Develop decision models to generate trail systems that balance needs of riders, non-ATV trail users and land managers
- Central Region Sustainable Development Partnership
- Department of Forestry
- Tourism Center
- U.S. Forest Service
- MN Department of Natural Resources
Activities have included a combination of social science and decision modeling approaches to identify desirable trail attributes and to develop optimization decision models.
During 2007, focus groups were held at several locations in the Central Region to identify issues and concerns with ATV use and trail development among various types of landowners, including public and private landowners.
Information from the focus groups provided the basis for developing a survey questionnaire that was sent to a broader audience of citizens within the region.
The questionnaire response will be used for the second phase of the project: to develop and test four optimization decision models that will be used to generate optimal ATV trail systems that balance goals of motorized and non-motorized trail users as well as land managers. These alternative models will be applied to land under various ownership scenarios.
Results will identify immediate issues among trail users as well as between trail users and landowners and allow for planning to minimize negative issues and to maximize trail opportunities.
$19,900 in FY2007
- $17,300 in-kind University faculty support
- $51,000 U.S. Forest Service
- $30,000 in-kind staff support from U.S. Forest Service
- $150,000 MN Department of Natural Resources, cash and in-kind support