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Trail extensions

Published (2/13/2009)
By Sue Hegarty
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Public trails in southern Minnesota could be expanded, under a pair of bills approved by the House Environment Policy and Oversight Committee Feb. 10.

Sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), HF60 calls for the development of the Des Moines River Valley Trail, originating in Jackson County, extending northwest through Kilen Woods State Park and Cottonwood County. It would meet up with the Casey Jones Trail in Murray County.

An advocacy group called Friends of the Jackson County Trails would work with the Department of Natural Resources to develop the trail. Since 1998, the group has supported the expansion of trails in and around the city of Jackson, including securing $50,000 from a private estate and by holding annual cookouts.

The committee also approved HF230, which provides for the extension of the Casey Jones Trail in Pipestone.

Sponsored by Rep. Doug Magnus (R-Slayton), it authorizes the DNR to work with Friends of the Casey Jones Trail with the goal of connecting the trail to Blue Mounds State Park and Schoneman Park near Luverne.

No specific appropriation amount is requested in either bill. Both were sent to the House Finance Committee.

Sen. Jim Vickerman (DFL-Tracy) sponsors the companion bills, SF34 and SF171, respectively. Each awaits action by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

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