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Forced out of business by quad users and those who protect them

Dear Editor: This letter is concerning a question put forth by Reeve Robert Bouchard in the Sept. 28 issue of the St.

Dear Editor:

This letter is concerning a question put forth by Reeve Robert Bouchard in the Sept. 28 issue of the St. Paul Journal concerning recreational vehicle users, which was: Are those who buy an ATV or snowmobile, buy a license plate and support the local economy – are they also responsible to purchase property to ride it on there also?

Reeve Bouchard says County of St. Paul council can’t bury its head in the sand, and has to acknowledge the needs of trail users, and that he would prefer to see those users go on public lands (and) road allowances, rather than on private property.

In my most humble of opinions, after experiencing some expensive trouble with recreational vehicle users and Iron Horse Trail people this summer, I would say those people need to get out there and acquire their own property, considering so many of them tend to abuse what they have so easily been handed, by County of St. Paul management and government funding.

I would think Reeve Bouchard should be one of the first to monitor signage that he and others talk so highly of, which so many recreational vehicle users totally disregard. While at it, he should view how the trail is very often being used, as in access to private property. Reeve Bouchard should invite these recreational vehicle users through his own property for a while, so he can personally experience what is going on in the real world.

As a taxpaying landowner whose family has been farming for 57 years, I can say there have never been problems like this, ever before. This has affected my livelihood to such degree that I’m being completely forced out of business by those more concerned over the welfare of recreational trail users.

I had cattle killed this summer because of recreational Iron Horse Trail users who didn’t care to stop animals running out onto the highway, as they drove their ATVs through the Iron Horse Trail director’s newly fenced road allowance area, then out through a gate, on to an extremely dangerous highway approach that was recently approved by the county strictly for the benefit of trail users.

Recreational riders recently trapped my cattle within the newly fenced-in road allowance, leaving those cattle without any access to water. The newly fenced road allowance now divides up a large portion of our property to such a state as to render it totally useless for proper cattle management.

If County of St. Paul council can’t bury its head in the sand, and has to acknowledge the needs of trail users, as Bouchard states, then it would seem apparent that council also can’t bury its head in the sand and has to acknowledge the needs of taxpaying landowners, by proper compensation with consideration to the dead cattle and implementing the proper fencing needed to help alleviate future problems.

At this point in time, it is impossible for any taxpaying landowner to have any faith that County of St. Paul council won’t try to pull the same thing all over again with somebody else, concerning issues like this.

It was definitely not my intention to donate cattle, along with my livelihood, and then on top of all that, be ignored by the Iron Horse Trail people and the County simply for the benefit of recreational trail users, and their brand of fun – which the County so highly recognizes – above all else.

Daune Gagne

County of St. Paul





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