Small group has illegally camped in northern Minnesota forest for “months”

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A group of campers have been living for months in Beltrami Island State Forest in violation of the scattered state camping law.

According to the Minnesota Conservation Officer DNR Weekly Report of August 9, conservation officers Ben Huener and Jeremy Woinarowicz investigated a complaint from three campers in a scattered camping area in the northern Minnesota forest who were there. for many months.

Woinarowicz said in his report that the three campers “took the area as their own and committed multiple violations of the state’s forests, including cutting down live trees, littering and violating the length of stay of the scattered camping “.

In Minnesota, scattered camping is limited to 14 days in one section, township and beach during the summer months, according to state law.

Joe Albert, the communications coordinator for the DNR’s Enforcement Division, told Bring Me The News on Monday that conservation officers “are still trying to get campers to comply, but are noting difficulties in contacting them. them”.

Other campers and MNR Forestry Division staff have notified the MNR Law Enforcement Division of the campers.

As of yet, no citation has been issued, Albert said.

“Generally speaking, these rules are meant to solve the problem of someone staying too long, protecting equal opportunities (someone keeps a good place for themselves all summer, someone one claims a place in early fall and guard it through the deer season) or someone who lives primarily on our public lands, ”Albert said.

Garbage and water are also a big concern with extended scattered camping, as campers often leave their mess in the forest when they finally leave, he noted.

“This year we are also dealing with people who burn during the burning restrictions, which is dangerous due to the extremely dry conditions,” Albert added.

Here is the MRN website on camping scattered in the forests of the state of Minnesota.

Beltrami Island State Forest is a 703,382 acre state forest in Lake of the Woods, Roseau and Beltrami counties. It is the second largest state forest in the Minnesota system and contains the sources of five rivers, as well as the state’s largest wildlife management area.


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