Stearns Co. Approves Parks Ordinances

Stearns Co. Approves Parks Ordinances Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jan 22, 2013 at 11:49 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - The Stearns County Board of Commissioners have given the go-ahead to a handful of proposed parks and trail ordinances related to controlled park hunts, alcohol rules and horseback riding.

At Tuesday's public hearing in downtown St. Cloud, the board heard from Stearns County Parks Director Chuck Wocken and other members of the department on the topics.

The first issue covered was the move toward allowing controlled hunting in Stearns County parks. The conditions of the decision include issuing permits for each hunting group on a case-by-case basis and only at specific parks and times. Each permit would be individually reviewed by the board before being granted.

Wocken says this could open up controlled hunting opportunities for people with disabilities.

"There are groups in our area that will lead hunting outings for people with disabilities - turkey, deer, etc," Wocken says. "Many of the events happen up at Camp Ripley, so this could provide a local option for those same groups."

The board also reviewed and approved park alcohol laws, banning kegs in all parks and making the drinking rules between Warner Lake Park and other Stearns County parks more uniform.

Wocken says, until now, the distinction between the policies at Warner Lake versus other parks have been a bit confusing.

"You can't have any beer at the Warner Lake beach, but outside of those restricted beach areas, you can ONLY have beer...excpet for the Nature Center, where you ARE allowed to have wine by permit," he explains. "At all the other parks, we haven't controlled the kind of alcohol people are drinking. So this is move to make everything more consistent."

The Commissioners also approved horseback riding along the Dairyland trail and in Rockville County Park during the hearing.

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