[OPINION] Group Of Campers Wearing Out Their Welcome In MN Campground
If you've ever been to Beltrami Island state Forest located in Lake of the Woods, Beltrami County, it's a beautiful place and great for camping. In fact it's so beautiful, you may find yourself saying "I could stay here forever". Of course, you wouldn't but it's a nice thought.
Well, it seems a small group of campers has overstayed their welcome by camping there for months, yes months. Minnesota has a law on the books that you cannot camp in places like this for more than 14 days at a time during the summer months.
According to Bring Me the News a Minnesota DNR conservation officer reported there have been some complaints that a small group of campers have been camping in a spot in the state forest for months.
Conservation Officer Jeremy Woinarowicz told Bring Me The News that 3 campers have "taken on the area as their own and had multiple state forest violations, including cutting live trees, litter and violating the dispersed camping length of stay."
Efforts to deal with the "squatters" has been difficult says the DNR's enforcement division communications coordinator, Joe Albert "we are trying to gain compliance from the campers but note difficulty in making contact with them."
The no more than 14 day stay law is there for good cause. "Generally speaking, these rules are meant to address the problem of either someone staying too long, protecting the equal opportunity side of things (someone keeping a great spot for themselves all summer, someone claiming a spot early in the fall and keeping it though deer season) or someone basically living out in our public lands," Albert said.
Besides all the trash and damage that may happen to a campsite, that is used for months, there is also concern of the campers having campfires during the burning ban now in effect.