Off-Road News Spring Fling Kick-Off By Ken Irish The Central Lakes ATV club and the Cuyuna Iron Range Rider club in Crow Wing County hosted the 8th annual Spring Fling at the Old Waterfall in Brainerd on April 19. In all, 59 people from the two clubs and others attended the event. It was a great way to kick off the new riding season. Joe Alberio, the Minnesota DNR Region 5 Supervisor for Parks and Trails, gave a presentation about Grant-in-Aid (GIA) funding from the early years to the present.The GIA system has come a long way, to the benefit of clubs and trails. He showed appreciation for the work done by the clubs and ATVAM. Alberio also mentioned many people will be retiring in the next few years from the DNR and that the association and clubs need to get younger people involved as well as introduce youth to the outdoors. Mark Liedl, Crow Wing County – County Recorder/Land Service Director, spoke about the comprehensive recreation trail plan Crow Wing County approved in 2014.The Miller Black Bear Trail is a great example of how the process works.This is the process the county uses for all motorized and non-motorized trail applications.The county is currently reviewing the trail application received from the Cuyuna Iron Range Riders for the Mississippi Northwood property.The trail application has met some concerns and we are working through the process, which will include an upcoming 30-day comment period coming up later. Kevin Kiehlbauch, president of the Central Lakes club, updated the group on the trail ambassadors program. Several people won $50 gift cards and $50 cash prizes.The cash was donated by Cuyuna Iron Range Riders Jerry and Alicia Heggerson and Russ Heittola. Each club donated one helmet for youth safety and two lucky youths went home with them. Central Lakes club was in charge of getting gift cards and donations from local business for the door prize drawings, including Midwest Machinery ($50 gift card); Brothers Motorsports ($50 gift card); Power Lodge Nisswa ($50 gift card); Napa ($50 gift card); SuperAmerica ($50, $75 and, $100 gift card); Batteries Plus ($50 gift card); and M&M Express ($50 gift card). Ken Irish is a past ATVAM president and the current president of the Cuyuna Iron Range Riders 10 MINNESOTA OFFROAD