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Prospector picks up national trail award in D.C.

Ely Echo - Staff Photo - Create Article
IN DC - Marianne Fowler, Jayger Cordes, Shelby Keen, Corey Keen, Ron Potter, Mike Banovetz, Lindsey Keen, U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber and Derrick Crandall. Crandall and Fowler are co-chairs of the Coalition for Recreational Trails and Rep. Pete Stauber spoke at the award ceremony while the rest of the group represented the Prospector ATV Club in Washington D.C.

The local Prospector ATV Club picked up its national award in Washington, D.C. on March 6.

The club has received a national award for the Beaver River Bridge project which was partially funded by the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

The Coalition for Recreational Trails chose Prospector as winner of the CRT’s Annual Achievement Award for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds in the Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing category.

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Hermantown) spoke at the ceremony.

“Here’s how important this is, I don’t normally wear a hat but when Ron Potter gives me a Prospector Club hat, I’m wearing it,” said Stauber.

“This program is about adding recreation opportunities in America. I want to talk about northeastern Minnesota, the Iron Range is where these folks are from. If you want to know where God’s country is you can go to northern Minnesota on a fall day on your ATV with the colors turning or on a bike or walking and it’s beautiful.

“To Ron and Corey and your staff, to the thousands of hours you put in for us to be able to recreate. Some of us just take our ATVs off the trailer and go. But there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that you all do in Ely and Tower and Babbitt.

“These areas have a rich history and a work ethic that’s second to none. You can see it in the trails we get to ride because of the hard work behind the scenes.

“I think I can say that for all the awardees tonight. The effort that you put in to make sure there’s an opportunity to expand recreation, multi-modal trails for all people that want to recreate.

“Ron I’ve been with you on those trails. The bridges that are on those trails, the hundreds of thousand of dollars doesn’t happen without your work and your commitment,” said Stauber.

“We’re fighting for our way of life, I say this is who we are. I told Ron I have an ATV it fits my whole family and I just spent $1,300 to upgrade it so it’s even better. It is who we are in northeast Minnesota, it is our way of life.”

Stauber, as a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said, “We’re going to make sure the recreation opportunities across America are well funded, well protected, used and the next generation can fix them. I want to say congratulations to the Prospector ATV Club.”

The Beaver River Bridge Project received $150,000 of Recreational Trail Program (RTP) funding, which was awarded to the city of Ely.

The total project cost was $2.3 million with funding coming from the IRRRB and the ATV dedicated account.

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