What is the Horse Pass?
Legislation establishing a Horse Pass was authorized in 2006 and was effective starting January 1, 2007. The horse pass is similar to other DNR passes, such as the cross-country ski pass. It creates a dedicated fund source enabling users to assist directly with the operation and maintenance of the Department of Natural Resources’ horse facilities.
MN Statutes 85.46 states “While riding, leading, or driving a horse on lands administered by the Commissioner of the DNR, except forest roads and forest road right-of-ways, a person 16 years of age or over shall carry in immediate possession a valid horse pass. The pass must be available for inspection by a peace officer, a conservation officer, or an employee designated under section 84.0835.”
The Minnesota Horse Pass was first sold in 2007. Since that date revenue has been as high as $121,000 in 2007 to a low of $91,792 in 2011–averaging around around $102,000 a year.
Horse Pass dollars go into a dedicated fund and is spent ONLY on improvements to horse trails and horse campgrounds. Roughly 26% of horse pass sales come from non-Minnesota residents.
Minnesota is divided into four regions. Projects in each region are ranked by priority and every region receives at least one funded project every year. The Equine Advisory Group meets with DNR staff to determine which projects are funded. Nine projects this year relate more to trails, while four are campground improvements. Five worthwhile projects were not funded due to running out of funds. So please, buy your horse pass! You can purchase it anywhere licenses (fishing, hunting) are sold or purchase online through the link below. Your dollars here are making a difference for you and for future riders.
The DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails administers the program for the Department of Natural Resources.