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S.F. No. 1852 - Restrictions on Mowing and Haying in Ditches
Author: Senator John C. Pederson
Prepared By: Krista Boyd, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-7681)
Date: March 23, 2015


This bill makes a variety of changes to the section of statute regulating mowing of roadside ditches.

The bill:

  • adds haying to several of the provisions in this section now applied to mowing and tilling;
  • applies the provisions of this section to individuals (in addition to road authorities);
  • applies the provisions of this section to roads within cities;
  • modifies the dates when right-of-way may be mowed;
  • changes the minimum height to which mowing is allowed;
  • requires a haying permit on all federal and state highways;
  • allows for mowing or haying as treatment of noxious weeds or invasive species;
  • allows for mowing of residential areas, but encourages landowners to delay until after nesting season;
  • restricts the mowing of roads adjacent to wildlife management areas to road authorities only, unless permission is obtained from the Commissioner of Natural Resources;
  • allows for landowners to request in writing to the road authority that their property not be mowed, for the purpose of providing roadside habitats;
  • allows local road authorities to set more restrictive mowing, haying or tilling ordinances; and
  • requires the Commissioner of Natural Resources to coordinate with local road authorities (in addition to the Commissioner of Transportation) to enhance roadside habitats.

The bill also states that a violation of this section is a misdemeanor and sets a penalty based on the value of the affected vegetation.  Penalties collected are to be deposited in an account maintained by the affected road authority.

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