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HF 124

2nd Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 06/21/2017 11:01am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.



Version List Authors and Status

Current Version - 2nd Engrossment

A bill for an act
relating to transportation; governing mowing authority and management practices
in road rights-of-way; prohibiting road authorities from establishing certain
requirements and permits that govern mowing and haying; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2016, section 160.232.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 160.232, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General limitation for road authorities.

(a) To provide enhanced
roadside habitat for nesting birds and other small wildlife, road authorities may not mow
or till the right-of-way of a highway located outside of a home rule charter or statutory city
except as allowed in this section and section 160.23.


Subd. 2.

Dates of mowing.

(a) On any highway, the first eight feet away from the road
surface, or shoulder if one exists, may be mowed at any time.

(c) An entire right-of-way may be mowed after July 31. From August 31 to the following
July 31, the entire right-of-way may only be mowed if necessary for safety reasons, but
may not be mowed to a height of less than 12 inches.

(d) A right-of-way may be mowed (b) A road authority may mow an entire right-of-way
only from August 1 to August 31, except that a right-of-way may be mowed to a height of
no less than 12 inches (1)
as necessary to maintain sight distance or for other safety and
may be mowed
reasons; and (2) at other times under rules of the commissioner, or by
ordinance of a local road authority not conflicting with the rules of the commissioner.

(c) Nothing in paragraph (b) prevents mowing or haying by a person independent of the
commissioner under subdivision 3.

Subd. 3.

Trunk highways.

(a) The commissioner is prohibited from (1) requiring a
person to obtain a permit in order to mow or hay trunk highway rights-of-way, and (2)
establishing limitations or requirements that govern trunk highway rights-of-way mowing
or haying.

(b) A landowner or occupant of land that is adjacent to a trunk highway right-of-way
may mow or hay the adjacent right-of-way, or may designate another person who may mow
or hay. Mowing or haying under this paragraph does not require notice to the commissioner.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), the commissioner may restrict mowing or

(1) within the rights-of-way of a freeway;

(2) within the project limits of a construction or maintenance project; or

(3) due to an identified threat of a spread of weeds that are determined to be prohibited
noxious weeds on the eradicate list under section 18.771, paragraph (b), by placing a
temporary flag or marker that indicates the geographic area and dates of the mowing or
haying restriction.

Subd. 4.

Management practices.

(e) (a) A right-of-way may be mowed, burned, or
tilled by a road authority to prepare the right-of-way for the establishment of permanent
vegetative cover or for prairie vegetation management.

(f) When feasible, road authorities are encouraged to utilize low maintenance, native
vegetation that reduces the need to mow, provides wildlife habitat, and maintains public

(g) The commissioner of natural resources shall cooperate with the commissioner of
transportation to provide enhanced roadside habitat for nesting birds and other small wildlife.

(b) The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioners of agriculture and natural
resources, shall maintain vegetation in trunk highway rights-of-way that (1) is conducive
to local animal agriculture and wildlife, and (2) maintains public safety.


This section is effective the day following final enactment.

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