The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has named Eric Senarighi, a Carlton resident and president of the Carlton County Riders ATV Club, as the 2021 ATV Safety Instructor of the Year.
Senarighi is a longtime ATV enthusiast who has taught ATV safety, through the club and individually, for years. The club trains about 100 kids per year during classes in the spring and fall. In addition to prioritizing responsible habits and providing students the foundation for a lifetime of safe riding, Senarighi focuses on outreach that ensures ATV riders maintain positive relationships with landowners and others.
"Carlton County is a great place to ride, and that's due in no small part to Eric's dedication to all aspects of the sport," said Lt. Scott Staples, who supervises DNR conservation officers in District 10. "The people in Carlton County and beyond are lucky to have someone like him to ensure the riding opportunities today will be there in the future as well."
Senarighi was instrumental in the creation of a memorial ATV ride called "Klick it for Kyle," which reminds riders of the importance of wearing helmets and seat belts and practicing safe riding behavior. The ride is in memory of Kyle Ringhoffer, who died in 2019 in a utility terrain vehicle accident. He also organizes an annual "Friendship Ride" in which club members give ATV rides to disabled young adults, and a "Lids for Kids" program in which each student who completes the Carlton County Riders ATV safety training course receives a brand-new helmet. As part of the program, 150 students have received helmets.
Senarighi is among the nearly 1,000 volunteer ATV safety instructors who work with DNR conservation officers to deliver ATV safety training certification. Details about safety courses and training are available on the DNR website, as are ATV regulations.