Perry: Focus examining Perham to Pelican Rapids Trail project

J.J. Perry column mug
J.J. Perry, Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus editor

When it is completed in a few years, the Perham to Pelican Rapids Trail will cut through about 30 miles across northern Otter Tail County.

Walk down the proposed path, mile by mile, and you will find seemingly hundreds of questions and concerns from those who are living along what will eventually be the $14.1 million multi-use trail.

The controversial trail will be the subject of a special Perham Focus report in the Aug. 8 edition.

Reporter Carter Jones has spent the past several weeks talking with Otter Tail County residents and officials about the trail and its impact. His coverage will try to address many of the lingering questions residents have about the Perham to Pelican Rapids Trail.

Those who have only recently become aware of the project -- which was introduced and first discussed in 2014 -- will want to check out that coverage next week.


Carter and I both have been taking calls from residents who want more information about the trail.

We will try to provide that in the Aug. 8 edition of the Perham Focus.

If you live along the proposed trail route, we would still love to hear from you.

Readers are invited to submit letters to the editor on this topic for possible inclusion in the Aug. 8 edition. Letters should be 250 words or fewer, and include your name, address and telephone number for verification (we will print only your name and city of residence).

Deadline for letters for consideration for Aug. 8 is 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5. The best way to get those letters to us now is by email, . But we will take traditional letters, as well.

If you would like to connect with reporter Carter Jones on this topic, call 218-844-1491 or email .

Letter redux

Speaking of letters to the editor, because of operator error (otherwise known as “my fault”), we published a letter that was poorly formatted, and might have changed the meaning and the spirit that was intended.

For that, I regret the error, and will republish the letter (with minor edits to time references) so that it can be read in the format that was intended.


Thanks Dad

Friday, July 26, we hosted the 35th Annual Tuffy Nelson Golf Classic benefiting important causes and charities.

Every year the tournament causes me to reflect on conversations that my dad, Kenny, and I have had over the years. One of those conversations I will never forget took place a few years ago when my dad shared with me just how difficult it had been launching one of our businesses. In fact, he was told multiple times by multiple people that he should strongly consider packing it in, dissolving the business and taking a salesperson’s position with another company.

Thankfully he chose to stick with it and he and many strong people he surrounded himself with were able to turn the corner and, well, the rest is history. I think it’s safe to say that things might look a bit different around here had he packed it in.

Today, Perham has a ton of outstanding leadership and I like to believe my dad’s work ethic and “never give up” attitude helped inspire others as much as they inspired me.

-- Charlie Nelson / KLN Family Brands

There are many big projects planned for Perham. Just like starting a new business, they will require hard work, commitment and teamwork to pull off. Our dad and his wife, Kim, along with many other dedicated residents and organizations who love and believe in this community are doing their best to bring them to life.

It’s because of the day in and day out efforts of the entire community that we believe Perham’s future is so bright. The Tuffy Nelson Golf Classic was started by our dad to honor his father and raise a few dollars to fight cancer. That’s why both our grandpa and our dad were in our thoughts when we teed it up Friday.


It’s also why we thought this 35th annual tourney was a good time to say “Thanks Dad.”

Charlie and Megan Nelson

Tina and Chase Rasmussen


What To Read Next
"Life is short, ends in a moment, and we don’t think much about it some days. ... It’s a scenic highway, and we should keep it that way, go a bit slower, and enjoy life."
Leadership takes honest reflection and thinking about the needs of others, Jenny Schlecht writes. With that in mind, do we have the right leaders to get a new farm bill passed by Sept. 30?
"Church worship now competes with everything from professional sports to kids activities to household chores. ... we can either have a frank conversation about what church can be, or we can continue to watch the pews empty in cherished houses of worship across the country."
When Katie Pinke directed her daughter to a beef expert in preparation for her speech meet, it made her think about the need for trusted ag sources of information.