5/4/05 Draft VI
Areas where plant communities are vulnerable to ORV use
Areas of critical wildlife habitat, particularly to endangered or threatened species
Areas of critical soils and slope where severe erosion and sedimentation are likely to occur (e.g. areas adjacent to or in surface waters or wetlands, on steep slopes, etc.)
Areas of geological, historical or archeological importance
Areas of use/user conflict
Areas of outstanding natural or aesthetic features
Suitable for unrestricted ORV activity: (e.g. scramble area)
Areas presently heavily used for motorsports
Areas along the existing Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail
Areas suitable should have a size of 500 – 3,000 acres
Areas with rolling terrain are acceptable where sedimentation would not be a
problem (e) Areas that are forested that can restrict speed and reduce noise
Possibly suitable for designated ORV trail or route:
(a) All other state forest lands not defined by the conditions above
It was anticipated that most ORV trails and routes would be developed on the lands in this category.
Initial Designation Using the above criteria for inventory, identification and evaluation, the DNR over the period 1979-1991 evaluated the state forest system for ORV use potential, within the constraints of:
Protect natural resources and ecosystems
Separate conflicting uses
Promote user safety
Within the (a-c) constraints, provide optimum opportunity for recreation on
state-owned lands by ORV users
In 1990 the DNR designated 1,500 miles of ORV trails (50” wide or less for motorcycles and in some cases ATVs) on state forest land to allow implementation of administrative rules limiting ORV use to the designated system and state forest roads on state-owned land. The Michigan NRC expanded on this designation in May 1991 when they designated 2,721 miles of trails and routes and 1,819 acres of designated ORV use area. No specific trail-by-trail inventory was available of that designation. However, in February 1994, the DNR did conduct an inventory of Michigan’s public ORV facilities (Table 5).
Table 5. Michigan public ORV facility inventory, 1994.