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5/4/05 Draft VI

Purpose The Michigan ORV program is managed as an important part of the mission of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conserve, protect and provide for public use and enjoyment Michigan’s natural resources for present and future generations of citizens and visitors. The specific mandate for this plan is contained in MCL 324.81123. It states that the DNR “shall ….. develop a comprehensive plan for the management of ORV use of areas, routes and trails maintained by or under the jurisdiction of the DNR or local unit of government…The plan shall, as a minimum, set forth the following methods and timetable:

  • (a)

    The inventorying, by appropriate means, of all areas, forest roads and forest trails used by or suitable for use by ORVs

  • (b)

    The identification and evaluation of the suitability of areas, forest roads and forest trails to sustain ORV use

  • (c)

    The designation of areas, forest roads, and forest trails for ORV use, including use by persons with disabilities

  • (d)

    The development of resource management plans to maintain areas, forest roads, or forest trails and to restore or reconstruct damaged areas, forest roads, or forest trails. The plans shall include consideration of the social, economic, and environmental impact of ORV use.”

Besides meeting these minimum mandates, this plan also:

  • (a)

    Provides a legislative and planning history of the Michigan ORV program and links it the DNR’s core mission

  • (b)

    Provides an overview of the current ORV program

  • (c)

    Reviews ORV use and user trends

  • (d)

    Summarizes public input from workshops, public information meetings and written comments about ORV issues and management

  • (e)

    Recommends specific actions to promote environmental integrity related to ORV use, better meet demand for ORV riding opportunity, improve ORV rider safety, enhance community and statewide economic development, increase effectiveness of ORV enforcement and minimize social conflict Legislative and Planning History of Michigan’s ORV Program

Legal Definition of an ORV and Types of ORVs MCL 324.81101 (m) defines an ORV as “a motor driven off-road vehicle capable of cross-country travel without benefit of a road or trail, on or immediately over land, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain. ORV includes, but is not limited to, a multi-track or multi-wheel drive vehicle, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), a motorcycle or related 2-wheel, 3-wheel, or 4-wheel vehicle, an amphibious machine, a ground effect air cushion vehicle, or other means of transportation deriving motive power from a source other than muscle or wind.” This does not include registered snowmobiles, farm vehicles used for farming, a vehicle used for military, fire, emergency, or law enforcement purposes, vehicles owned by energy producers or utilities and used to maintain their facilities or on their easements, logging vehicles used in logging or registered aircraft.


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