5/4/05 Draft VI
Michigan. Suggestions included opening the forest road system in the Lower Peninsula to ORV use without designation as in the UP (especially strong suggestion of ATV riders), allow ORVs to travel wherever snowmobiles can, open some or all county road shoulders to ORV use and site additional ORV facilities in southern Michigan where most people live to enhance convenience, not only for Michiganresidents, but also for residents of Ohio and Indiana. A minority, wanted to further restrict ORV opportunity or keep it as it is. Their suggestions included “closed unless posted open” in the UP, not opening county road shoulders to ORV use, better ORV enforcement to catch trespassers on private lands and those riding illegally on Great Lakes beaches and more strict licensing/insurance requirements to operate ORVs.
Beyond those two general orientations there were other important points. A number commented on improving economic benefits of ORV use through tourism. Key suggestions were to improve designated connections from ORV trails/routes/areas to communities with goods and services and acquiring long-term leases for ORV trails/routes on private lands such as those owned by forest products companies. Others advocated for separate trail systems for ATVs, motorcycles and full size vehicles to reduce conflicts and to provide the experiences each group is seeking. Another smaller set of comments was supportive of improvements in managing the designated system including better maps, signage and trail maintenance such as additional grading and re- routing whooped out trails.
A group of those providing written input directly reiterated their support for the positions of the Michigan Cycle Conservation Club regarding the ORV plan update. These positions include additional designated system mileage with additional trailheads and separate trails for different types of ORVs, long distance loop and point-to-point trails to promote tourism, opening forest roads in the Lower Peninsula to ORV use, support for hands-on ORV safety education, no net loss/replacement of trail mileage lost in the system due to a variety of situations such as timber harvest, wet areas, etc., access to ORV generated state gasoline sales tax revenue for ORV programs, improved ORV signage that is compatible between the ORV and snowmobile program, re-route/rest whooped out trail and promote the family values of the ORV use.
ORV Grant Recipient Workshops Below are the summaries of the September 16, 2004 ORV Damage Restoration workshop (held at the Grayling DNR Field Office) and the September 21, 2004 ORV Trail Maintenance workshop (held at the Ralph A. MacMullen Conference Center). All active grant recipients for each program were invited. Attendants at the Restoration workshop included one or more representatives from the US Forest Service, Michigan DNR Forest, Minerals and Fire Management Division, Huron Pines RC and D, Antrim County Conservation District, Michigan ORV Advisory Committee and Michigan United Conservation Clubs. At the Trail Maintenance workshop there were attendees from the Michigan DNR Forest, Minerals and Fire Management Division, US Forest Service, Cycle Conservation Club, Great Lakes 4-Wheel Drive Association, Irons Area Tourist Association, Michigan ORV Advisory Board, Lansing Motorcycle Club, Twin Bay Trail