5/4/05 Draft VI
Forest Service (e.g. USDA Forest Service Manual for Forest Service Signs and Posters EM-7100-15 US Forest Service Engineering Staff Report).
Rationale is that signage needs to be consistent across motorized trail systems (snowmobile and ORV) in Michigan to increase understanding of trail resources, rules governing their use and promote trail user safety. In addition, this will promote cost efficiency in the purchase of signs, as well as better protect maintenance cooperators from liability. It also needs to be seamless as a rider passes from one jurisdiction (state forest) to another (national forest).
Fiscal implications are significant. This will include replacement of a variety of existing signage with common, durable, visible, internationally recognized signs.
Have no net loss of ORV trail opportunity (quality and quantity) due to forest vegetation management.
Rationale is that at trail maintenance cooperator meetings and at public information meetings, concerns were raised that trail mileage and quality (technical challenge) was degraded by timber harvest management. Trails were often straightened, thus shortening them, reducing their technical challenge and increasing speeds. This in turn was perceived to compromise rider safety and decrease rider satisfaction.
To have no net loss, trail mileage should be accurately determined prior to harvest. This can occur during operations inventory, in the forest treatment proposal or during the timber sale process. Final trail condition can be part of the sale contract, requiring vigilance by FMFM unit personnel in contract enforcement. To maintain trail quality and quantity, managers may need to employ a variety of approaches. These include re-creation of the trail in its original footprint or cooperation with trail maintenance grant sponsors to relocate the trail in or near the compartment in a manner compatible with other land management objectives and trail purposes. Updates to maps should be submitted upon completion of the harvest and positioning of the trail post-harvest. In addition, travel management and regulatory signage should reflect any changes in trail alignment with appropriate adjustment in the trail sign plan.
Fiscal implications are minimal if future trail condition is considered pre- harvest. Involvement of DNR field personnel is critical to meeting this objective.
Maintain the current approach of “closed unless posted open” in the NLP and allow DNR licensed ORVs to continue to use UP state forest roads without posting open.
Rationale is that based on information presented at the 2004 public information meetings, most riders want all state forest roads all open for DNR licensed ORV use. However, forest roads in the NLP do not universally provide a safe environment for DNR licensed ORV use. Further they rarely provide technical riding opportunities and many are intensively used for car and truck traffic, creating a safety hazard for all vehicle operators. Further, there is substantial opportunity for increased