5/4/05 Draft VI
Fiscal implications are minimal to the state.
Annually monitor the condition of the designated ORV system using the trail assessment instrument used in the 2004 system assessment.
Rationale is that to properly safeguard the environment and promote rider safety, annual monitoring of trail and trailside conditions is necessary. This should also provide a useful data set to evaluate trends regarding areas of concern such as deteriorating trail conditions, conflicts and illegal uses.
Fiscal implications with three full time trail analysts should not be significant as trail assessments should be part of evaluating trail maintenance by cooperators and inventorying for near and on-trail environmental damage. Some additional expense will be annually generated by the cost of data entry and analysis which previously has only been reported at approximately five year intervals. However, this is more than off-set by the ability to best direct resources to areas of greatest need and being able to quickly identify trends and concerns in trail maintenance and the need for damage restoration. This process will also help the DNR to meet its legal obligation to develop and implement resource management plans and monitor trail/route conditions and grant sponsor performance.
Every five years DNR should conduct an assessment of ORV use and users including concerns of ORV licensees, data regarding the economic impact of ORV use and suggestions to improve Michigan’s ORV program.
Rationale is that regular assessment of ORV program participants will improve the ability of the DNR to meet ORV license holder needs, assess shifts in use that may have social, economic and environmental impacts and gauge rider reaction to management alternatives.
Fiscal implications are moderate. Use of the ORV license list would provide ready access to ORV license holders, allowing a representative sample to be selected that provided a valid cross section of ORV license holders with minimal expense.
Increase the maximum rate of trail reimbursement per mile for maintenance cooperators to $154.00 per mile for cycle trail and ATV trail and $89.00 per mile for ORV route. Maintenance standards would remain the same (IC 1990 “ORV Trail Improvement Fund Procedures Manual”, IC 1991 “DNR ORV Trail and Route Maintenance Handbook” and IC 3600 “ORV Trail Maintenance Grant Application Information”) and be strictly enforced.
Rationale is that maintenance cooperators reported their costs as averaging $133.09/mile at the 1997 ORV Trail and Route Maintenance Workshop f they paid labor costs of $6 per worker hour (Lynch and Nelson 1997). However, at that time, most were not paying labor costs and the DNR decided not to include labor costs in the reimbursement rate per mile. Since then, at the 2004 maintenance cooperators workshop, some cooperators reported the need to hire labor and their inability to do so at the current $54 per mile rate for ORV trail. As a result, some had challenges meeting trail maintenance standards. To upgrade trail