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5/4/05 Draft VI

handling titling of vehicles. Licensing provided a more significant revenue stream for ORV management and was required for ORVs operated on public lands or frozen waters in Michigan, whether by a resident or visitor to Michigan who had their ORV registered in another state.

Additional impacts of Public Act 17 are:

  • (a)

    Created the restricted ORV Trail Improvement Fund [funded solely by ORV license fees and for use to construct and maintain the designated ORV system, enforce ORV laws and regulations, restore ORV damage on public lands and the DNR to administer the fund]

  • (b)

    Created the restricted ORV Safety Education Fund [funded solely by ORV license fees to develop and deliver ORV safety education to certify those 10- 16 and educate those older and for the Michigan Department of Education to administer]

  • (c)

    Shifted ORV program funding to a grant system administered by the DNR

  • (d)

    Exempted the Upper Peninsula from the state forest “closed unless open policy” pending the report of an Upper Peninsula ORV task force

  • (e)

    Established new exhaust noise emission standards

  • (f)

    Increased penalties for violation of the ORV law

  • (g)

    Created an ORV advisory committee (subsequently repealed and now operated administratively by the DNR as the Michigan ORV Advisory Board)

Actions (a-d) had a sunset date of January 1, 1995. Of the actions, the establishment of a grant system to manage the designated ORV trail system and provide ORV safety education is highly significant. This is one of the two major partnership situations (snowmobiling is the other) where the legislature has turned over significant day-to-day maintenance responsibilities for a major set of state owned natural resource recreation facilities to grantees, most of whom are non-profit organizations representing users. This type and level of privatization is unprecedented in the management of Michigan state parks, state wildlife areas and state water access sites. The only similar program is the management of the state system of designated snowmobile trails, which are also located on state forest lands (as well as on national forests and the private lands of cooperating landowners).

1991-1996 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) The 1991 SCORP (approved by the NRC in 1992) placed a high priority on the full range of Michigan trail opportunities in the Michigan Statewide Trails Initiative, Appendix C of the plan. In particular regarding ORV opportunity, the Trails Initiative cited the Southeast Michigan Off-Road Vehicle Report (DNR 1991) which recommended additional ORV riding opportunities be developed in southeastern Michigan by local units of government and the private sector through grants, land leasing and modifying existing public lands for ORV use. On a statewide basis, the Trails Initiative regarding ORV opportunity stressed the need for additional partnerships with other public land managers and the private sector to enhance trail development, management and ORV safety education. It also noted the on-going need for accurate ORV use and user information.

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