5/4/05 Draft VI
1993 UP Task Force Report and Subsequent NRC Action The UP Task Force recommended that UP state forest lands remain open to ORV use on forest roads and the designated trail, route and area system in the UP. In 1994, the NRC stated the following general policy:
The NRC strongly supports the existing ORV regulations in the Lower Peninsula and reaffirms state forest policy that ORVs be used only on designated forest roads (routes), trails and use areas.
The NRC also finds that implementation of this ORV policy for state forests in the UP be deferred for three years from the sunset day (1/1/95) in PA 17 of 1991 to January 1998
The NRC authorizes the director of the DNR to establish a committee to assess any future ORV damage in the UP during this deferred period. The committee will recommend to the Director whether or not ORV damage poses a significant threat to the region’s resources, thus whether the Lower Peninsula policy should be implemented in the UP or whether further deferral is appropriate. This should be coordinated with US Forest Service and forest products industry representatives to work toward a consistent ORV policy across the UP.
If the NRC determines there is a significant threat to the region’s resources, the Lower Peninsula policy can be immediately implemented and specific areas where damage has occurred closed to ORV use.
Public Act 58 of 1995 This legislation removed the sunset clause for the ORV Trail Improvement Fund, closed unless posted open provisions in the Lower Peninsula and the ORV Safety Education Fund. It also raised the price of an annual ORV license from $10 to $16.25 per vehicle. In addition, it reformulated how the ORV Trail Improvement Fund should be distributed through grants to governmental agencies (including the DNR) and non-profits. The new formula was:
(a) Not less than 50% revenues for trail, area, route construction, maintenance, acquisition
Not less than 31.25% for trail, route and area enforcement
Not less than 12.5% for ORV damage restoration on public lands
Not more than 3.125% for administration
Remainder (3.125%) for trails, enforcement or restoration as needed
Governor’s Executive Order 1995-9 Through this executive order, Governor Engler abolished the Off-Road Vehicle Trails Advisory Committee (and a number of other advisory committees) and transferred all statutory authorities to the Natural Resources Commission on July 17, 1995. In October 1995, the NRC re-established an ORV Advisory Board of seven members and in December clarified the new board’s roles, responsibilities and terms. This remains the authority for the current State ORV Advisory Board.