ORV’s Shut Down From Michigan Roadways?
The ORV ordinance issues become even more controversial by a letter from Attorney General Mike Cox’s office to State Representative Joel Sheltrown. Representative Sheltrown has long been an advocate of ORV use on public roadways, with such roadways being “open” in portions of the county in which he resides.
This letter will keep the law scholars talking indefinite as one reads the very first sentence, “response to your letter of inquiry”. No place in the letter is it specified an official ruling or opinion. We have already heard of one judge, considering tossing the letter to the wind, as shabby legal writings.
There are nineteen county’s in Michigan that have some form of favorable ORV ordinance permitting from 100% use by ORV’s, to limited amounts open to ORV travel.
The action by the Attorney Generals office, as we know it, was prompted by complaints of two dissident county road commissions and at least two township Supervisors that got out voted in recent township Board actions in adopting the ordinance.
ORV ordinance adoption goes back to 1985, when one northern Michigan county took such action. As time went on, we have seen all but one county in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula adopt some form of ordinance, the counties of Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Montmorency, Ogemaw and Iosco in the Lower, each have an ordinance. At present, action is being considered in Gladwin and Lake Counties, with interest shown by others.
We expect this issue to become even more controversial over the next few days, and without doubt, right on into the fall elections for State Representative and Senators. With an estimated 250,000 plus registered ORV owners in Michigan, the final outcome should prove to be quite interesting. It is near certain, new legislation will be proposed very soon.
It has long been our position, that ORV use on county roadways offers additional forms of recreation opportunity to the user. In addition, ORV use on county roadways offers substantial economic benefit to northern Michigan communities by way of tourist revenue and job opportunities.
Watch this site for further updates and actions you may take that will influence the final outcome of this issue.
AMA D-14 Off-Road Legislative Director