For those of you who are rather new to the politics of ORVing in Michigan, let me state for the record that under our current 16.25 ORV sticker fee's, that [for YEARS now ] there has been FAR TOO much abuse and mismanagement of these current 16.25 ORV sticker funds that MUST be addressed BEFORE the legislature should request even a one cent increase in ORV sticker fee's.
Currently, little more than half of YOUR ORV dollars go to trail maintenance..When a Grant Sponsor agree's to take on a trail, this Grant Sponsor is suppose to follow TRAIL SPEC GUIDLINES outlined in their trail maintenance manual. For example, the manual indicates that there is suppose to be the orange triangular confidence markers spaced at EVERY 0.1 mile intervals..So esentially, there should be 10 confidence trail markers for every mile of ORV trail in Michigan.
Tell me something ORV riders?
*When's the last time YOU rode a trail that was PROPERLY marked with confidence markers properly spaced? Yet, the DNR continue to PAY out funding for this service from YOUR ORV dollars. We ORV user's have complained for YEARS now that many of our trails are outside of trail spec guidelines, but yet, the DNR continue to pay grant sponsors $$ from YOUR ORV sticker monies.
*How many times have YOU or a friend rode a part of Michigans Designated ORV trail system that was not properly marked, come to a UNMARKED Y on the trail, only to pick the WRONG trailway of this Y and have a LEO waiting on the OTHER side of this trailway to issue YOU a citation for riding where you are not suppose to be?This is NOT YOUR fault and YOU should not have to pay a citation for this BUT it happens ALL THE TIME..INSTEAD of issuing citations to the innocent ORV riders and CHASING them AWAY from ORV riding in Michigan, WHY are we not FIXING and ADDRESSING this issue by installing the PROPER SIGNAGE? NOW THE LEGISLATURE REQUESTS AN INCREASE IN ORV $$ BEFORE WE/THEY ADDRESS/CORRECT THIS ABUSE OF FUNDING AND MISMANAGEMENT!
TRAIL CLEARANCE STANDARDS
Trails/Routes should be cleared of brush, branches, and obstructions within dimensions according to the following guidlines..Remove tree's,brush, and bushes flush with the ground level or below. Do NOT leave exposed stumps.Remove branches flush with the trunk or main branch so as not to leave projecting pickets.
MOTORCYCLE TRAILS*are to be cleared to 24 inches width at ground level and 40 inches at handlebar level up to 8ft.
ATV TRAILS* are to be cleared to 50 inches width up to 8 feet high.
ORV ROUTES* are to be cleared to 72 inches width up to 8 feet high.
Very few ORV trails in Michigan are within the above trail maintenance standards. We still have FAR too many trails that have tree branches smacking us up against our helmets and body, far too many trails that are improperly marked and the DNR still pays these folks out of YOUR current 16.25 ORV sticker fee's,YET, LEGISLATION WANTS MORE OF YOUR ORV DOLLARS TO SPEND ON EVEN MORE ABUSE AND MISMANAGEMENT
ORV SAFETY EDUCATION
This is a JOKE at BEST! Michigan mandates that all ORV operators under the age of 16 MUST go thru a COMPREHENSIVE ORV safety education course and be under the direct visual supervision of an adult when operating.
Lets refer to 324.81129 [ 8 ]
THE DEPARTMENT SHALL IMPLEMENT A COMPREHENSIVE ORV INFORMATION, SAFETY EDUCATION, AND TRAINING PROGRAM THAT SHALL INCLUDE THE TRAINING OF OPERATORS AND THE PREPARATION AND DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION AND SAFETY ADVICE TO THE PUBLIC. THE PROGRAM SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE TRAINING OF YOUTHFUL OPERATORS AND FOR THE ISSUANCE OF ORV SAFETY CERTIFICATES TO THOSE WHO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE TRAINING PROVIDIED UNDER THE PROGRAM AND MAY INCLUDE SEPERATE INSTRUCTION FOR EACH TYPE OF ORV.
What a freaking JOKE this is..There is NOTHING ''comprehensive'' about the DNRs ORV safety Education course and I beleive it violates section [ 8 ] of 329.81129...Far too many of the instructors hired under the DNR's Administrastion are PATHETIC and most of these instructors dont even own a ATV/Dirt Bike.Most of these guys were hired on the mere fact that they wear a LEO badge of some type and have NOT been properly trained [ if at all? ] to Instruct a ORV safety course. HOWEVER, its a HUGE CASH COW for many of the cops who were hired under the DNRs Adminstration to instruct a ORV safety class. Law enforcement instructors are allowed to SUCK 20 bucks per student from the ORV safety education portion of YOUR current 16.25 ORV sticker fee's..Wayne County Sheriff Dept reported that for Fiscal Year 2008, that they trained a total of 2476 kids and they did this with only doing 37 classes.. Thats 67 kids in EVERY ORV safety class and at 20 bucks per kid, thats an AMAZING 1340.00 per class taught that comes out of YOUR current 16.25 ORV sticker fee's to teach a safety course that I beleive violates the State Statue of 324.81129  ..I PERSONALLY reported this violation to Joel Sheltrowns office on 3-24-09 with a written statement of the violation, and to date, not a single word from him or his staff regarding this issue.If we cant get our own legislatures and Reps to look into a issue as important as our kids own ORV safety and improperly taught classes/instructors, HOW are we as ORV user groups suppose to TRUST them when they come to us for more $$?
The law that allows a kid to operate a Dirt Bike [ ORV ] at ANY age on Michigans designated trails but only allows a kid 12 or older to operate an ATV ,is FAR TOO outdated [ 1991 law ] and also needs to be updated and amended.
Folks, this is the SAME committee that is writting the Bill to INCREASE your ORV sticker fee's WITHOUT addressing ANY of the issues I have outlined above.
bradymsu might paint a pretty picture to some of you uneducated folks and lead you to beleive that the DNR NEED this increase in ORV sticker dollars for future improvements and maintenance within our ORV sport, WITHOUT telling you the entire story about how the current mismanagment of spending YOUR current ORV $$ has been WASTED/ABUSED and MISMANAGED by the DNR for YEARS now.
I dont think there is an ORVer in Michigan that would say a damn thing about this 30.50 ORV sticker IF our current mismanagment issues were addressed and corrected first.But just like most politicians, the REAL story is only painted on ONE SIDE!