House TNR Committee Members, Staff & other interested parties:
The ownership and use of ORVs is one of the fastest growing segments of outdoor recreation in Michigan. Following passage of PA 240 of 2008 which allows local governments to open local road shoulders to ORVs, ORV use in Michigan grew by 14% in 2009. Of the 43 northern Michigan counties included in PA 240, 39 have adopted ordinances opening some or all of their road shoulders to ORVs. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Espinoza and signed into law last year expanded PA 240 into seven additional Thumb and central Michigan counties.
Over the past year and a half, I have solicited public comment from the Upper Peninsula, northern Lower Michigan and user groups state-wide to determine what adjustments are needed to Public Act 240. The responses provided a number of suggestions for improvements to the law as well as changes needed to trail system funding, safety education and enforcement. Through the winter and spring, I have worked with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Michigan Motorized Recreation Council to develop a series of bills to address these needs. These bills were introduced yesterday as the 2010 OHV Comprehensive Package.
HB 6159 (Lindberg): Registration
HB 6160 (Sheltrown): Permits
HB 6161 (W. Schmidt): Safety Training
HB 6162 (Caul): PA 240 Changes
A detailed summary of each bill is attached. Highlights of the package include:
Changing the current term "ORV" to "OHV"
Establishing OHV registration and identification similar to snowmobiles
Creating an OHV registration fee to fund local OHV related law enforcement
Changing the current OHV license to a permit similar to snowmobiles
Expanding PA 240 (OHVs on county roads) state-wide & preserving local control
Revising the OHV Safety Training Process
Increasing minimum penalties for certain OHV offenses
Due to the size of the package, the House TNR Committee will consider the bills over a three week period rather than the typical two weeks. We tentatively plan to take testimony on the bills at the May 18 and May 25 committee meetings with votes on a number of amendments and the bills themselves at the June 1 committee meeting. Please be aware that we anticipate each of these committee meetings to be significantly longer than our recent meetings.
As always, please contact me with any questions you may have or amendments you would like to see considered. The House clerks should have the four bills on-line later today. Paper copies are available in my office. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone you believe may be interested in this legislation.
Joel Sheltrown, Chair
House Tourism, Outdoor Recreation
and Natural Resources Committee
First pubic information is scheduled for 6:00 pm, Friday, May 28th, Days Inn, Grayling. Others are being planned.