I had a PM asking about the "wetland impact" issue. Here's my response:
This is an 'unregulated' wetland (less than 5 acres, no flowing water, and not on the Critical Wetlands Inventory) that is located on private property. We used it with written permission of the land owner and the blessing of the local CO. It's an area that has been impacted by use for many, many decades - so our use wasn't anything 'new' to it. The damage was already done many years ago. If the previously mentioned steps hadn't all been taken, it would certainly be illegal. Since I took the time as trail leader to make sure to gain the written permission AND check with the local CO, there wasn't an issue. I don't think that would have been true had I not crossed the T's and dotted the I's.
(Actually, I'd always heard that it was a hole where sceptic trucks used to dump their loads 'back in the day', lol)
Think about it like the Drummond Island ORV Route where we can now experience water and mud under the same conditions thanks to the hard work of the Drummond Island Off Road Club, Jeep Jamboree and Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association. The wet areas of the ORV Route that were approved was because they met all the same criteria: unregulated wetlands of less than 5 acres, no flowing water, not on the Critical Wetlands Inventory, had seen this type of impact for many, many years already and was approved for use by the Department.
While this particular place hasn't been approved for use by the entire Department, it is well known to the local CO who gave me his blessing for this event as long as we stayed out of the unimpacted area of it (which we did). This is NOT a place that is normally open for use. Permission was granted for this very special event.