I understand you are not trying to be confrontational nor arguementative. You are expressing many of the same concerns and questions that have been debated over and over.
Personally, I believe money talks. Down here, I can show you multiple areas where wetlands have been filled in all in the name of "progress" and "development". I don't agree with it, just stating it the way it is. I frequently explore in northern Canada. The logging in Michigan doesn't even compare to the damage they do up there. They go in and make 4 lane wide roads for miles and miles to get to the latest logging site. And I have seen skidder ruts that have 4" diameter trees growing in them and they still look like they were just made last year. There are 137 windmill going in north of the Soo. You should see the roads that they made for them! But let any of us spin a tire and we are "bad guys". I feel for you and agree with you. That's why we need to fight to keep our land open.
Regarding the Tread Lightly quotes: They don't say "this doesn't apply to Michigan" nor are they discussing laws. They are merely stating the best way to have the lowest impact. If you want to look for contradictions regarding things that are written, you and I could sit down together, spend a week at it and not be done.
Logging in Michigan? Big money dictates special permits. But as I mentioned above, the new forest certification plans are meant to lower this long term impact. It is being pushed by the tree huggers and goes so far as to try to close all human access. Again, it's not just us that are going to be impacted. It is all of the user groups. Hunters, mushroomers, bird watchers, you name it.
A little advise from Ted Nugent: Ted Nugent had a radio talk show down here which focused on hunting laws, access, & stuff. He used to preach that when attending government meetings, don't show up with camo, hunting knives on your belts, etc. No yelling, ranting or argueing. Rather dress well (not in a suit) speak well, be professional, be polite. So, if you guys go to meet the local DNR, please keep that in mind.
Please don't quit and go away. Rather help us to support the sport.