I know this probably isnt the right forum for this, but we all know that it will get the most views here...and this is a MAJOR problem.
I just received an email from Steve Walker, who is the President of the Drummond Island Offroad Club. This is concerning serious illegal 4x4 use on Drummond Island out in the Maxton Plains. I have no idea who was apart of this, but I hope that they know that this is the sort of behavior that will get 4x4's removed from the island, from the DNR and locals alike.
Pat Hallfrisch, the DNR Forrest Unit Manager for the Eastern Upper Peninsula, has asked if I would forward this letter and the attached pictures to those of you I've included ..... Hoping you will help spread the word on the various forums how important it is that as a user group, (Full Sized 4x4's) we all stay away from the Maxton Plains... This type of damage shown in the photos is the quickest way I know of to Ban all full sized ORV's from Drummond Island... In over 20 years of wheeling this island,, I have never seen this kind of total disregard for the environment. Please help spread the word that if this type of damage continues, everyone can count on extremely focused efforts by the island residents and environmentalists to close the island to full size rides
President, Drummond Island Off-Road Club
HERE IS THE DNR EMAIL
The attached images were taken by our Wildlife Biologist just a few short days ago and the scenes depicted make it difficult for land managers to defend the legitimate use of ORVs. What makes these pictures truly sad is that they were taken on the Maxton Plains of Drummond Island where the land is unusually delicate, there are many rare plant species AND the area is nowhere near any of our ORV trails. Some are even on private property.
Over the span of many years I have witnessed countless well organized and managed ORV events. There have also been numerous public projects that you folks have put together or participated in on the island in conjunction with your family oriented events. These have ranged from picking up trash along the trails and below the cliff at Marble Head to removing old car bodies on state land to holding raffles and donating the proceeds to replace island fire and ambulance equipment. I also know there has been support provided to scouting, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and to the local Lions Club by Off Roaders. Along with the good deeds associated with your events it is common knowledge that you have made it know to participants and members of your clubs that the Maxton Plains are a unique and fragile ecosystem, a real treasure, so I am confident that no members of your organizations would indulge in the sort of mis-behavior depicted in the photos. If all of these good things are being done why did I send the imagery? Quite simply, we need help and I feel you folks, being long standing and respected members of the ORV community, might be in position to provide it.
Next time a newsletter goes out from your organization(s) would you please emphasize again that trail use is not a problem but off trail use is? Could you emphasize the we have close to 60 miles of back roads on the Island open to quads and full sized vehicles that are there for the enjoyment of legitimate, law abiding users? Word of mouth is good too. your member might be able to convince others who are not part of organized groups to clean up their act. Reminding your members to let us know if they notice illegal activity on the Maxton would really help too. If their cell phones don't work over there they can get descriptions, license numbers, date and time, etc. maybe even a photo or two, and we will do what we can from there.
As you all know I am always open to ideas that might help curb the activity of those who make legal users look bad. No need to give the anti's ammunition in any attempt to close down all trails on the island because a few people are damaging a truly unique, globally rare, ecosystem.
Ideas or suggestions on how to make things better should be sent to me by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
or call me at 906-635-6161. Thinking out of the box is certainly encouraged. If any of you have contact with other Michigan off road enthusiasts not associated with your groups please feel free to pass on my request for input.
If we need to all sit down and brainstorm either over coffee at the Bear Track or formally at the town hall I am open to that too. Thanks, Pat
This is a serious issue guys, and this is the type of stuff the DNR uses against us, especially on one of the only places in Michigan that is fun to wheel. This could possibily lead to trail closures and a dislike of fullsize 4x4's on the island. The Maxton Plains are a protected area, and have been that way for many many years. Many people enjoy going out there just for nature....and then they see this. It isnt good for our public image