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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #21
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A couple of issues I see. First the revision and increase is long overdue and the increase is 'partially' deserved but they 'did' wrangle some extras in there that were not talked about and at least one that I'm disappointed to not see included.

I find it humorous that the DNR finally is changing the law to OHV. GLFWDA proposed that over 20 years ago when the law was revised to P.A. 451. I guess it takes them 20 years to figure it out.

I had never heard about the additional $20.00 they snuck in there to catch the drunks and those with outstanding warrants. You mentioned it only applies to non-SOS vehicles but not 4X4's. Where do Rhino's, Razors, Gators, and Golf Carts fit into this? Does this mean buggies, 2wd or 4wd, or any vehicle without a SOS plate will be required to have a trail permit. Or is it somehow weight/type based? There needs to be some recognition of the rapidly growing market segment of UTV, RUV's etc.

Unless I missed it, I did not see where they modified the 2WD rule. I'm very disappointed to not see that as it was the very first talking point of what revisions were needed in the new legislation. This will continue to be a tactic employed by DNR officials to 'interpret' their understanding of the law rather than it's intended objective. (which, in the P.A. 451 legislation, was to curtail out and out off road running by Quads. Full size vehicles were unintended or maybe intended casualties of that wording)

Still lacking is a full size vehicle training. Unless it's buried in the details. GLFWDA has been lobbying for this for a long time and while it may not have to be mandatory, it should at least offered. Some training money afforded to this program for full size 4X4's will go a long way in providing a more thorough understanding of why it's really needed. Without recognition, we will continue to be an afterthought in future legislation.
(NOTE: UFWDA has been training USFS personal in the southern districts of the U.S. for a number or years now)

Lastly I'm concerned that with the merging of all the trails programs into one Trail Council, any additional monies that are brought into the system will be diverted to 'other' non-paying groups seeking a sugar daddy to finance their recreational pursuits.

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Old May 17th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #22
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Good questions Jim!
Hopefully this will help a bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
I find it humorous that the DNR finally is changing the law to OHV. GLFWDA proposed that over 20 years ago when the law was revised to P.A. 451. I guess it takes them 20 years to figure it out.
I guess they wanted to prove our suspicions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
I had never heard about the additional $20.00 they snuck in there to catch the drunks and those with outstanding warrants. You mentioned it only applies to non-SOS vehicles but not 4X4's. Where do Rhino's, Razors, Gators, and Golf Carts fit into this? Does this mean buggies, 2wd or 4wd, or any vehicle without a SOS plate will be required to have a trail permit. Or is it somehow weight/type based? There needs to be some recognition of the rapidly growing market segment of UTV, RUV's etc.
This is to cover the expansion of PA240. PA240 is limited to those vehicles 60" wide or less.

This was originally to pay the Sheriff's Assn and CRAM for any extra time they will spend dealing with ORV related issues arising from it (and to keep them from opposing it in Lansing). Since CRAM opposed it anyway, they are now out of the funding side of the Bill and there is only money to be allocated for the Sheriff's and a small amount for the SOS office to set it up and get everything into the LEIN system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
Unless I missed it, I did not see where they modified the 2WD rule. I'm very disappointed to not see that as it was the very first talking point of what revisions were needed in the new legislation. This will continue to be a tactic employed by DNR officials to 'interpret' their understanding of the law rather than it's intended objective. (which, in the P.A. 451 legislation, was to curtail out and out off road running by Quads. Full size vehicles were unintended or maybe intended casualties of that wording)
Ahhh, but it was the first talking point. . . .
And, unfortunately, also the first point shot down in raging flames.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
Still lacking is a full size vehicle training. Unless it's buried in the details. GLFWDA has been lobbying for this for a long time and while it may not have to be mandatory, it should at least offered. Some training money afforded to this program for full size 4X4's will go a long way in providing a more thorough understanding of why it's really needed. Without recognition, we will continue to be an afterthought in future legislation.
(NOTE: UFWDA has been training USFS personal in the southern districts of the U.S. for a number or years now)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail_Fanatic View Post
DNRE Chief Safety instructor shall complete all nationally recognized safety training programs. (INCLUDING UFWDA's 4x4 Awareness course as administered by GLFWDA)
Law Enforcement Division has already taken the 4x4 Awareness Course from GLFWDA. I doubt the DNRE's 4x4 program will be a separate entity from the straddled machines until they begin to see sufficient numbers to warrant it. I'd LOVE to be a fly on the wall the first time a 4x4 comes in to the new class. Keep in mind that the DNRE still will NOT be offering HANDS ON training, strictly classroom. Hands on will be left to the organizations to fulfill.

There will also now be 4x4 and extraction information included in the OHV Guide Book as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
Lastly I'm concerned that with the merging of all the trails programs into one Trail Council, any additional monies that are brought into the system will be diverted to 'other' non-paying groups seeking a sugar daddy to finance their recreational pursuits.
jim-kb8ymf
The new Council was set up by the Governor.
This legislation has nothing to do with it.
It can't be addressed legislatively either, since the Governor would have to sign the passed Bill to make it law.

As for the money, it would be illegal to spend it on anything but OHV stuff. OHV monies are CONSTITUTIONALLY protected (thankfully!).
They CAN'T be spent on anything but OHV activity.
They're covered by the amendment that Michigan's citizens passed a couple of years ago.

Even with that law, I'm with you worrying about the new Trails Board though. It was hard enough to get things done before!

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Old May 18th, 2010, 05:33 AM   #23
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RE the new trails board, if enough issues become overly slanted, maybe for once the other users would band together and fight it. I don't know if legal action could be taken or not because of a biased board..........
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Old May 19th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #24
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Yesterday, GLFWDA, as a member of the MMRC, was asked to testify before the House Tourism & Natural Resources Committee (TNR Com.) about HB6160 and 6161.

It went well. The DNRE is withholding their support until all of the amendments have made it into print. This is key because final review of the Bills found a couple of things missing plus we had made some agreements with the Dept. at our meeting last week. Their support (or at least lack of opposition) is critical to the passage of these Bills. We do not know if we would have enough votes to get them passed if the DNRE uses their political clout against them.

I arrived in Lansing early with a copy of the attached internal Law Enforcement Division Memo (I believe most of you are familiar with it). The memo is dated and GLFWDA is uncertain if the document has been rescinded or is still in use. We have been seeing occasional ticketing (and harassing) of wheelers in contradiction of what the memo indicates.

My intention was to ask Representative Hansen's Assistant, Peter Wills' opinion about how, or even if, to proceed with trying to get it added to one of the Bills during the Amendment process. Pete walked me right into Representative Hansen's office to get his opinion too. So, I explained to them that we had an issue that I had failed to bring up during the crafting of the current Bills. I hadn't even discussed this issue with the MMRC folks yet and that due to my inexperience with the "system" a Bill must pass through, I wanted their opinion on if I should talk with the MMRC and try to get it put in as an Amendment or if the Bills were already too loaded or there were already too many amendments, etc. that it would be problematic.

Well, Mr. Hansen said (words to the effect) "I don't know. Let's go ask Joel". (Representative Sheltrown, Chairman of the House TNR Committee who's office we've been working with to get these crafted). So he walked me up to Representative Sheltrown's office where Joel, Brady (Sheltrown's Assistant who actually took the notes and did all the political errand running to get these Bills crafted) and his other Aides were having their morning meeting together. Hansen had me explain everything again to them. I gave them a copy of the Field Directive. They read it and said that it was only "common sense stuff" and that it was no problem at all to make it an Amendment . . . and so it was; before I even had a chance to run it past the MMRC!

I'll NEVER say that nothing gets done in Lansing again! Maybe not the really big stuff, but that Amendment happened in less than a half an hour!

I then went down to meet the rest of the MMRC in the lobby so that we could go back to Joel's office for our regularly scheduled 10:00am meeting. While sitting in the lobby talking with Lew Shuler (the CCC's MMRC Delegate) and waiting for the rest of the crew, I happened to look at the group next to me - at Pete Hookstra! So I put in a plug for STOPPING all the Wilderness Designations. I also talked about our off-road needs here in Michigan. After all, he just might win the Governor's race (who knows).

OK, Pete leaves and the MMRC Delegates all arrive. I tell them of the morning's happenings up in Hansen's and Sheltrown's offices and describe the content of the Directive (Brady had the only copy I'd brought with me). Lew was the only person to have an objection and that was that if conditions weren't good enough to pass in 2wd then we shouldn't be there for fear of doing damage. My reply was that IF damage were in fact being done, the DNR has the authority to cite persons for creating an erosive condition or damaging a public roadway. The mere use of 4wd doesn't indicate damage - wheel spin does. Also that the proper application of 4wd can reduce wheel spin, thereby being better for the road than traveling it in 2wd. He seemed to accept my response and was silent on the issue the rest of the day.

Back up at Sheltrown's office we reviewed possible opposition to the Bills and ranked their threat level. One of our biggest concerns would be if the USERS complain about a $30.50 sticker price.

We MUST spread the word that:
  • Fees haven't been raised since 1996
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculates that after inflation $16.25 would be near $25 at today's prices
  • The $5.50 difference is to cover:
  • $1 additional for the NEW safety training program (which will now include 4x4 training!)
  • The rest ($4.50) is to maintain the 800 miles of new trails and route being put on the ground (of which Drummond is a portion)
  • We're not asking for pie in the sky. Part of the package is that the DNRE MUST publish all expenditures online for us to read. REAL receipt-based numbers, not the broad categorized type crap they've given us at the Advisory Board meetings. They WILL be held accountable for every penny of it.
We then went to the TNR Com. Meeting and answered questions. Pretty straight forward. The Q&A went well. All seemed happy with the answers they were given. As I mentioned, DNRE is neutral until the amendments are put in place, then they will support if all is as we'd covered in our meeting last week. So far, the only thing they have a problem with is the 75 event number. It's not the number they're unhappy about; it's that we want it legislated and taken out of their control. We'll have to play that one by ear and see what happens.

After the TNR Com Meeting we all went back to Sheltrown's conference room and talked with Brady some more. During conversation, Brady had the bright idea to open all Forest Roads on public lands to all OHVs like is the current situation in the U.P. ALL of the MMRC Delegates chuckled. We told him that if he can get it, GREAT! But we weren't going to hold our breath over it! He didn't understand why the DNRE would object. We laughed. His thought was to give the users more riding for their fee increase. We tried to explain our current political situation with the Department, but don't know if it sank in or not. Another "Wait and see".

Have to be back again next Tuesday for the same thing on HB6159 and 6162 (Today was just HB6160 and 6161).

I'll keep you informed of any progress.



Your humble servant,

Pat B
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DNR LED 4X4 Clarification Letter.pdf (109.3 KB, 42 views)

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Old May 19th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #25
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Pat, on a personal note, I can't thank you enough for what you have done and are still doing. We've had our disagreements but I will stand tall to say that you are doing your best for us all.

Thanks, thanks and thanks again.

Jim
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Old May 19th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #26
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I have been carrying that letter in my glovebox.

Thanks for your time PB!
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Old May 19th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #27
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If you have not yet contacted the folks on the Travel & Natural Resources Committee, please put it on your "to-do" list. So far the majority of the comments the committee members are receiving seem to be aimed at the increased cost of the trail permits. The additional cost is an important issue, but there are a lot of other important parts of these bills too. We are hoping you support these changes, but even if you don't you still need to let the committee members know where you stand so they don't base their votes on the opinions of a vocal minority that will oppose this legislation because they hate anything with a fossil-fuel motor in the State forests.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #28
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I just sent out my email to ask for support.
Thanks Pat
Keep us Posted
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:50 PM   #29
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on it, thanks Pat, and I will have no problem paying $30 for sticker.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #30
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Thank you for the kind words everyone.
Jim and Pat, they mean even more coming from a couple of guys who have "been there and done that"!
I may not always get it right, but my heart is true to the cause.


This Lansing stuff is getting to be FUN!
Land Use does have it's own form of excitement and does get the adrenaline going in it's own way.

There's nothing like sitting in front of your State Government, sweating your ass off, trying not to trip over your own tongue which is as dry as the Sahara while explaining why you actually want to give the DNRE more money, why it's needed, and what it's going to do for the users.

PLEASE, PLEASE,PLEASE help us get the word out that we NEED people to call the Committee and SUPPORT these Bills (6159, 6160, 6161, and 6162).

If we do nothing and don't get them passed, the system will soon deteriorate. Heck, you might as well kiss it goodbye. We are out of surplus money and are NOT taking in enough at $16.25 to maintain the system in its current condition. Just to keep our current level would take an increase to $25. PLUS we have those 800 miles of new stuff to try to pay for.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #31
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Thanks Pat! I'll be putting together my support letter for the Bills. Thanks for posting up all the work and efforts and progress,
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #32
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Thanks for the updates and the work you're doing for us. I'll be sitting down in the next couple of days and writing my letters of support to send out.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #33
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Thanks for all the work on this

I don't know how you guys do it, the short time I spent rallying support for Tellico has me pretty jaded about land use.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #34
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It doesn't even have to be a letter.
A quick phone call will do just fine.

They just need to hear that you want them to "Please support House Bills 6159, 6160, 6161, and 6162".

They need to hear it soon and they need to hear it often!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I have been carrying that letter in my glovebox.

Thanks for your time PB!
I keep a laminated copy handy myself...

Thank you everyone that is making this happen!
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Old May 20th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #36
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Thanks and I sent my email
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Old May 20th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyoo7 View Post
Thanks for the info! I will fire off a couple of emails.
If this passes, when will it start - 2011?
Yes
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Old May 20th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #38
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E-mail sent to each Representative!
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Old May 21st, 2010, 09:23 AM   #39
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Great Job TF!!!!
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Old May 21st, 2010, 10:23 AM   #40
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I sent a short sweet e-mail =
Hello,

I am an educated, hard working, voting tax payer who lives in Michigan. My family and many of my friends support bills = 6159, 6160, 6161, and 6162. Please represent me, my family and friends in Michigan, by helping these bills get passed. I do not want to have to travel to another state to spend my money and enjoy the outdoors.

Thanks,

Of course, I expect someone to give me hard time about poor grammer or something, but I did send it so,

ps I do not really have friends, or work hard, but I lied.

So, just copy paste mine into an e-mail and send it, we need places to do more than web-wheel.
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