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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Off-roaders object to 115% fee increase

Check this out.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a...WS05/202190539
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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The increase won't bother me. What will bother the living shit out of me, however, is the continual shutdowns of more and more ORV'able areas in the Lower Penninsula. I don't truly understand where all this money that is supposed to be spent on ORV friendly property is going. Furthermore, they need to spend less focus on grooming snowmobile trails (which can't be used in "bad winters"), and more focus on trails that can be used by motor vehicles year round.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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The increase won't bother me. What will bother the living shit out of me, however, is the continual shutdowns of more and more ORV'able areas in the Lower Penninsula. I don't truly understand where all this money that is supposed to be spent on ORV friendly property is going. Furthermore, they need to spend less focus on grooming snowmobile trails (which can't be used in "bad winters"), and more focus on trails that can be used by motor vehicles year round.
If you don't understand it, take a few minutes to chat with phittie and he can explain every penny to you. It sucks that the fees must go up but if we want to keep what we have open, it needs to be done.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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If you don't understand it, take a few minutes to chat with phittie and he can explain every penny to you. It sucks that the fees must go up but if we want to keep what we have open, it needs to be done.
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Land use can be a tough subject, but there has not been an increase in a long time. With the cost of everything going up this is to be expected.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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I support throwing money at an ineffective solution too.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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So long as it goes to good use, I spend that on my dog park pass each year lol. When was the last time the price was raised like 15 years ago? 35$ is like 10 gallons of gas, over the course of year for anyone who goes Offroad, it really isnt much...
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Old February 20th, 2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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This increase has been in the works for a while now. The ORV program has a stand-alone budget that was decoupled from the general fund a long way back. During the years leading up to 2005, the program generated a surplus. About 2006-ish the DNR was instructed to spend down the surplus by adding additional miles to the system, so for the last 4 or 5 years we have been spending more from the fund without increasing the money coming in. We would have to check with Trail Fanatic to get the most up to date information (he sits on the ORVAW, a subgroup of MSTAC), but when I worked with the DNR financial planning workgroup a couple of years back the estimate was that the ORV fund would be broke by 2012 (not enough coming in to cover expenses). Incidently, if you had left it up to the members of the planning group the trail permit increase would have been higher - our list of needs/wants/desires would have run the fee closer to $40/yr but no one wanted to go back to their group (there were representatives from 4x4, ATV and cycle groups) and tell them the fee was going from $16 to $40. There was some proposed legislation to increase the fees to around $30 in early 2010 that GLFWDA and other groups supported, but it died before the elections.

The income from the fund gets spent as follows:

50% Trail maintenance and improvement
31.25% Enforcement
12.5% Restoration
3.125% Admin
3.125% Discretionary, either trails or law enforcement

DNR is a government agency - as such I can guarantee you there is some horse-trading that is done by department heads, and expenditures that are found to be at least partially related to ORV so they justify the expense out of the ORV budget. There have also been accusations that law enforcement grants to local government grants are not used as the ORV community would like, but I do not have any direct information on that to pass along.

The ORV program has done some good stuff lately - funded rocks at both The Mounds and St Helen MSA for example. The education program has been revised to include both UTV and 4x4 topics. The DNR has also added a lot of miles to the system over the last couple of years, many that may or may not be of value to 4x4 users - I'll let you form your own opinion about the value of converting flat, sandy snowmobile trails to ORV routes.

Increasing ORV fees (or not increasing them) does not have much to do with whether two tracks/trails/forest roads etc that are not part of the system are closed. We (GLFWDA) continue to work with our DNR contacts and others as needed to make sure that where we can we get 4x4 miles added to the system, including some that we have seen closed recently.


**Cliff Notes - if you enjoy using any part of the ORV system that is funded by our ORV trail permits, you need to embrace the increased fees when they go up.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by madscience View Post
The increase won't bother me. What will bother the living shit out of me, however, is the continual shutdowns of more and more ORV'able areas in the Lower Penninsula. I don't truly understand where all this money that is supposed to be spent on ORV friendly property is going. Furthermore, they need to spend less focus on grooming snowmobile trails (which can't be used in "bad winters"), and more focus on trails that can be used by motor vehicles year round.
The money for grooming comes from the purchase of snowmobile permits and should not be used for different seasons. Different seasons and different sports should require specific permits to properly allocated the funds so that the amount of permits purchased for each sport dictate where the money is spent.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #9
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The money for grooming comes from the purchase of snowmobile permits and should not be used for different seasons. Different seasons and different sports should require specific permits to properly allocated the funds so that the amount of permits purchased for each sport dictate where the money is spent.
Not to confuse the issue, but to offer some more information...

One of the topics still being debated by DNR and all of the interested parties is the maintenance for dual use trails. Not so much the timing, because our ORV grants specify a time period each year where we are responsible for maintenance, the the snowmobile guys have the same language for their season. At a recent meeting, though, the DNR were trying to figure out how to coordinate money between the two funds so that a) we do not sepnd the same money more than once b) the trails are maintained for all users and c) sharing costs where appropriate. The snowm obile clubs are seeing an increase in their costs to groom the trails before the season begins, because ORVs are much harder on the trails than a snowmobile that is usually running on frozen ground with an insulating layer of snow. Illegal ORV use on snowmobile trails is also a problem in some areas, causing summer damage where there really is not an ORV grant in place to fix it.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by madscience View Post
The increase won't bother me. What will bother the living shit out of me, however, is the continual shutdowns of more and more ORV'able areas in the Lower Penninsula. I don't truly understand where all this money that is supposed to be spent on ORV friendly property is going. Furthermore, they need to spend less focus on grooming snowmobile trails (which can't be used in "bad winters"), and more focus on trails that can be used by motor vehicles year round.
Amen. The trails need to be usable by street-driven 4x4 vehicles of standard dimension and that needs to be the priority in design, maintenance (or intentional lack thereof), and development. If they are also usable for toys, great, but trails for toys should not be the priority as presently seems to be the case.

Some of us want to get out in the woods to explore, camp, hike, take photographs, and do other mature and sensible things using our 4x4 vehicle as a base of operations. Yet the vast majority of mileage is designed for people riding on atvs, utvs, bikes, snowmobiles and other noisy toys. I'm tired of it, quite honestly. People shouldn't have to buy single-purpose toys and expensive vehicles to tow them about with in order to be able to venture off of pavement.

The continued indulgence of this toy-based outdoor recreation attitude needs to change. If this means increased user fees for those of us with full-size vehicles, so be it. I'd gladly pay more to have more access to trails and to see far, far fewer toys (and the sort of people who like to ride around on them) out in the woods.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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We are long overdue for an increase in the ORV permits. I think Snyder's proposal is a bit high though. I think something in the $25 to $30 range is more reasonable and easier to swallow.

ORV Advisory Workgroup...http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7...522---,00.html

The next meeting is March 7th.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:30 PM   #12
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Amen. Yet the vast majority of mileage is designed for people riding on atvs, utvs, bikes, snowmobiles and other noisy toys. .
That is because these are the people who are required to buy a permit which pays for the development and maintenance of the trails and other costs of their programs. State licensed full size 4X4's do not need an ORV permit to use the routes (with the exception of Drummond Island). The snowmobile program is separate from the ORV program. However some ORV funds are spent on the grooming of dual purpose (ORV/Snowmobile) trails just prior to the snowmobiling season.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 02:36 PM   #13
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I had no problem with the fee increase until the signs were posted here that basically said the trail closings had been funded by the orv program. So with even more money for "trail maintenance", how many more areas are going to be allowed to "return to a natural state"?
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Old February 28th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #14
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Most ordinary folks who enjoy occasional ORVing in this State
dont have a CLUE as to where their 16.25 ORV sticker fee's are going.Here is a little education. From every 16.25 ORV sticker that is sold, here is the
approximate breakdown,

53% goes to Trail Maintenance [ non-profit clubs & Associations ]
12.5% goes for Damage restoration
31% goes to Law enforcement
1 dollar goes towards ORV safety education
3% Administrative

I have personally been involved in ORV Board meetings since 1999. I completely understand that most of the 200k or so folks we have in Michigan who purchase a 16.25 ORV sticker, do NOT attend ORV Board meetings or their Legislators in Lansing and therefore do not understand the POLITICAL end of our sport. Im OK with that. Not everyone has the time it takes to dedicate themselves to this part.

With that stated, why does darn near every ORV Board meeting have someone complaining about the poor condition of our designated trail system and asking ''where's our money going''? WHY am I getting lost?

These complaints are not new and have been going on since at least 1999. I'll tell you WHY, because their is very little ''ACCOUNTABILITY'' coming from those that are responsible for the content of the program, being the DNR!

When a grant sponsor AGREE's to perform trail maintenance, they have ''trail
spec guidelines'' that they agreed to adhere by. These guidelines include
trimming the tree's so operators dont get smacked up side their bodies with
overlying trailhead branches while riding, and the proper placement of ORV trail markers every 1-10th of a mile, so folks dont get LOST.

If the above issues were being addressed & CORRECTED, than WHY are operators ALWAYS complaining about both these issues!

You better believe there are those that want the uninformed/uneducated ORVer to ''believe'' our trails are in this condition because we dont have the proper amount of funding to support the system and we haven;t had a increase in ORV sticker fee's since 1996, however, coming from someone who rides about 1500 miles a year on his ATV, these same maintenance complaints have been around and un-addressed since at least 1999.

Just a few years ago, the DNR had a SURPLUS of ORV funds to the tune of about 4 million bucks. Where did this surplus go?

Simple put, the DNR is RESPONSIBLE to make sure those they pay with OUR ORV dollars & within the ORV Grant program are doing their jobs within specified guidelines. I will tell you with a great deal of confidence, there has been very little accountability within this program. The end result is you wind-up riding ORV trails that are not within trail spec guidelines. WASTE.

Moreover, many other area's of the program, like ORV safety education, has also been abused and mis-funded too, all under the watch of the DNR.

I have DNR reports from FY 2008 that show law enforcement agencies averaging 66 youth PER CLASS, while ORV safety grant funds are paying out 20.00 per student from our current 16.25 ORV sticker fee's. That amounts to $1320.00 per class for a ordinary ''street officer''. Many, who have not even been properly trained to instruct such a class, but were certified under the DNR's watch on the merits of just their badge. There is no way any ORV safety instructor dumps 66 kids per class and has the kids best interest at hand. Simple put, this turned into one hell of a big CASH COW for some of those involved in law enforcement.

Finally in 2011, the DNR run a Instructors Academy with DNR personnel in charge of running it, who in my opinion, do not posses the proper teaching credentials to run this academy but rather we'll ''learn as we go attitude''

I was personally taught to teach ORV safety by a professional institution. I know and understand what one should look like. What I witnessed in this instructors academy last July 2011, was far from PRO. Yet the money to pay these teachers,comes from the sale of ORV stickers.

Those who generally support the fee increase for ORV stickers are usually those that have not been around the political end of our sport or those that stand to gain the most by a fee increase, like a few of those from the CCC.

Lew Shuler [ CCC ] told the Detroit Free Press Reporter that my comments regarding the poor maintenance condition of our trails,are no longer valid & Michigan has the best maintained trails in the Country. Some Non Profit clubs like the CCC rake in over 260k a year in trail maintenance funds from the current 16.25 ORV sticker.Forest Mineral / Fire Management of the DNR has a report of 485k they used in ORV dollars for FY 2008.

Is it really that difficult to see why many of the NON-PROFITS & some others within the DNR , support this increase in sticker fee's, while at the same time, completely IGNORE the misuse and abuse that's been occuring [ for years ] within the ORV program? If my boss come to me and told me he was going to DOUBLE and than triple the rate his/her customers had to pay for a particular service they offered, and as a result of this fee increase, there's a good chance that my paycheck would also receive a huge increase, do you think im not going to SUPPORT this increase? Lets get real here.The time to take off the blinders,is WAY overdue.

Its not that I wont support a fee increase, however, along with this fee
increase, I want a ''checks & balance'' guarantee that finally holds the DNR
ACCOUNTABLE for the years of mis-manangement within the ORV Program, instead of the ''GIVE ME THE MONEY'' and I'll show you what you get LATER

We should demand full transparency in DNR's financial picture. Until they publicly post their financial picture in a format the average person can understand, and show they are properly spending their funding and ALL of their funding sources, I am NOT supporting any increase in ORV fee's.

We also need some law changes to the program that are very old and outdated before this fee increase occurs. How about a change to a 21 year old/outdated law that FINALLY allows your kid under the age of 12, the SAME priviledge to ride his 4 wheeler that someone else on a dirt bike has been able to do forever.This law is senseless.

Simple put, the time has come where we STOP raising user fee's to account for the deceit, misuse of funds and corruption that stems from the lack of
accountability within the program.

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Old March 1st, 2012, 05:32 PM   #15
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I support throwing money at an ineffective solution too.
It's certainly working for your vehicle build.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 12:28 PM   #16
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It's as effective as our Gov. Sad.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 10:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOPWOP View Post
Most ordinary folks who enjoy occasional ORVing in this State
dont have a CLUE as to where their 16.25 ORV sticker fee's are going.Here is a little education. From every 16.25 ORV sticker that is sold, here is the
approximate breakdown,

53% goes to Trail Maintenance [ non-profit clubs & Associations ]
12.5% goes for Damage restoration
31% goes to Law enforcement
1 dollar goes towards ORV safety education
3% Administrative

I have personally been involved in ORV Board meetings since 1999. I completely understand that most of the 200k or so folks we have in Michigan who purchase a 16.25 ORV sticker, do NOT attend ORV Board meetings or their Legislators in Lansing and therefore do not understand the POLITICAL end of our sport. Im OK with that. Not everyone has the time it takes to dedicate themselves to this part.

With that stated, why does darn near every ORV Board meeting have someone complaining about the poor condition of our designated trail system and asking ''where's our money going''? WHY am I getting lost?

These complaints are not new and have been going on since at least 1999. I'll tell you WHY, because their is very little ''ACCOUNTABILITY'' coming from those that are responsible for the content of the program, being the DNR!

When a grant sponsor AGREE's to perform trail maintenance, they have ''trail
spec guidelines'' that they agreed to adhere by. These guidelines include
trimming the tree's so operators dont get smacked up side their bodies with
overlying trailhead branches while riding, and the proper placement of ORV trail markers every 1-10th of a mile, so folks dont get LOST.

If the above issues were being addressed & CORRECTED, than WHY are operators ALWAYS complaining about both these issues!

You better believe there are those that want the uninformed/uneducated ORVer to ''believe'' our trails are in this condition because we dont have the proper amount of funding to support the system and we haven;t had a increase in ORV sticker fee's since 1996, however, coming from someone who rides about 1500 miles a year on his ATV, these same maintenance complaints have been around and un-addressed since at least 1999.

Just a few years ago, the DNR had a SURPLUS of ORV funds to the tune of about 4 million bucks. Where did this surplus go?

Simple put, the DNR is RESPONSIBLE to make sure those they pay with OUR ORV dollars & within the ORV Grant program are doing their jobs within specified guidelines. I will tell you with a great deal of confidence, there has been very little accountability within this program. The end result is you wind-up riding ORV trails that are not within trail spec guidelines. WASTE.

Moreover, many other area's of the program, like ORV safety education, has also been abused and mis-funded too, all under the watch of the DNR.

I have DNR reports from FY 2008 that show law enforcement agencies averaging 66 youth PER CLASS, while ORV safety grant funds are paying out 20.00 per student from our current 16.25 ORV sticker fee's. That amounts to $1320.00 per class for a ordinary ''street officer''. Many, who have not even been properly trained to instruct such a class, but were certified under the DNR's watch on the merits of just their badge. There is no way any ORV safety instructor dumps 66 kids per class and has the kids best interest at hand. Simple put, this turned into one hell of a big CASH COW for some of those involved in law enforcement.

Finally in 2011, the DNR run a Instructors Academy with DNR personnel in charge of running it, who in my opinion, do not posses the proper teaching credentials to run this academy but rather we'll ''learn as we go attitude''

I was personally taught to teach ORV safety by a professional institution. I know and understand what one should look like. What I witnessed in this instructors academy last July 2011, was far from PRO. Yet the money to pay these teachers,comes from the sale of ORV stickers.

Those who generally support the fee increase for ORV stickers are usually those that have not been around the political end of our sport or those that stand to gain the most by a fee increase, like a few of those from the CCC.

Lew Shuler [ CCC ] told the Detroit Free Press Reporter that my comments regarding the poor maintenance condition of our trails,are no longer valid & Michigan has the best maintained trails in the Country. Some Non Profit clubs like the CCC rake in over 260k a year in trail maintenance funds from the current 16.25 ORV sticker.Forest Mineral / Fire Management of the DNR has a report of 485k they used in ORV dollars for FY 2008.

Is it really that difficult to see why many of the NON-PROFITS & some others within the DNR , support this increase in sticker fee's, while at the same time, completely IGNORE the misuse and abuse that's been occuring [ for years ] within the ORV program? If my boss come to me and told me he was going to DOUBLE and than triple the rate his/her customers had to pay for a particular service they offered, and as a result of this fee increase, there's a good chance that my paycheck would also receive a huge increase, do you think im not going to SUPPORT this increase? Lets get real here.The time to take off the blinders,is WAY overdue.

Its not that I wont support a fee increase, however, along with this fee
increase, I want a ''checks & balance'' guarantee that finally holds the DNR
ACCOUNTABLE for the years of mis-manangement within the ORV Program, instead of the ''GIVE ME THE MONEY'' and I'll show you what you get LATER

We should demand full transparency in DNR's financial picture. Until they publicly post their financial picture in a format the average person can understand, and show they are properly spending their funding and ALL of their funding sources, I am NOT supporting any increase in ORV fee's.

We also need some law changes to the program that are very old and outdated before this fee increase occurs. How about a change to a 21 year old/outdated law that FINALLY allows your kid under the age of 12, the SAME priviledge to ride his 4 wheeler that someone else on a dirt bike has been able to do forever.This law is senseless.

Simple put, the time has come where we STOP raising user fee's to account for the deceit, misuse of funds and corruption that stems from the lack of
accountability within the program.
WOW! That is quite frustrating. Thank you for all the info.
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Old March 13th, 2012, 12:21 PM   #18
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That is because these are the people who are required to buy a permit which pays for the development and maintenance of the trails and other costs of their programs. State licensed full size 4X4's do not need an ORV permit to use the routes (with the exception of Drummond Island). The snowmobile program is separate from the ORV program. However some ORV funds are spent on the grooming of dual purpose (ORV/Snowmobile) trails just prior to the snowmobiling season.
ORV permit is also required for Silver Lake, Mounds and St Helen scramble area for full size vehicles. So yes we are kind of forced in to buying them even though we are not allowed to go on ORV Trails
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Old March 14th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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When is this rate increase supposed to happen?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #20
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When is this rate increase supposed to happen?
This fee increase is not a gaureentee. It still has to go through the legislature and get approved. With all the opposition im reading in the Detroit Free Press,the Flint Journal and a host of other assorted ORV forums, most folks do NOT want this increase.
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