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Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:58 AM   #1
phittie1100
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Default DNR invites public review and input on draft Michigan Comprehensive Trails Plan

Press Release
________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 3, 2013

Contact: Donna Stine, 517-241-3774 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014


DNR invites public review and input on
draft Michigan Comprehensive Trails Plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that a draft of the new Michigan Comprehensive Trails Plan for motorized, non-motorized and water trails is available online for public review and comment.

The draft plan can be viewed on the DNR’s Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council webpage and also is available on the DNR's State Parks and Trails and Pathways webpages. Comments can be submitted via an online survey that is posted along with the draft. The DNR will accept comments and feedback on the draft plan through Friday, Jan. 25.

The trails plan addresses the status of Michigan’s motorized, non-motorized and water trails, and will serve as a guidebook in future decision-making on DNR trail-related programs. Michigan’s trails are enjoyed by equestrians, off-road vehicle enthusiasts, snowmobilers, hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers all across the state.

"In offering this draft plan for broad public review, the DNR seeks to get the best possible feedback from the people who most use our extensive trail system and those who would like to enjoy it more," said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson. "Michigan is home to a vast and varied trail system. Our goal is to provide a consistent, quality resource that best meets the needs of the steadily increasing number of trail users.”

Michigan’s extensive trail network – and the outdoor recreation, health and economic benefits it brings to nearby communities – is contributing to Michigan being recognized nationally not only as the Great Lakes State, but also as the Trail State. Michigan’s more than 12,000 miles of trails include over 6,000 miles of snowmobile trails and more than 3,600 miles of off-road vehicle trails. The state’s 2,600-mile rail-trail system is the largest in the nation and continues to grow. Nearly 600 miles of trails are designated equestrian trails, including the 300-mile Shore-to-Shore riding trail. Currently, the Michigan Heritage Water Trails is an initiative connecting communities using navigable waterways with the first designated trail - the River Country Heritage Water Trail - in St. Joseph County.
________________________________________
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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Old January 5th, 2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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With 10 members on the MSTAC committee we have:

2 horse representatives
4 snowmobile representatives
2 non-motorized
2 ORV (motorcycle based exclusively)
0 Full Size

http://content.govdelivery.com/bulle...d/MIDNR-64d76b

Now mind you there are NO full size ORV's represented.
Of the 10, almost half, put exactly ZERO money into the fund in which the trail money primarily comes from.
Snowmobile which has 4 representative speak on behalf of a recreation that consists of maybe if your lucky 3 months worth of riding and users on the system.
The Equine representatives speak on behalf of how many actual users that use ANY trail system out there? How many horses have you come across in the probably combined 100s's+ years of wheeling we represent?
Looking at the 5 year plan for non-motorized trails they cite bicyclist, hikers, cross country skiers, and runners yet there is zero representation. I've seen more bicyclists and hikers than I have horses. pg 10.
Full size ORV's and ATV, Side-by-side users comprise a higher majority of users yet there are exactly ZERO representatives on the council.
Somebody tell me what the hell a 'water trail' is? pg 13. Oh, and then tell me how you define a 'designated trail'? They actually are proposing they do this. And adopting sign standard and get this, yearly trail inspection. Seriously.
And get this, they say it takes $47.00 to maintain each mile of full size ORV route. It takes over $1000.00 a mile to maintain a water route. I wonder if they groom the surface? It must be the hills that they are trying to maintain that is causing the rate per mile to be so high.
It also cost's upward of $200,000 per mile to construct a ORV trail because of all the bridges they have to construct yet horses trail cost through the same area only cost $500.00 I wonder if they just ignore having to build bridges for them? They do after all weigh as much as ORV. Are they following different rules for crossing streams?
Consider this also, the Snowmobile group spend 9.4 million a year and the ORV only spends 1.6 million. So 1.6 spent on a year round activity and 9.4 spent on a 3 month season. If this were a business you you think it was wise to spend that much money on a sport that is barely 1/4 of the year?
I also thought that nearly half the study (85 pgs) was focused on horse trails.
I also want to know what happened to pgs 39 to 75

Can someone closer to this committee explain to me how this can happen? No one must read this stuff.

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Old January 8th, 2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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The number of ORVAW members is determined by statute.

While the equine segment doesn't appear any more represented in the general population, they have a great deal of disposable income they're willing to donate to help their cause.

Snowmobilers have always understood that membership is the difference between having and not having trails to ride and are willing to donate both their money AND their time to ensure success.

Since the majority of 4x4 users (including those on this site) elect NOT to join GLFWDA (their representative organization regarding 4x4 legal issues in Michigan), they have essentially chosen to ham-stringing their own representatives. While the organization does an AMAZING job with the resources they possess; without additional resources they are unable to sufficiently impact the Legislature. In essence, we don't have a good 4x4 program because 4x4 enthusiasts don't want one enough to actually spend their time and money to achieve it.

??? ALL pages came up when I clicked the MSTAC page's link. ???
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