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Old December 30th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #61
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I have discovered that bears do not shit in the woods, they shit in the middle of 2 tracks.
Right next to the moose.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 01:22 PM   #62
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To 4x4 on snow machine trails - N O

1) MI law still applies: lower peninsula trails are open ONLY if explicitly posted as such (i.e. ORV route / ORV scramble area) and upper peninsula is open unless posted closed. Federal land has it's own confusion, so consult motor vehicle use documents at applicable NFS region office

2) Many snow machine trails are on private land and access is only granted during the winter on the specified path.

I'm a pretty savvy and aware Jeeper/ATVer and have seen or heard of nothing from the DNR allowing ORV use on snow machine trails. The changes last year raised ORV permit costs (PA 75), and clarified road shoulder use and processes (PA 117, 118),and cleaned up a few loose ends - including elimination of the "permit for over x people/vehicles" rule (PA 119).

Unless you're on a now machine with a current permit, snow machine trails are off-limits.

Like many around here, I'm pretty passionate about correcting misinformation of this type. Every violation - intentional or inadvertant - hurts the sport and limits our access.
Where did you locate this information?
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 05:27 PM   #63
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General omnipotence.

And I read a lot.

Here's a nice summary from mrycar at atvoffroad.net:

This year has been a busy year for the enhancement of ORV riding within Michigan. The legislature has been busy implement laws to further enhance our riding. For clarity sake we are listing the new laws here in order to help you understand what they mean to us the riders of Michigan.

(PA 75 of 2013) - Vehicles; off-road; license fee for off-road vehicles; revise. Amends sec. 81116 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.81116). - Effective April 1, 2014 -This law increases the ORV permit fees and implements a two fee system.

The base fee of $26.25 entitles the user to ride ORV's on private property and open county roads, it does not permit riders to operate their vehicle on trails or routes.

An additional $10.00 fee is collected in order to operate your vehicle on trails, making the total fee to ride on trails $36.25.

(PA 117 of 2013) -Highways; local; off-road vehicle shoulder access on state trunk line highways; allow under certain circumstances. Amends sec. 81131 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.81131). - Effective September 25, 2013 - This law opens state highways and defines the conditions by which they can be opened.


Conditions to open a state high way include:
Serving as a connector between routes and trails
Access to food, hotels, gas, services, or tourist attractions
Connector between two segments of the same county road
Bridge connecting two sections


(PA 118 of 2013) - Natural resources; other; counties eligible to authorize off-road vehicles on road shoulders; extend to entire state and eliminate sunset. Amends sec. 81131 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.81131). - Effective September 25, 2013 - This law permits all counties and municipalities to open county roads and eliminates the previous sunset that would have come in effect for previously open counties.

Counties and Municipalities board of commissioners will still need to vote on whether to open their roads, so the law doesn't immediately open the roads. We will inform readers as soon as a new county or municipality opens.

(PA 0119 of 2013) -Natural resources; other; operation of off-road vehicles on certain state highways; provide for. Amends secs. 81101, 81115, 81122, 81129, 81133 & 81147 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.81101 et seq.) & repeals secs. 81102 & 81128 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.81102 & 324.8112. - September 25, 2013 - This law permits certain state highways to be opened for ORV usage; establishes a free ORV riding day; eliminates the permit requirement for large groups just trail riding.



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Old January 22nd, 2014, 07:43 PM   #64
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ummmmm.....

Michigan.gov site dated 2013

Forest and State Road Issues
On state forest lands, the current definition of a forest road classifies all snowmobile
trails, including new abandoned rail-trail acquisitions, as “forest roads.” As such, all
snowmobile trails are open to all licensed vehicles, year round.


On this site
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dn...n_425377_7.pdf
Page 54

I read this as if it is a marked snowmobile trail ON STATE LAND (not private) that it is legal for a SOS licensed vehicle. Now, I am not promoting that we should, but where we need to reach access to things like the motorsport area or connect from one trail to another, WE ARE LEGAL.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:32 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
ummmmm.....

Michigan.gov site dated 2013

Forest and State Road Issues
On state forest lands, the current definition of a forest road classifies all snowmobile
trails, including new abandoned rail-trail acquisitions, as “forest roads.” As such, all
snowmobile trails are open to all licensed vehicles, year round.


On this site
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dn...n_425377_7.pdf
Page 54

I read this as if it is a marked snowmobile trail ON STATE LAND (not private) that it is legal for a SOS licensed vehicle. Now, I am not promoting that we should, but where we need to reach access to things like the motorsport area or connect from one trail to another, WE ARE LEGAL.
I've been working on this issue for a couple of weeks...there are DNR directives that states ORVs my not be operated on any DNR managed snowmobile except when part of a designated ORV route...there in lies the problem, I cannot find a law that prohibits use on snowmobile trails, only are DNR directive
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:33 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
ummmmm.....

Michigan.gov site dated 2013

Forest and State Road Issues
On state forest lands, the current definition of a forest road classifies all snowmobile
trails, including new abandoned rail-trail acquisitions, as “forest roads.” As such, all
snowmobile trails are open to all licensed vehicles, year round.


On this site
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dn...n_425377_7.pdf
Page 54

I read this as if it is a marked snowmobile trail ON STATE LAND (not private) that it is legal for a SOS licensed vehicle. Now, I am not promoting that we should, but where we need to reach access to things like the motorsport area or connect from one trail to another, WE ARE LEGAL.
Additionally, if the snowmobile trail is combined with another trail/rode/route then it is considered a mixed traffic trail. Any traffic that is normally allowed on the section of, would still be allowed even if it is groomed. There are large sections of the snowmobile trail that is open only to snowmobile traffic, but that would be on trails that would otherwise be closed to other traffic any other time of the year as well.

I was at the Michigan Trails Summit yesterday and the DNR confirmed this (I talked with both the land managers from the UP and the northern lower).
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:36 PM   #67
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I had always thought it fell into either an ORV route, or actual forest road, seasonal road or county/state road since we are legal on them 12 months per year anyway. I was really surprised when I found the above.

I have also found minutes from ORV meetings where it mentions shared trails are not restricted by the calendar. My trouble with directors orders is finding them to know where we are and are not legal.
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 08:38 PM   #68
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Additionally, if the snowmobile trail is combined with another trail/rode/route then it is considered a mixed traffic trail. Any traffic that is normally allowed on the section of, would still be allowed even if it is groomed. There are large sections of the snowmobile trail that is open only to snowmobile traffic, but that would be on trails that would otherwise be closed to other traffic any other time of the year as well.

I was at the Michigan Trails Summit yesterday and the DNR confirmed this (I talked with both the land managers from the UP and the northern lower).
I don't understand this Rob. It's conflictive with what is written above, which is a direct cut/paste. The above states that "all" snowmobile trails are forest roads. They can't pick and choose when it is and is not.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 07:52 AM   #69
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I don't understand this Rob. It's conflictive with what is written above, which is a direct cut/paste. The above states that "all" snowmobile trails are forest roads. They can't pick and choose when it is and is not.
The snowmobile trails consist of a lot of leased, private and federal lands in addition to state lands. Those areas that are not state lands are only open to snowmobile traffic (unless it was a county road or other road that is open to auto traffic). What you cut/pasted only would apply to state forest lands.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:30 PM   #70
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There is so much bad info on this subject, it's not funny!! FIRST there is some private property sections, THEY ARE NOT 50% of the trail! They are very important part, but many reroutes in recent years have removed those sections.
Everyone wants no one else in THIER woods/trails!! That's BS plain and simple, there is only so much ground, if everyone could get along, all RIDERS would be better off.
This info from MSA IS JUST WRONG!!! But proves the fact that S.O.S. vehicles are legal on forest and county rds.
October 2013

Legislation Update:

MSA Proposes Change to the Snowmobile Law

MSA is proposing several additions and changes to the Michigan Snowmobile Law. We are also working with our legislators on legislation that would see the new Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) established into the Snowmobile Law.

Currently, the Governor’s Order that created the Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council is due to sunset next year. The Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) is a subcommittee of this group and will cease to exist unless it is established into the Snowmobile Law.

Defining a Snowmobile

First, we are asking for an addition to the definitions section of the Snowmobile Law.

The proposed new section would read:

"Snowmobile" means any motor-driven vehicle designed for travel primarily on snow or ice of a type that utilizes sled-type runners or skis, does not exceed 48" width at the ski spindles, an endless belt tread, or any combination of these or other similar means of contact with the surface upon which it is operated, but is not a vehicle that must be registered under the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.1 to 257.923.

Our reasoning is simple. Many different types of off road units are now being built that have been outfitted with skis and tracks that exceed 4 feet in width. The snowmobile trails in Michigan are groomed at a minimum of eight feet. We have many private property owners who will not let our clubs groom any more than the 8 feet in width. So a five-foot six-inch wide side-by- side with skis on the front and tracks on the back is hazardous to snowmobiling’s health and well being. Add the bold language!

Keeping Wheeled Vehicles Off Our Trails

MSA would like to see something in the Snowmobile Law to keep unwanted wheeled vehicles off the marked groomed snowmobile trails. The snowmobile program spends millions each year of the snowmobile fees to keep the snowmobile trails smooth and safe for snowmobile use in the winter. Many of these trails are on forest roads, seasonal roads, and private property trails. With the advent of ATVs, UTVs, (side-by-side vehicles) jeeps, mudders, fat tire bicycles, you name it and they are on the trails. Some do extensive damage to the groomed surface endangering snowmobilers with sudden rutted trails. Another surprise to us also endangering our wellbeing is the new fad, fat tire cycling. (The instinctive part of driving will have us avoid the truck, ATV, bicycle, and go off the trail)

The proposed new section would read:

State sponsored groomed snowmobile trails are for snowmobile use only between Dec. 1 and April 1. All other vehicles are banned except emergency vehicles and designated maintenance vehicles. Violators would be subject to yet to be determined fines.

MSA is also seeking some changes to the Snowmobile Law regarding snowmobile rental operations, their duties and required liability insurance.

Finally, within the Snowmobile Law, MSA is proposing that all fines throughout the Snowmobile Law be looked at and increased where needed.

Seeking SAW Established by Law

MSA is also proposing legislation that would see the new Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) established into the Snowmobile Law. The old Snowmobile Advisory Committee (SAC) was abolished by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The new SAW committee was established as a sub group under the Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council (MSTAC). Although the SAW has a great relationship now with the DNR, the MSTAC group will sunset and be disbanded in January 2014, thus eliminating all the sub groups.

Proposed legislation would read:

The Michigan Snowmobile Workgroup (SAW) is created in the department. The committee shall consist of seven individuals appointed by the director for two-year terms. The members of the existing SAW serving on June 1, 2013, shall serve on the committee until the expiration of their terms on the SAW. The director shall appoint one member of the committee as chairperson and that member shall serve as chairperson at the pleasure of the director. The membership of the committee shall consist of the following:

(a) Three persons representing the Michigan snowmobile association, one from each of the department's three regions.

(b) Two person representing trail sponsors; one from region 1 and one from region 2.

(c) Two persons representing at-large trail users.

(2) The workgroup shall meet four times each year and at the call of the committee chairperson as needed.

(3) The Michigan Snowmobile Workgroup shall advise the department regarding all of the following:

(a) The development of criteria for safety education and training programs.

(b) The allocation of funds from the recreational snowmobile trail improvement subaccount.

(c) The promulgation of rules affecting snowmobile use in this state.

(d) The development of annual updates to the comprehensive plan for implementing a statewide recreational and snowmobile trails system.

(e) Implementation of the recommendations made by snowmobile users regarding trails that should be designated for snowmobile use.

(f) The development of a comprehensive plan for the use of snowmobiles in this state.

(4) As used in this section, "workgroup" means the Michigan Snowmobile Workgroup.

None of these legislative requests have been introduced in the state House or Senate. MSA is working with the leadership of the legislature and expect them to be introduced sometime during the next month
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:32 PM   #71
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Yes 50% of the snowmobile system in on private land, that is fact. The grooming and maintenance is not paid 100% by snowmobilers. 2% of 14% of the total gas tax collected in the state goes towards grooming and upkeep of the snow trails. So anyone that buys gas in MI pays for those trails and their upkeep. 100% of the cost to purchase drags and tractors to do the grooming is paid for by the state. The state also pays the club $5.15 (close to that) per mile that they groom.

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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:43 PM   #72
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So all the stuff you just posted about the saw is now old news? Your article says it will be dissolved in jan 2014.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:56 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuffMan View Post
To 4x4 on snow machine trails - N O

1) MI law still applies: lower peninsula trails are open ONLY if explicitly posted as such (i.e. ORV route / ORV scramble area) and upper peninsula is open unless posted closed. Federal land has it's own confusion, so consult motor vehicle use documents at applicable NFS region office

2) Many snow machine trails are on private land and access is only granted during the winter on the specified path.

I'm a pretty savvy and aware Jeeper/ATVer and have seen or heard of nothing from the DNR allowing ORV use on snow machine trails. The changes last year raised ORV permit costs (PA 75), and clarified road shoulder use and processes (PA 117, 118),and cleaned up a few loose ends - including elimination of the "permit for over x people/vehicles" rule (PA 119).

Unless you're on a now machine with a current permit, snow machine trails are off-limits.

Like many around here, I'm pretty passionate about correcting misinformation of this type. Every violation - intentional or inadvertant - hurts the sport and limits our access.
I did not read this whole thread. But I was under the impression based on many land use conversations with the DNR in the UP that the same laws apply to the UP as to the LP. The only difference is that many of the trails are considered "roads" so it would appear that you are trail riding when you are really road riding.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 01:57 PM   #74
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50% of the Snowmobile trail is on land NOT CONTROLLED BY THE DNR!!!! That includes private/leased lands, county rds., federals lands, MDOT, and a few others.
Bottom line the SNOWTRAIL is NOT 50% on Private land!
MSA didn't get a sponsor that I know of.
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(xfx...=mcl-324-72110, It appears the council was made law again with no sunset in Dec.

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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:12 PM   #75
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well shit, someone better tell the DNR that they are wrong. And all those trails, even on private land is under direct control of the DNR

Quote:
Michigan is known by snowmobilers nationwide for its unique combination of abundant and dependable snow, exciting terrain and extensive trail network.
More than 6,200 miles of designated snowmobile trails are located throughout the state of Michigan forests, three national forests and many acres of privately owned lands. Michigan is one of only three states that offer a large system of interconnected snowmobile trails. Approximately 50% of the snowmobile trail system is located on Private lands; 20% Federal; 25% State; and 5% Other Public.
More than 150 grooming tractors are used by more than 65 grant program sponsors to groom the 6,200-mile trail system.
http://michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153...824---,00.html

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Old January 23rd, 2014, 03:15 PM   #76
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seems to me signman is passing bogus info, seems to me he needs to get his facts straight before spouting off
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 06:23 PM   #77
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I have been know to do that a time or two, Seams as they(DNR) spent 40,000$ plus of OUR Orv/Snowmobile funds on a sign study in 2000. Part of that study was ownership/control of the miles. So if you chose to believe the dept go ahead, if you ride the sled trails in the summer and know the rds and who controls them it doesn't take long to know the numbers. I have only did trail maint since 91 so I don't know anything.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 08:03 PM   #78
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Okay, site said study
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