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Old November 13th, 2005, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default Report from the ORV advisory meeting in Michigan this month.

This comes from "ironman", the president of GLFWDA which can be found at
http://glfwda.org

-------------

Once again there was nothing for the fullsize crowd in the meet of the meeting.

A lot of time was wasted on issues not really related to core mission of the advisory board, which I was lead to believe prior to the meeting that this would not be the case.

We as grant sponsors used to get the grant apps. for review prior to our ORV monies getting alocated, this is no longer the case. Last night we didnt even get copies of the 2006 grant releases and chairman Rainey only asked a few questions regarding money not given out. I would like some explanation about monies that are going out!


Chairman Rainey is also pushing for an increase in our ORV sticker fee to $25.50 by 2008. This would increase the amount going to ORV saftey education for the youth and add 25% more trail. Trail is 50" wide, therefore leaving us paying top dollar for an ORV sticker and recieving nothing from it as we cant squeeze down a 50" trail. Screwed again

There has also been some legislation put forth to widen the 50"trail to 60" for the new breed of buggies that are selling briskly. The Yamaha Rhino being of that type has its owners yearning for the same experience as the quad and bike crowd. This has been met with great opposition from the ATV and bike people and just last week this bit of legislation was taken off the house floor.

These folks want a place to ride and the routes would be a good place, if the routes were not designed as shortcuts for the 50" trail. We need to be onboard in making the routes a destination and or a loop type of trail. This could benefit us wider users all around.

Also the Gladwin trail and route on the North side of M61 will remain closed, this is very disturbing considering it is the first rail system off I 75 coming from downstate. Making it the most used as well, good job keeping it closed DNR
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Old November 13th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #2
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I can say I would support getting the 25% more trails as anything rideable, but I would hope the state will make it all route, that way they get every user covered and the majority will have a place to drive or ride.

figure that there is 3100 miles of trail now, so you talking about quite a bit of trails
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Old November 14th, 2005, 04:52 PM   #3
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how come there isnt a seperate sticker for atv's seems to me that since most of the money helps them they have thier own trails and thier own definition of what they are that they would. since they have the majority of the trails that trucks cant use it just seems like they are takeing our money for no reason.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #4
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everyone has said that the "grouping" is a bunch of crap. did you know the same sticker that goes on my ATV or your truck goes an a golf cart , motorcycle over 51cc's, a hovercraft, swamp buggy or argo, even a go kart is in the discription, because of the massive amount of restrictions on this deffenition. if you read the law you may not operate in streams rivers swamp boggs or quagmires. the only legal places to operate a hovercraft are open water or frozen water. the trails would destroy anyone who tried to operate on there. as for bigger ORVs they should all be made to street legal specs so as to avoid the technicalitys of being on forest roads without a S.O.S plate. its bugger of place to be interested in off roading since the state has such a strangle hold.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #5
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This is my review of the meeting. Reposted from HERE

Attendees: For the first time in quite a while all the board positions were filled. There also seemed to be more DNR staff people there than I remember being there in the past. Hopefully this is a indication that the DNR is starting to take these meetings more seriously. I had gotten the impression in the past that they didn't.

ORV plan revision: This if working it's way through the various state agencies. Expect another 30 day comment period in the March-April time frame.

Education: They finally seem to be working out the details of the ORV education program and making it avalible to people. It's not the "hands on" type of program that many people wanted but it's probably better than nothing. Hands on training is avalible but at an extra cost.

Forest Certification: This would seem to be something that we're just stuck with and will have to learn to deal with. I need to do some more research into this to determine just what it means to off roading.

Gladwin trail: The north and middle loops are closed at this time due to the trails eing too wet. Apperently there are many places with standing water. The DNR wants to close the north loop permanently. They showed a bunch of pictures of flooded trials and roads, but someone else pointed out that soem of the pictures were of public roads that are not part of the ORV system and that some of the pictures were taken during a period of unsually high flooding last year. Some of the ORV route was "closed" but by "closed" they mean they took down the ORV route signs at which point it reverts back to a forest road, which you can drive down until you need 4 wheel drive, then it's illegal. I'm sure there will be much more discussion about this area in the months to come. It being the closest ORV trail to Detroit it gets the more usage.

House Bill 4831: This bill included the addition of 25% more trails. Since it specifically said " trails" I don't think we'll see any additional "route" from this.

House Bill 5343: This is the so called "Argo bill" since it was introduced specifically with Argos in mind. From what we've been told this bill is all but dead. The problem with this bill is that it would require the spending of large amount of money to benifit reletivly few users.

All in all this was a pretty typical ORV advisory board meeting. It was pretty much all about bikes and quads. I think that the "full size" ORV users are still not making it clear just what we want. I think that the only chance we have to get anything different than what we have that we need to do a better job of standing up and telling them what we want. I don't think it's enough to just be there at het meeting, I think we need more people standing up and making our feelings known. I also think we need to start making specific suggestions as to what we'd like to see changed rather than just telling them that we don't like what we have.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 07:50 AM   #6
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well, where do we go to voice our feelings? and maybe 4x4 forms should start a thread on that they fullsize owners feel.
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Old November 21st, 2005, 06:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
at which point it reverts back to a forest road, which you can drive down until you need 4 wheel drive, then it's illegal.
I am curious about this. how does it applie to a vehicle that is all wheel drive? would that mean I can never drive on a forest road?
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Old November 21st, 2005, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti
I am curious about this. how does it applie to a vehicle that is all wheel drive? would that mean I can never drive on a forest road?
Maybe we should all sell our trucks, and purchase WRX's
:tonka:
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti
I am curious about this. how does it applie to a vehicle that is all wheel drive? would that mean I can never drive on a forest road?

This is the definition of a forest road:

Quote:
(e) "Forest road" means a hard surfaced road, gravel or dirt road, or other route capable of travel by a 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel conventional vehicle designed for highway use, except an interstate, state, or county highway.
The common interpration of this is that is you need 4 wheel drive to get down it then it does not qualify as a "forest road" and is not legal to drive down.
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Old December 24th, 2005, 09:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmenn
This is the definition of a forest road:



The common interpration of this is that is you need 4 wheel drive to get down it then it does not qualify as a "forest road" and is not legal to drive down.
Ok, so what about the "seasonal" roads that are unmaintained in the winter months?

I have seen road signs stating "seasonal road, no winter maintenance"......does this mean that if in the middle of winter, i drive down this road and get stuck, that it would be illegal to engage 4-wheel drive to get unstuck?

Maybe i'm missing something here
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Old December 24th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeworx
Ok, so what about the "seasonal" roads that are unmaintained in the winter months?

I have seen road signs stating "seasonal road, no winter maintenance"......does this mean that if in the middle of winter, i drive down this road and get stuck, that it would be illegal to engage 4-wheel drive to get unstuck?

Maybe i'm missing something here

I think this means if you get stuck and the state police come to rescue you in the middle of winter you get a ticket.
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Old December 25th, 2005, 11:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti
I think this means if you get stuck and the state police come to rescue you in the middle of winter you get a ticket.
A seasonal road is like any other state, county or local road in the state. The seasonal designations are there so that no ones expects maintainance. There is also no question of liability if the road is not in a safe condition. No, you will not get a ticket if you get stuck on a seasonal road and you will not get a ticket if you use 4 wheel drive on said seasonal road.

Forest roads are a different animal. They exist as part of the state and national forest systems. Because of this they fall under the rules of the DNR and the feds.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteC
A seasonal road is like any other state, county or local road in the state. The seasonal designations are there so that no ones expects maintainance. There is also no question of liability if the road is not in a safe condition. No, you will not get a ticket if you get stuck on a seasonal road and you will not get a ticket if you use 4 wheel drive on said seasonal road.

Forest roads are a different animal. They exist as part of the state and national forest systems. Because of this they fall under the rules of the DNR and the feds.
That sounds right to me, but where in michigan law is this stated?
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Old December 27th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #14
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Learn something new everyday. Seasonal roads are closed to public travel during the months of November through April.

Seasonal County Road System: Act 51 of 1951 - Section 247.655a

Don't feel like looking up penalties.

Interesting though, cuts out a lot of hunting area access, unless the purposes of hunting are exempt. That search is for another day. This also causes a re-thinking of winter off road runs as a lot of roads up north that get you into forest road areas are posted as seasonal roads. Never have had a problem on seasonal roads in the winter, even when running across Police, Sheriff and DNR personel.

At least now I know for sure.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 11:43 PM   #15
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It seems to me that the whole ORV system needs an overhaul, and the DNR ORV advisory is not the place where it is going to get done. I attended the fall meeting, but was not left with the feeling that it was ever going to make a difference. The snowmobile crowd is large and they spend money, so they get heard in Lansing. To a lesser extent the ATV/MX folks have the same effect. We need to find ways to people's wallets so they listen to us. We need to make sure to ask our candidates for state office if they support an expanded ORV system for >50" vehicles. Invite your local state Rep or Senator to speak at your next club meeting.

I am not trying to slight the efforts of those of you who regularly attend the advisory board meetings - but it seemed to me the meetings are not the place where we are going to get the laws changed.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 05:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
I am not trying to slight the efforts of those of you who regularly attend the advisory board meetings - but it seemed to me the meetings are not the place where we are going to get the laws changed.
I can say without a doubt you are right. the Advisory board barely listens to the wants and needs of the ORV community. the DNR that sit on the board are very smug about their positions and they act as though we are intruding in "Thier Forests".
if things are to change it will take something mandated by our reps in lansing
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Old January 5th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #17
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The DNR can suck my back they closed off a place called "the gravel pit" that every one would ride at it was just a big open pit off of highway 33 east of gaylord and the reason for closeing it was erosion what the hell its sand!!! the wind blows and it erodes away there is nothing there but sand gravel and leftover black top so I just ride where ever and if the DNR comes just run away I'm on a bike and there in a truck haha
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