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Old December 7th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #1
Trail_Fanatic
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TREMENDOUS NEW OPPORTUNITY! Huron-Manistee NF seeks to create a 4WD Road Route System

Read the link below:

http://www.glfwda.org/forms/letter.pdf

This is the opportunity we've been waiting for!
I've heard complaints for years about how the DNR won't listen to what we want.
I'm sure the DNR will submit comments, but they are NOT the deciding agency for this project!
We stand a VERY REAL chance of getting our first official 4WD Route designated through this project.
If we can make this a successful venture, long term, we can bring it to the DNR in the future and ask them again what it was their 'concerns' were with 4WD trails.

PLEASE!
If you only do one thing to Support The Sport . . .
If you only write one letter in your life . . .

Write Ramona and let her know what you want to see in a FOUR WHEEL DRIVE Trail System!
This letter doesn't specify a time frame for comment but a 30 day comment period is typical.
Comments MUST be rec'd by the NFS by DECEMBER 30th, 2006.

If you know the area they're looking at, please make site specific comments.
If you don't, please let them know what you would like to see in a Michigan OHV Trail System.
See link for ideas: http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthr...n+trail+system

P.S. The NFS defines:
OHV = Off Highway Vehicle (Jeeps, 4x4 trucks, SUVs, etc.)
ORV = Off Road Vehicle (Quads)

Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; December 7th, 2006 at 10:22 PM.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:49 PM   #2
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Can someone good with words whip one up for us to submit? I suck at writing for things i know nothing about, but am fine submitting something someone else writes well for the cause :oD
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Old December 7th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #3
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Sorry, this is one of those instances where originality counts.
Don't worry, poor grammar or improper English won't be frowned upon.
It's more important that they get a LOT of letters.
Go ahead and make it just a short paragraph telling them what you like about 4 wheeling in Michigan, answer the questions in the letter, and voice your support for the designation of an OHV system on the Manistee Forest (Don't worry, we'll work to expand it later).
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Old December 8th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #4
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Awesome Pat! Please, if we all could just take 10 minutes and shoot out a quick response letter, that would really help the cause.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention Pat
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Old December 8th, 2006, 04:45 AM   #5
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http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/hmnf/pages/A...contact_us.htm main page
http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/hmnf/pages/A...o/feedback.htm user email page
the link above might help for those of you who do not wish to use snail mail.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 05:09 AM   #6
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heres the letter I sent, use it as a model to help you

I was forwarded a letter here http://www.glfwda.org/forms/letter.pdf from one of your rangers asking what I would like to see for ORV recreation in the forests you look after. I have long seen the current Forest road system being put into use so as there would be no more destruction of soils & trees. I would think letting ALL the ORV users on the forest roads would be a good thing because of the revenue it would bring to local communities. secondly the user groups that have shown responsability would help to look after the forest and keep up the maintenance to help keep it open. I am a member of many ORV clubs and WE as a whole have no intension of coming there to do damage in the woods. as a matter of fact we ussally haul out what ever we find to make it cleaner than when we found it(kinda makes it like a scavanger hunt). OUR biggest need at this point is make way for 50"+ ORVs, the full size Jeeps & Hummers need room to roam. we as users like to ability to go from place to place, but sometimes its just as fun to do a looping system. I figure the areas your people close because of erosion can be managed with efforts on all our parts. WE as users can throw in some trees & do clean ups when asked if it meens opening up areas for our benifet. I am now perminatly disabled and need the forest roads to ride my 50" ORVs. I prefer it to doing 10 miles of whoops in a trail. I am sure as you get more letters from our users you will find we have the best interest for the forest in mind. we just need to work together to make it nice for everyone.
Thanks for your efforts Dana Smith
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Old December 8th, 2006, 07:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the example, Yetti. We really need to make sure they get a lot of letters with suggestions and support. The NFS has regularly demonstrated that they are more receptive to our needs, wants and desires than the DNR, so we can't waste this opportunity.

Paul - GLFWDA Treasurer

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Old December 8th, 2006, 08:26 AM   #8
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Done!!




I was asked to submit a letter regarding full size off-road vehicles and trails in the State.
My family enjoy's two tracking. Taking the kids out in to the woods to see the beauty this state has to offer that most people don't get to see.

It would be great to be able to go from town to town across the state through the woods. Stop at Bed & Breakfast's for the night, or camping trail side, even hotels.

While "Loops" in certain areas would be great, there should be a trail system connecting the loops, or loops spurring off a main trail with more challenging terrain.

When we go out for trial rides there is usually less then 10 vehicles, and no one I have been out with has shown any disregard to the environment. No one leaves the trail to tromp over trees or meadows. Most people will take the time to clean up any trash they come across.

Working together with groups like the Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association (GLFWDA),I think system of legal trails in this state would offer a much needed boost to local economies.

I know I am not alone when I say,"You have our support in building, cleaning, and maintaining trails in Michigan to keep our sport alive and offer more tourism in the state from the OHV community."

Thank you for your support.

Paul Henk
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Old December 8th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #9
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December 8, 2006


USDA Forest Service
Huron-Manistee National Forest
Jim Thompson, District Ranger
412 Red Apple Road
Manistee, MI 49660


Subject: road route system

Dear Mr. Thompson,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input in the road route system.

Generally, my group would meet locally around 10am and generally drive no more than 20mph taking many stops. Our trips through the woods would last four to eight hours, covering approximately eight to forty miles per trip, depending on the season and the terrain. I have done this about once a month over the past five years.

Although, I do not camp in the woods, many of my friends do, depending on the season.

My groups are from four to 12 vehicles, primarily four-wheel drive jeeps. Sometimes we have had more than 50 jeeps at one time, so we break into four or five smaller groups.

My specific concerns are two-fold. One, I like to enjoy the beauty of the nature. The other is I like the challenge of different terrains and obstacles.

I own property off of M55, and would like to be able to travel forest two-track trails with the confidence I would be legal and not get a ticket. I avoid any destruction of property and stay on the current trails, not making new trails. I am happy to share the trails with hikers, horses, ATVs, motorcycles and snow mobiles.

Bottom line is I support a Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle designated trail system in the Huron-Manistee National Forest for recreational purposes.


Sincerely,


Chris Carr
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Old December 8th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #10
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Letter has been e-mailed
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Old December 9th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #11
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Thanks folks . . .

Address those letters to Ramona, she's the person putting it all together. Jim will see that she gets them too though.

I spoke with her, and from our conversations, I'd have to say that this is a very real opportunity to get our first meaningful 4x4 loop designated in the state.

Ramona used to be responsible for following the Jeep Jamboree in that area to make sure they came back to restore what damage occurred as a result of the event. She admitted that she had fun following their route with them. She KNOWS what wheeling is all about and sees the need for it on the Forest.

Be nice to her, she's on our side.

Her email address is:

RVenegas@FS.Fed.US

Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; December 9th, 2006 at 10:56 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 10:49 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting this. When you respond, make sure you actually rad the letter first so you can answer the questions they pose. Here's my response!

Recently I read a letter on www.greatlakes4x4.com about this potential opportunity. The letter can be seen at the follow url:
http://www.glfwda.org/forms/letter.pdf
I must say that I was very excited to hear about the potential for creating more areas for full-size street legal vehicles to go offroad. I'm an avid offroader and spend most of my vacation time (and money) on my Jeep and going on trips with my Jeep. One of the biggest downsides to the sport that I love is the lack of local riding areas. It would be fantastic to experience Michigan to it's fullest in my Jeep. As for some of the information that was requested in the letter, I'll take a minute to repond to them now.

How many miles of a road tour would you use in a day?
This is a tough questions. It all depends on the terrain and how difficult it is to traverse. Generally when 2 tracking I would say a good amount, 30-40 miles. if it's more of a technical area then it could be as few as 5. Currently, I usually drive to off-road parks out of the State, like the badlands in Attica, Indiana. The badlands is a pretty large park around 1000 acres and usually spend 2 days there and cover around 20-30 miles total. I would consider the badlands to be technical terrain rather than two-track.

Would you stay overnight, camp on the forest? Absolutely, I always prefer to camp though when the temperature drops below 40 during the day, we usually hotel it. Generally, when I go offroading, I spend at least 2 days on the trail and 2 days overnight.

How many people would you normally have in your group doing an OHV street legal road drive? Generally we try to keep our groups to under 6 vehicles with 1-2 occupants each. Occasionally, we only have 3 and sometimes as many as 15 though I don't prefer it. I never wheel alone, it's not very safe.

Does your group normally travel in one or more vehicles? See previous question.

Do you have any specific recreation, natural resource or wildlife concerns? This is the cool part about having an area designated to full size vehicles. By having an area that is created we can avoid unnecessary damage to the wildlife and our natural resources. It allows the state to monitor and choose where the loops will be and to what extent they will have on local wildlife. Personally, I feel that the any damage done from full size vehicles would be substantially less than what is caused by a motorcyle or atv. Other than creating a wider trail, I can't think of one thing that would be exclusive to full-size vehicles when it come to potential trail damage. Generally we travel slower and more deliberately than other off road vehicles. This would allow for less damage to the terrain and is also safer for the riders. Other than that, my only concern for the wildlife, is that I don't often get to see it. Michigan is a wonderful State with tons of natural beauty. Unfortunately, alot of it is difficult to actually see. I would enjoy taking my children on the trail to watch the leaves change color or to experince the thrill of travel slowly for the opportunity to see an Elk, or to camp out in the natural woods with my son and daughter hoping to hear a screech owl.

Thank you for this opportunity and for listen to my thoughts. I'm hopeful that the committee who makes this decision recognized what a great opportunity this is and will be not only for the citizens who would enjoy the land but also for the local communities who would benefit from the additional business it would create. I'll be anxiously waiting for the results! Thanks again, and I hope you have a Happy Holiday Season!

Sincerely,
Matt Babcock
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Old December 9th, 2006, 11:14 PM   #13
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Old December 10th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #14
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Signed, sealed, and sent off
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #15
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8 People?
That's it?

We FINALLY get a VERY REAL opportunity to get our FIRST REAL 4x4 route and only 8 out of 2,798 members are willing to take 5 minutes to write the NFS to support the idea?
That's only 0.003%! -- One third of one percent!

You wonder why we don't have any legal wheeling in Michigan?

THAT'S WHY!!!

You have to Support the Sport or you won't get SHIT!

Anyways, thanks to the 8 who did.

Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; December 14th, 2006 at 07:07 PM.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #16
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you have a valid point, but I think you will find people glued to thier screens drooling on themselves playing tetris or something of that sort. it amazes me that we get anything at all with the participation level so low. you might be farther a head to create a video game that forces one self to write a letter to the DNR in order to win the game, maybe they will make one for Xbox or PS2?
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #17
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti View Post
you have a valid point, but I think you will find people glued to thier screens drooling on themselves playing tetris or something of that sort. it amazes me that we get anything at all with the participation level so low. you might be farther a head to create a video game that forces one self to write a letter to the DNR in order to win the game, maybe they will make one for Xbox or PS2?

Not a bad idea.

It just amazes me that people have time to type all the words in these posts about wheeling, but so few are willing to write a couple of words for wheeling.

Trails can survive without wheeling;
Can wheeling survive without trails?
(I'm not sure I can survive without them both!)
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Old December 15th, 2006, 04:00 PM   #19
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SENT!

This is what I e-mailed to Ramona's address:

Quote:
Dear Ramona,

Recently I heard news from Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association (GLFWDA) and GreatLakes4x4 that you are looking for input on the possibility of opening up OHV trails in the Huron Manistee National Forest. This would be fantastic, many of my friends and I enjoy the outdoors and wheeling. We have always been very responsible with the natural resources that we have access to, if this project were to become a reality, surely it would receive the same respect. Currently, all of our wheeling trips have been OUTSIDE the state of Michigan. Many users would absolutely love to enjoy the scenery and landscape that Michigan has to offer with the opening of OHV trails and routes.

Generally when I go wheeling I am looking for challenging terrain and scenery. Seeing wildlife in and around the trail is always a treat that only makes the outdoor experience better. Rocky trails are great, bottomless mud pits are not something I am looking for, however at this point we will take and respect what we can get.

Thank you very much for this opportunity!

-Tim
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Old December 15th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by EMTimZJ View Post
SENT!

This is what I e-mailed to Ramona's address:
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