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Old March 17th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #1
jeepfreak81
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Default My letter to the Governor

I sent this last week... Figured it would not hurt anything, it was very simple to submit it online, and I urge you to do the same. I have to deal with the DNR and DEQ in my work, and one thing i have discovered is not many people write letters, when an association gets together and writes individual letters stuff is more likely to get approved for having the most responses in their favor... this is what I sent and I hope some more people try... especially because this week it was annouced that Michigan is to build more trails 700+ miles

taken from another board

Quote:

There has rarely, if ever been an opportunity presented to us that will ever be better! These are once in a lifetime!

The short version is as follows: The DNR has been instructed to develop an additional ~724 miles in Michigan for ORV usage. This will be divided up between single track, ATV, and Full size vehicles. The DNR has no idea what any of the users groups want or where to start to begin identifying these new trails.
Great Lakes is part the MMRC, (Michigan Motorized Recreation Council) which is a group the user based organizations in Michigan of which we are the ONLY full sized group represented! This group will be proposing to the DNR where these new trail should be located.
This is where we cone in. We need to identify all the new routes we would like to be added to the inventory of ORV trails in Michigan.
So........here's our opportunity. My plan right now is to ask everyone to use the DNR maps of the state ORV trails as a starting point to identify the additional routes.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7...8330--,00.html

Connecting the routes to existings one's will make the nomination process more successful. But don't limit the suggestions based on that fact. If you need other maps to define the routes, do it! I'll take what ever you have.
Additionally we will ask for more 'rock courses' and 'challenging play areas' in lieu of trail miles also.
Copying and pasting those maps into a .ppt file or making them a Bitmap and using paintbrush may also be a valid way to communicate the new routes. any way you can get the info to me works just fine.
We will also be requesting improvements to use areas we already have. The only drawback to this type of suggestion is that we have no method to communicate what this should look like. For eaxmple, a 'log field' consisting of 18" to 24" diameter logs laid, (or tied) down. How do we tie them down? How many do we want? How long? how wide? Spacing? On a hill or not? all things the DNR will need to properly describe and submit to be able to build such an area. Same goes for the 'rock course'. We still have no[u] method, i.e. video, to show the DNR what a 'rock course' even looks like.
Deadline, as we know it today, to submit the routes is April 8th.
This will be the last chance we'll ever have to get something a little more in Michigan for us to play on.

Send the info to my kb8ymf@juno.com acct.
Last week before the announcement I sent this letter

Quote:
Governor Granholm,

I am an avid recreationalist in this state of Michigan. I utilize everything from parks such as the Holdridge Recreation Area for mountain biking, to the ORV trails and routes that are designated for motorcycle, snowmobile and full-size ORV travel. As you may know tourism in Michigan is slowing due to many factors, most likely the cost of travel, and the unstable job market in the state.

This state caters greatly to the snowmobile enthusiasts. As an ORV user and snowmobiler I see large funds being spent on ensuring that snomobilers continue to come to the state, despite the lacking snows we have received in the recent years, I know this because my snowmobile has not even been taken off the trailer in 2 years as snow in the lower penninsula has been quite lacking.

What I am proposing is that more of these trails on public land be opened in the summer to more then just snowmobilers. I am proposing the ones that are wide enough be opened to full-size ORV travel such as Jeeps and small off-road trucks.

With proper maintenence these trails could be dual purpose, and have the potential to draw a large crowd. Right now only ~17% of trails in Michigan are open to full size vehicles. As well as a few scramble areas such as Silver Lake, Bull Gap, and St Helens. Genesee County Parks also has the mounds. By opening more trails the load could help to be eased off of these scramble areas, as well as draw tourism to the community.

Paragon PA, and Attica In both have large areas that cater to the Full-size market and are quite successful, not to mention those in Co. Michigan has one of, if not the largest DNR of any state, surely this could be done with current staffing, as other states are successful with less people.

Full size ORVs are normally much quieter then the motorcycle and small ORV counterparts as well.

There are many local web boards dedicated to the sport, and many of them LEAVE the state to use their ORV's as they feel the sport in Michigan is "dead." One of the local web boards WAS the second largest jeep oriented board in the WORLD with over a half-million posts to it. This site was known as www..com though the site was recently purchased by a person out of state and is being remade into a national board. So i will instead point you to www.greatlakes4x4.com (online since November and has almost 1000 users already) or www.glfwda.com (Great Lakes four wheel drive association) This is a organization however unlike the previous site. This organization is also increasing and is promoting ORV use in Michigan thorough yearly dues.

I do hope you will visit the idea of opening some trails and routes, and even maybe clarify some existing laws that are very confusing and discourage ORV use in Michigan. It would be a great way to use our resources and encourage more people to come to our great and beautiful state, and I know i have some breathtaking pictures from a few of my travels in the state that could only be accessed by ORV.

Thank you for your time,

Jacob Meganck
It is very easy to submit the letter online
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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #2
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Did they give you a personalized reply, or the usual cut/paste one?
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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkstoncracker
Did they give you a personalized reply, or the usual cut/paste one?

I have not received a reply yet... but I figure if nothing else I will send he letter once a month and annoy the shit out of them
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Old March 18th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #4
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you can send letters every day and they will just keep hitting "delete". I think the agenda in this state is to sell off its resources and leave it as a waste land(mostly Canada's waste).

what little land we have is all they intend to give us, if we ever get more trails it will be because of a federal mandate not a state initiative.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti
you can send letters every day and they will just keep hitting "delete". I think the agenda in this state is to sell off its resources and leave it as a waste land(mostly Canada's waste).

what little land we have is all they intend to give us, if we ever get more trails it will be because of a federal mandate not a state initiative.

Have you read the announcement above, they were instructed to buil danother 700 miles in trails recently... we need to work to help get some of them to be FS ORV trails... though i see the DNR link isnt working correctly now... hmmmm
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Old March 18th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfreak81
Have you read the announcement above, they were instructed to buil danother 700 miles in trails recently... we need to work to help get some of them to be FS ORV trails... though i see the DNR link isnt working correctly now... hmmmm

Yes, there is actual activity within the state through the ORV advisory board and MMRC. Both of these groups have met recently with the DNR. GLFWDA is active with both of these groups.

Quite frankly, as Yetti said, the DNR is not really proactive. However, THIS IS A MANDATE BY THE STATE TELLING THE DNR TO DO THIS.

The letter to the governor is a good one. Keep doing it. But, the directive to the DNR is that they have something in place by the middle of April. This information needs to be channeled through the MMRC and they are looking for GLFWDA to give them the input. What do we have to lose by giving it our best shot? GLFWDA is a web site that is tryinig to keep the proactive activity alive. It is not a site that is meant to compete with this one.

And just as a side note for FYI, the GLFWDA site is a .org ----- not .com

Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

Jim
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Old March 18th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #7
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this was posted on Nov 2 2005 at pirate.

Release No. FS-0605

Contact: Press Office, (202) 205-1134

USDA FOREST SERVICE RELEASES FINAL RULE FOR MOTORIZED RECREATION IN NATIONAL FORESTS & GRASSLANDS New Rule will Balance Best Possible Care of Land with Public's Enjoyment of Recreational Vehicles through Local Collaboration

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2005 - U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service today announced a new regulation for recreational motor vehicle use in national forests and grasslands which will forge a sustainable system of routes and areas designated for motorized use in the future.

"OHV and other motorized vehicles are fun and exciting ways to experience national forests and we've seen tic increases in their popularity in the last decade," said Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth.
"Land managers will use the new rule to continue to work with motorized sports enthusiasts, conservationists, state and local officials and others to provide responsible motorized recreational experiences in national forests and grasslands for the long run."

The new travel management policy requires each national forest and grassland to identify and designate those roads, trails and areas that are open to motor vehicle use. Local units will seek public input and coordinate with federal, state, county and other local governmental entities as well as tribal governments before any decision is made on a particular road, trail or area. Unplanned, user-created routes will be considered at the local level during the designation process.

The agency expects that it will take up to four years to complete the designation process for all 155 national forests and 20 grasslands.
Each unit will also publish a motor vehicle use map. The final rule addresses the more than 80,000 comments received on last year's proposed rule. Most comments strongly supported the concept of designating routes and areas for motor vehicle use.

Once the designation process is complete, motor vehicle use off these routes and outside those areas (cross-country travel) will be prohibited. This prohibition will not affect over-snow vehicles, such as snowmobiles.

The rule will impact motor vehicle use on roads, trails and areas under Forest Service management. State, county or other public roads within national forest and grassland boundaries will not be included in the designation process.

Some national forests and grasslands already have established systems of roads, trails and areas designed and managed for motorized use.
This rule does not require those units to change existing plans.

In 2002, the Forest Service had more than 214 million visits, with about the same number driving through just to enjoy the scenery. More than 200,000 miles of forest roads are currently open to off-highway vehicle
(OHV) use as well as more than 36,000 miles of trails. In addition, national forest recreation has become the biggest contributor to many local economies, including rural communities.

Recreational motor vehicles include OHVs, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs), such as 4-by-4 trucks or Jeeps.

A copy of the new rule can be found at www.fs.fed.us.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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one of the comments on the process leads me to believe its not the states doing at all. its a federal mandate, and the state would loose funding if they don't comply.

Quote:
Local units will seek public input and coordinate with federal, state, county and other local governmental entities as well as tribal governments before any decision is made on a particular road, trail or area.

the other thing that seems to be lost on this is the fact the state was advising to rasie the cost of stickers to $25.50 to cover the building of these trails & routes. according to the document in the last post its already paid for or will be for the next 4 years. I think the state is trying to pull a fast one and generate cash from the users and taking credit for the Feds & USFS's work
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Old March 18th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #9
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Heres what the BRC said in support of the new rules

BLUERIBBON COALITION NEWS RELEASE
4555 Burley Drive , suite A
Pocatello , ID 83202
Contact: Clark L. Collins, Founder/Executive Director (208)237-1008 ext. 101

November 3, 2005 ( POCATELLO, ID) – The BlueRibbon Coalition is supportive of the new Forest Service's final "Off-road-vehicle Management Rule" announced today in Washington , D.C. by USFS Chief Dale Bosworth. The Rule will restrict off-road motor vehicles to designated routes and areas agency wide.

"I pledged our cooperation to Chief Bosworth when he told me about his intentions before he even publicly announced his plans on this issue," said BlueRibbon Coalition Founder and Executive Director, Clark Collins. "I told Bosworth, at that time, that the key to making this work is involving local recreation users in the decision making process at the local level. It looks like he agrees with that view," Collins continued.

A key component of this new rule is that the agency can still designate "open" areas where appropriate. "Some areas are appropriate for an 'open' designation and we are glad that provision is still in the Rule," says Collins.

"Some forests have ignored off-highway vehicle management in the past and that is where we have the most problems," says Collins. "This rule says that OHVs are an important – growing – use of our public lands and should be managed to provide quality recreation opportunities while protecting the resources."

"OHV users 'put their money where there mouth is,' supporting state and federal programs that provide funding for recreation management on public lands,” Collins concluded. "We are committed to assisting our land managers financially, through the funding programs that we support, and will work cooperatively with the Forest Service to ensure this Rule is implemented in a way that benefits a broad range of recreation interests."

OHV recreationists now need to work with their local Forest Service office to ensure that all the routes they use are included in a complete and accurate trail inventory. "Keeping your favorite trails a secret is a sure fire recipe for disaster," according to Collins. "If they aren't included in the inventory they are certain to not be designated, and I caution OHVers to not think the authorities can't catch them. That is a sure fire recipe for making the entire OHV community look bad."

User created routes were recognized in the final rule as being eligible for inclusion in the inventory and considered for designation as part of the final road and trail system. "We kept reminding the Chief throughout this process that 'user created routes' needed to be considered. We're delighted to see them included in the final Rule," said Collins.

This national Rule has the potential to help recreationists in areas where the local Forest manager has a negative attitude toward OHV recreation. Some land managers have misinterpreted the Chief's intent to mean, 'close down the trails until it can be proven they don't impact anything – or anyone - in any way.' Those land managers just need to be reminded by local users that this Rule stresses responsibly "managing" OHV recreation, not eliminating it.
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