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Old June 6th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #1
bj house
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Default What is the process to propose new trails

If I had to start somewhere to propose some new trails to the state to open to ORV use where would I begin?
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Old June 6th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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you'd probably be better off contacting trail fanatic over at GLFWDA.org
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Old June 9th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bj house View Post
If I had to start somewhere to propose some new trails to the state to open to ORV use where would I begin?
As much as the department says they have a process, I can't say that this has been real successful. Here's the process:
The state is divided into three regions: UP, East of I-75 and West of I-75. There is an ORV Tech in each region. You'll need to get a plat map (property ownership) from the area you're looking to propose a trail. Their available from the county seat in each county and range from $25.00 to $50.00 each. If the trail is in a heavily populated ORV system you might not have much success. If the area is lacking some opportunities you could fare better.
You'll need to mark the proposed trail on the plat maps. You then submit the proposal to the ORV Tech. You'd probably be more successful if you worked with the ORV Tech, as they already have their own ideas of where new trails are needed. This would involve contacting the ORV Tech. Next problem you'll find is the East Tech (Katie) took a job in the Biology division and there’s no replacement on the horizon so Page, the West Tech is now trying to do both jobs. I suspect 'new' trails will fall pretty low on her priority list. After all, Katie was suppose to be working on the St. Helens Rock Crawl and we've seen how much activity that's gotten since the $$$ was appropriated over 4 years ago.
Once the trail is proposed it has to go through the myriad of approvals from each department in the DNR and DEQ to make sure it doesn't step on someone’s toes with respect to endangered species, wetlands, law, real estate, forest management, wilderness designation, etc. One new thing the DNR is starting to be keen on is NOT providing access from a business establishment to the trail system. i.e. trail from the local bar to the trail system. I've seen this take as long as 3 or 4 years. If it manages to make it through it will be placed on the DNR trail inventory and included in the subsequent Grant Program allocation for maintenance money and assignment of Grant sponsor.
Because it has occurred so infrequently I'm not sure if the Natural Resources Commission needs to approve it. If it does, there's another bureaucratic entity that gets to have their $0.02 input.
So, first step would be to contact the ORV Tech in the area and see they have anything in the works or are open to something, then go get the plat maps and lay out the trail.
Pat B can probably help you with the contacts.
Good luck!
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Old June 9th, 2008, 08:04 AM   #4
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To add some detail to Jim's comments - as long as there is no private property involved (hence the need for plat maps) the best first step is to thoroughly GPS your proposed trail/route. If some/all of it is not currently open to ORV use you may have to walk it or take your mountain bike. Then when you contact Paige assuming you are talking about the LP - I can't remember the name of the new guy in the UP) you can give her the data so she can run it herself to assess the idea. Based on recent conversations with her, the easiest way to succeed is to connect existing trails/routes, and using existing forest roads/snowmobile trails also simplifies it. I sent you a PM with some contact information I have.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #5
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Very good information thanks guys. The trail that I would like to see opened is nearly connected to my place in West Branch on Ski Park rd. There is a very nice two track that runs e/w on the north side of the Boutell Ranch property then turns and goes North towards the RR tracks. Here the map below would probably explain it better. It is fantastic set of trails that I used to go on for years with motorcycles (before i realized it was not legal and alas along time ago it probably was legal). I believe it would be quite challenging for Jeeps as there are several long and relatively steep hills (for MI at least). They would need some clearing and widening though as they have overgrown significantly over the past 10 years.

Thanks again at least I can dream and do my part to open up more trails.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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The trail that I would like to see opened is nearly connected to my place in West Branch on Ski Park rd.
I would encourage you to exercise the process. I will tell you that Ski Park has it's own issues with property owners and a LONG history of issues with the DNR and illegal use. One additional 'kill joy' to any project is bringing it near or to any area the DNR has determined to be a potential abuse area. Namely old gravel pits and burrows. Or any hill climb that has been determined to be environmentally sensitive or has been closed like Preachers Hill.
Keep us updated to your progress.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #7
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PM sent.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
I would encourage you to exercise the process. I will tell you that Ski Park has it's own issues with property owners and a LONG history of issues with the DNR and illegal use. One additional 'kill joy' to any project is bringing it near or to any area the DNR has determined to be a potential abuse area. Namely old gravel pits and burrows. Or any hill climb that has been determined to be environmentally sensitive or has been closed like Preachers Hill.
Keep us updated to your progress.
jim-kb8ymf
So what is the 'environmentally sensitive reason' that Preachers Hill was closed? The trail goes through completely, is a milder hill climb then even Bull Gap, and is a extremely fun area. It is connected to St Helen trail system as well. Beings its not bermed or marked in any way makes you really think it is legal if you have never been on this site.

Yes I used to go there before I found out it was illegal
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Old June 9th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #9
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So what is the 'environmentally sensitive reason' that Preachers Hill was closed? The trail goes through completely, is a milder hill climb then even Bull Gap, and is a extremely fun area. It is connected to St Helen trail system as well. Beings its not bermed or marked in any way makes you really think it is legal if you have never been on this site.

Yes I used to go there before I found out it was illegal
I actually didn't imply Preachers Hill was environmentally sensitive but rather the DNR just closed it because it violated the 2WD rule and to many idiots were making trails up the south side of the hill causing potentially dangerous collisions with vehicles on the bypass on the south side. In fact what's ironic is the bypass that runs on the south side is potentially on private land. The plat map shows property lines that run straight but the fence that's there is actually curved around the road. No one seems to care much as long as you don't put two tires on the hill. I've even heard that the DNR gave tickets to people who were just sitting at the base of the hill claiming that they 'were about to go up the hill'. Problem is that no one ever fights these and we never get any clarification of the law.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #10
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Bummer, I don't think that a handful of the hills along the Boutell ranch fence are passable by 2wd so that might end the discussion there.

I will still submit it like you said worth exercising the process.

I am going to add that the "scrambles" area in St. Helen has really gotten torn up over the past 5 years. I have been going there for almost 30 years. Because of the lack of opportunities for car/trucks in the surrounding area I understand why so many people go there.

If Preachers/Stump/JTR/Mud Lake were all open there would be less accidents and less environmental impact to the area overall.

<rant out>
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Old June 10th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #11
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whats the 2wd rule?
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Old June 10th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #12
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whats the 2wd rule?
If the governer can not drive down the trail in her 2wd caddilac it is illegal. <---simple version.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #13
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If the governer can not drive down the trail in her 2wd caddilac it is illegal. <---simple version.
. . . on State land.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kb8ymf View Post
I actually didn't imply Preachers Hill was environmentally sensitive but rather the DNR just closed it because it violated the 2WD rule and to many idiots were making trails up the south side of the hill causing potentially dangerous collisions with vehicles on the bypass on the south side. In fact what's ironic is the bypass that runs on the south side is potentially on private land. The plat map shows property lines that run straight but the fence that's there is actually curved around the road. No one seems to care much as long as you don't put two tires on the hill. I've even heard that the DNR gave tickets to people who were just sitting at the base of the hill claiming that they 'were about to go up the hill'. Problem is that no one ever fights these and we never get any clarification of the law.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bj house View Post
Bummer, I don't think that a handful of the hills along the Boutell ranch fence are passable by 2wd so that might end the discussion there.

I will still submit it like you said worth exercising the process.

I am going to add that the "scrambles" area in St. Helen has really gotten torn up over the past 5 years. I have been going there for almost 30 years. Because of the lack of opportunities for car/trucks in the surrounding area I understand why so many people go there.

If Preachers/Stump/JTR/Mud Lake were all open there would be less accidents and less environmental impact to the area overall.

<rant out>


What cracks me up is this hill was MUCH more difficult then preachers hill... this is along the ORV ROUTE that we did trail clean up on. There is NO way a 2wd vehicle could pass it.

As far as the collisions, it is no different then any other trail in that area IMO from what I remember.

I agree BJhouse, it's like they WANT the overuse to claim there is damage.

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Old June 14th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #15
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What cracks me up is this hill was MUCH more difficult then preachers hill... this is along the ORV ROUTE that we did trail clean up on. There is NO way a 2wd vehicle could pass it
2WD rule applies when there are no markings on the trail i.e. No ORV Route or Trail signs. On marked routes you can be there no matter what. 4WD and all. It's when there are no markings that the trail must be passable by a 2WD vehicle or you can be cited.
That trail looks like stuff off M55 and I-75 in West Branch OR South of M55 off Dunham Lake Rd, which one is it? You said 'marked' so it must be Dunham.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #16
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2WD rule applies when there are no markings on the trail i.e. No ORV Route or Trail signs. On marked routes you can be there no matter what. 4WD and all. It's when there are no markings that the trail must be passable by a 2WD vehicle or you can be cited.
That trail looks like stuff off M55 and I-75 in West Branch OR South of M55 off Dunham Lake Rd, which one is it? You said 'marked' so it must be Dunham.
jim-kb8ymf
Correct, it was off Dunham Lake Rd.

I understand the issue with the 2wd rule not applying to ORV Route marked trails... what I don't understand it why it was closed, unless it is because it is so close to private property

The area (of preachers) even has a small bowl that is great fun on quads and stuff.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #17
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You guys are making me sad I have only been able to go up once so far this year and I was in Prudenville the whole weekend

My dad has some great stories of those hills when only the 500's could make it up.

I want to be rich and buy Ski Hill and bulldoze all of the sand back to the top and open it up as an off road park :)
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #18
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So...if I were to walk an area that I would like to submit what is the best practice for gathering GPS coordinates/photos etc.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #19
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So...if I were to walk an area that I would like to submit what is the best practice for gathering GPS coordinates/photos etc.

Call me.

Still have the #?
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Old June 18th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #20
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Call me.

Still have the #?
You know I don't have time for that silliness :miff: jk I will asap just dreaming of me walking around for a whole weekend up north without the wife/kids/noise etc got me excited

FYI the lady helping you with the GPS coordinate entering has not contacted me yet.
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