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Trail_Fanatic
January 26th, 2011, 11:54 PM
2010 “Year in Review” LUC Report

Federal Issues:

Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project/Karner Blue Butterfly
Significant work was also done by the LUC on the Karner Blue Butterfly ( KBB ) issue with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to protect full size ORV interests in 2010.

At issue are significant road and trail closures proposed by the USFS as a remedial action to protect KBB environment they intend to create. The concerns on this issue are quite broad and our impact at this time on keeping this 10-mile loop open is unknown. Early in 2010 LUC members from GLFWDA and the Two Trackers met with Baldwin District Ranger Les Russell and IDT Leader, Christopher Frederick for an inspection ride to address a number of on site issues. GLFWDA submitted comments on the Manistee NF’s Savanna Ecosystem Restoration Project during the “Scoping” comment period. There was also a follow up meeting to ensure that the substantive comments submitted on behalf of the ORV community were properly interpreted by the USFS.

GLFWDA also spoke about the project at the Otto Township Meeting in October, which was well attended. The local community is unhappy about the NFS' desire to cut 4,500 acres of 120 year old trees and close the last 10 miles of roads in the area for the Karner Blue Butterfly. We have made a great many allies due to this meeting and come up with a plan to attempt to regain access to those roads lost in this area.

Meetings were held with various township officials to form a "Friends of the White River" Non-Profit group so that donations could be sought to pay for legal representation to oppose the Savanna Project.

There were further discussions with township officials and Carla Boucher about how to properly include our Forest Plan Appeal points in the Savanna EA Project Comments to provide GLFWDA/UFWDA with legal "Proof of Harm" to aid our Appeal of the Forest Plan.

The Environmental Assessment was received in 2010 and the LUC also submitted comments during the “EA” comment period. A Decision is expected in February of 2011.


Forest Plan, NFS Ban of Various Activities
Kurt Meister, attorney for many anti-access groups has successfully appealed the Huron-Manistee National Forest’s Forest Plan. The H-MNF will now have to either rewrite the Plan or designate areas where the operation of motorized vehicles of all types and hunting will be completely banned. The public comment deadline is February 11th and the LUC will be submitting comments with regard to this issue. All GLFWDA members are also urged to express your opinions. Send written comments to Lee Evison, Forest Planner, Huron-Manistee National Forest, 1755 S. Mitchell St., Cadillac, Mi 49601; fax: (231) 775-5551. Send electronic comments to: comments-eastern-huron-manistee@fs.fed.us

The LUC is in the process of gathering our "Proof of Harm" toward our Appeal of the Huron-Manistee NF's Forest Plan. We have 4 points of contention still to settle. One of our points was granted during the NEPA process.


Region 9 Review of the Baldwin Ranger District
Bob DeVore and Pat Brower along with the President and LUC Chairman of the Two Trackers attended the Review at the request of District Ranger Les Russell.
Positive contacts were made with several NFS persons as well as Lynn Boyde (DNRE's Director of FMFM) who were all in attendance.


NFS Baldwin District ORV Route
The Two Trackers were asked earlier in 2010 to put a proposal together for the Cedar Creek Motorsports Area of the Manistee NF, and has begun working toward the first 4x4 Route on any NF in Michigan. To that end, The Two Trackers LUC scheduled a mapping day on January 29, 2011 to map possible paths for the Baldwin District ORV Route. GLFWDA will be assisting with the proposal.


MVUM
The LUC worked towards making as many "corrections" to the recently published MVUMs as we can get through as "Corrections" and not “Additions"; because corrections are different (and much easier) process from additions.


State Issues:

Maintenance
The 2009-2010 Trail Maintenance Grant application for trail maintenance was approved earlier in 2010 for all miles approved in last year’s grant. All of our clubs have expressed an interest to continue to manage the miles they have previously adopted.


Rocks at St Helens
At the St. Helen Motorsports Area – the rocks are here! DNR staff received the grant approval, and GLFWDA Land Use and Trail Committee members were given an opportunity to comment on the design specs for the project. Pat Kinne led this project. It turned out GREAT! Take time to check it out!


MSTAC (Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council)
MSTAC will have dedicated sub-committees for: snowmobile, ORV, equestrian, and non-motorized (hiking and biking) trails and the LUC has secured a position on the ORV sub-committee (Work Group) for GLFWDA.

The December 2010 meeting covered funding sources and a presentation of Tread Lightly’s new Respected Access program.

2011 MSTAC meetings are 4/20. 7/20, and 10/19 at the RAM Center on Higgins Lake.


ORVAW (ORV Advisory Workgroup)
The ORVAW will handle the day to day operational items in much the same way the former ORV Advisory Board did. The only difference is that they will report to the MSTAC instead of directly to the DNRE.

Our first ORVAW meeting was held immediately after the MSTAC. We were also updated on the issues that were before the Advisory Board before it was dissolved. Safety Education and ORV Program signage were the primary two topics.

2011 meetings will be held on 2/9, 5/11, 8/10 and 11/9, in Lansing. .

Contac with another member of the work-group resulted in two opportunities for GLFWDA. Happi-Trails ATV is hosting the 3rd Annual Grayling AuSable Recreation Expo on May 14 and 15, 2011 and invited GLFWDA to participate. The second opportunity is that Happi-Trails and several other organizations in the area are attempting to get an ORV Route designated that would travel from Grayling to the Bridge and have asked GLFWEDA participate in the effort.


Gladwin Open House
LUC members attended the DNRE Gladwin District Open House in December which was held to give the public the opportunity to comment about the projects the District plans to undertake in 2012. The LUC obtained much information regarding the various projects which contain a great deal of information about the logging that will take place in each compartment.

A map shows the road system in each, but there is no information about which roads are to be closed because road closures are done on a site specific basis that will only begin when each timber sale is administered. Because dates of timber sales are weather dependent, the administration of the sale will only leave about a two week period between the inspection of the road system and the decision governing which roads are to be closed.

The issue here is this leaves the user community very little time to review and provide comments. The best the Department can offer is that the user community indicate which roads are most desirable and request of the appropriate manager that they be left open. This information, however, is only ‘taken under advisement’ and carries little or no weight, and are not appealable. This is a process that will have to be changed in the future if the public is going to be able to have any real affect on these decisions.

In the meantime, the LUC will attempt to locate the project list and descriptions in the DNRE’s database and post them to the website for review by the membership so that a compilation of comments can be sent to the District Manager in a timely fashion.


ORV Safety Education Committee
LUC committee members worked with the DNRE throughout the year on the Policy and Procedures Manual for the Safety Education Program. GLFWDA developed the 4x4 and extraction material to be included in the Manual as well as test questions for students and instructors. It appears there will be about 10 pages in the final book, comparable to the motorcycle and ATV sections. This is a HUGE success for GLFWDA and the full size user community.

Corporal John Morey of LED did a fine job of putting this Manual together. Most of it was borrowed from the Hunter's Safety program. It covers everything from the Program's Mission Statement, to Funding, to Instructor Conduct, Accident Reporting and how to get on the new OHV Education Advisory Committee.

The latest draft of the ORV Safety Training Manual was released late in 2010 but still had a few issues with our suggested material. The most notable of these was the lack of any strapping information. Submissions were reissued. DNRE is concerned about liability. It is GLFWDA’s position that the State’s liability exposure for the inclusion of strapping information is little different than what they have already accepted for their inclusion of winching information. The inclusion of information only demonstrates that the DNRE is attempting to lessen the dangers by ensuring that students are taught proper procedures BEFORE attempting an extraction with either device.

DNRE is also forming a new ORV Safety Education Advisory Committee to provide input on all aspects of the Department’s ORV Safety Education Program. GLFWDA has also secured a position on this committee. The seven member Committee’s (5 Instructors and 2 DNRE Staff) first meeting is January 13, 2011.


Stump Hill Closure
The LUC has formed a Sub-Committee to investigate the feasibility of getting Stump Hill re-opened as part of an ORV Route. The former Eastern U.P. District Manger has expressed a willingness to join the Committee as a Consultant if GLFWDA desires his assistance with the issue.


MiTrale/Trans UP ORV Trail/Route
GLFWDA was invited to participate and Pat Brower attended a combined meeting of MiTrale, SORVA and DNRE to discuss progress of the Trans U.P. trail/route. This project has been in the works for several years now, and most of this project will be ORV Route available for 4x4 use. Progress is being made, but there are still several hurdles to overcome. Lack of public ownership in several places is a big one. The NFS is another. This is primarily old RR Grades, but at least it establishes motorized travel corridors in many new areas that can be added to later if we wish. Maps are available if anyone would like copies of them. This meeting established a favorable relationship between MiTRALE and GLFWDA.


Legislation
GLFWDA will be bringing the failed Bills from last session to Senator Hansen for review. We will work with him to rework the Bills so that they can be introduced in a manner that will yield a more positive outcome. We are currently waiting for a return call from his scheduler as to a meeting date.

Following is a brief recap of the ‘highlights’ of those bills:
• ORV License fee increase to $30.50
• Permit trigger number be increased from 20 people to 75 VEHICLES
• Increased liability protection for maintenance workers
• Define “Other Road” as used in the definition of ORV Route per the Attorney General’s Opinion we received during the Drummond designation process
• Add clarification to when the definition of Forest Road is to be applied


Senatorial Route Ride
The GLFWDA LUC will be putting together a Route Ride on Drummond Island for a group of State Senators for 2011. Senator Hansen will assist with the invitation list. We will be looking for vehicles to chauffer the Senators around the Island when the time comes. We are looking at August, but the date will depend on when activity levels are low in Lansing.


Drummond Island
GLFWDA LUC Members met with Drummond Island Off Road Club representatives in August to review a few improvements to the system that were approved during the original designation process but hadn’t been implemented to date. The trip went very well, and some small enhancements were made to the trail system. During the inspection ride it was noted that, for the most part, compliance to the trails has been excellent. There were two areas where there was evidence of illegal ORV operation, and that information was passed along to the DNRE.

A new project has been introduced on Drummond. The “Niagara Escarpment Hiking Trail” would run the length of the Marble Head cliff. GLFWDA attended a meeting to ensure motorized recreation would not be adversely affected by its implementation or future user conflicts and we have been assured that the Route has precedence as it was in place first.


DOA (Drummond Off-road Adventure) Event, August 27-28, 2001
Mud, Sweat & Gears hosted their annual DOA event up on Drummond Island in 2010. Significant to GLFWDA at this event was the attendance of all three of the DNRE Trail Techs. The Trail Techs spent both days on the trails with GLFWDA officers and committee members. It is the desire of GLFWDA that additional ORV Route systems may be established in the Lower Peninsula as a result of their visit. The primary outcome of their attendance was a new level of understanding of the issues facing ORV users and DNRE staff. The interaction among the Trail Techs and all of the participants was outstanding. It was good to bring them to a well organized event and let them see how we really use the route system!


Citizen’s Advisory Councils (CACs)
The subject of events on State Land has come up for comment during the DNR's Eastern Upper Peninsula's Citizen’s Advisory Council where Steve Walker was in attendance on behalf of GLFWDA. There is a proposal to increase the number of event participants up to 75. While from our perspective it seems like a good idea, there is opposition to doing so from other groups.

Bob DeVore and Pat Brower applied for positions on the Lower Peninsula CACs. Neither was accepted for positions at this time. The LUC will continue to monitor the LP CACs and determine who (if anyone) on the CAC’s will defend the rustic roads on our State lands. GLFWDA will re-apply when the time comes.


County Issues:

Oceana County Roads Project
Oceana CRC dropped over 80 miles from their Act 51 map back in 2006. The LUC is attempting to have these put back on the map. The OCRC supports the concept, but is will not until local support can be demonstrated. This will be accomplished by obtaining a Resolution of Support from each of the 16 Townships in Oceana County. The OCRC Managing Director has expressed strong support for the measure. The Commission would like to see all formerly Act 51 Certified roads in the County re-adopted. This includes roughly 133 road segments in virtually all Townships.


56th St Abandonment
GLFWDA intervened to on behalf of land owners who were considering petitioning the Oceana County Road Commission (OCRC) for Abandonment of 56th St Seasonal Road because of erosion and 4x4 damage to the hillside.

The section of road was inspected with the landowners and a plan was developed to repair the damage and put the road back on its original line. After inspection, the OCRC was contacted for approval of the plan and accepted the proposed correction. Work is to be performed in the spring of 2011.


Local Issues:

Sullivan Twp Property Scramble Area Project
New GLFWDA LUC members Michelle Borgeson, Terry Carlson, Roger Maynard, Linda Molenkamp and Scott Waldron have taken up a project to attempt to get the Sullivan Township property re-opened to ORVs as a scramble area.


Misc Issues

UFWD LUC Committee
UFWDA is establishing a LUC that mirrors successful LUCs in member organizations, and also hopes to synergize with those local LUCs. The new LUC has the stated goals:
• Open the lines of communication between local club’s Land Use Committees.
• To communicate with the Director of Environmental Affairs who will in turn communicate with Carla so that she can be kept informed of the issues throughout the different areas and regions.
• To open up the lines of communication and create a round table discussion on new ways to be more effective in our efforts.
• Communicate mostly by email with conference calls three or four times a year so as not to take anyone away from their efforts for your State or Regional association.



Submitted by Mike Olmstead
LUC Committee Secretary.

dustyxj
January 27th, 2011, 12:53 AM
Thank you Pat and the rest of the land use committee for all your hard work, and sitting thru the hours of boring meetings... :yourock:

DDS4X4
January 27th, 2011, 07:54 AM
x200

Creative Fab
January 28th, 2011, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the report Pat! Thanks for everybody's hard work on these issues!!

Rocky
January 28th, 2011, 08:08 PM
QUOTE*
MSTAC (Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council)
MSTAC will have dedicated sub-committees for: snowmobile, ORV, equestrian, and non-motorized (hiking and biking) trails and the LUC has secured a position on the ORV sub-committee (Work Group) for GLFWDA.

ORVAW (ORV Advisory Workgroup)
The ORVAW will handle the day to day operational items in much the same way the former ORV Advisory Board did. The only difference is that they will report to the MSTAC instead of directly to the DNRE.
END QUOTE-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pat,
this is exactly what I was refering to in one of our other posts.

Pat,
YOU SAID
The only difference is that ''THEY WILL REPORT TO THE MSTAC'' instead of directly to the DNRE.

Tom Dunn and Yager are already MSTAC [ ORV ] Board members.

Your statement says that the ORVAW board will report their issues and concerns to the MSTAC.

So essentially, Dunn and Yager will report issues to themselves?

Isn't this a waste of the programs ''original intent'' to have the ORVAW report their issues to the MSTAC board members? [ Dunn & Yager ]

For this reason, IMO, Dunn and Yager should not be aboard BOTH the MSTAC and the ORVAW.

Two other ORV individules should have been given the opportunity to represent this ORVAW.

I understand how the DNR makes their picks [ politics ], and a lot of times, the best guys for the job don't get picked [ look no further than Paul Mulder ],but picking the same guys who are suppose to report outside ORV issues to the same committee they sit on, is like my boss telling me what I have to spend my paycheck on.

Just MY opinion--I might be wrong:thumb: