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Jarhead
July 15th, 2008, 01:05 PM
GLFWDA - Land Use Committee Report



Below is an update of the status for issues addressed by the LUC as of April 20, 2008.



FEDERAL LAND USE (NFS)
Huron-Manistee 2006 Forest Plan Appeal
We continue to gather the necessary information to properly support, document, and fund our Appeal. We are pleased to have found a Michigan attorney willing to work with UFWDA Legal Council, Carla Boucher, to represent GLFWDA and file our suit. The attorney is also willing to grant our non-profit organization a discounted rate.

Jumpin Jackpine
This project is being introduced by the Huron Shores Ranger District to increase Kirtland’s Warbler habitat. There are very few rustic roads being recommended for closure. These roads are also of low value to the wheeling community with no 4wd utilization or outstanding scenic quality. The Project probably would’t ordinarily warrant comment by GLFWDA, however, there are several minor procedural issues that are of concern. GLFWDA has submitted comment to attempt correction of these.

M Triangle
The purpose of this project is to designate the first 4x4 Route in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. We are working diligently to map all of the existing trails and obstacles in the project area. The area is quite large and is defined by M-37, M-55, and M-115. We will work to include as much of the “good stuff” as is practicable during the initial round of development. This will likely be an on-going project that will start small and grow to include more Routes and bigger/ better obstacles as the need is demonstrated and the Service’s concerns are shown to be unfounded or addressable.

Mast Lake
This project proposes the closure of several miles of rustic roads near the Croton-Hardy Damn area. GLFWDA and the Two Trackers Four Wheel Drive Club (The closest GLFWDA Member Club to the project area) GPSed the area and submitted comments suggesting a more appropriate closure plan to retain rustic access to, and through, this portion of the Forest.


STATE ISSUES (DNR)

Advisory Board Meeting
A Director’s Order officially establishing 24” Motorcycle only trails will be issued by the time this hits print. While this has no direct effect on the 4x4 enthusiast, this can act as a precedent for the possible future creation of a separate 4x4 Route designation catering more to our recreation. New ORV system maps will be on line by Memorial Day. The new Draft ORV Plan was discussed. The GLFWDA LUC also utilized the meeting for personal introductions with the new Upper Peninsula ORV Tech, Rob Katona. Mr. Katona fully supports the Drummond Island ORV Route proposal as issued by GLFWDA and its partners.

Drummond Island
It has taken a phenomenal amount of work behind the scenes, but the ORV Route proposal submitted by a joint coalition comprised of GLFWDA, Drummond Island Off Road Club, Jeep Jamboree, Drummond Island Tourist Association, and the Drummond Island Resort Association is meeting with success as of this printing. The FMFM Biologist and Geologist have inspected and approved Marble Head and Connor’s (Log Jam) Hole for probable inclusion, with discussions now revolving around Clear Lake and other sites. While the process appears to be going our way at the moment and approval seems likely, the need for a high intensity writing and phone contact campaign to our DNR and State Legislature may still arise. Please check the GLFWDA website for future announcements, should this become necessary.

State Forest Plan Revision
GLFWDA submitted several comments concerning the Department’s new Draft ORV Plan. These comments resulted in the implementation of more favorable language guiding Event Permit issuance. We are encouraged that the Department will continue to support improvements at St. Helen Motorsport Area and look forward to completion of the full Master Plan approved in 2002. We applaud the Department for considering the inclusion of currently designated, yet highly utilized, “play areas” (compromised sites) and believe this is an outstanding way to increase user enjoyment of the system while substantially reducing development and construction time and cost. It is a tremendous disappointment to find the Department again shifting lead responsibility for the southern Michigan ORV area to enthusiasts and local units of government.

Upper Peninsula Citizen’s Advisory Councils
GLFWDA has been invited to attend two developmental meetings of the Upper Peninsula Citizen Advisory Councils (CACs). The meetings are to provide DNR with information to be used to establish the charter for the CACs. The DNR will be establishing two groups, based on the department’s ecosystem boundaries in the UP. The East UP CAC will cover Alger, Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac, and Schoolcraft counties, with the Western CAC covering the remainder.


County / Local Issues

Monitor Road Closures
The Land Use Committee did not receive notice of any pending Abandonment Proceedings this quarter. However, assistance was rendered to an enthusiast encountering problems with a DNR Conservation Officer on an Allegan County Seasonal Road.

Mounds ORV Park (Rock Course RFP)
The LUC Representative monitoring the Mounds reports that the Rock Crawl proposal contains a lot of content from the GLFWDA proposal. It also added some additional dimensions to help with the understanding of what is desired. It appears courses would be 20 feet wide and 300' long. GLWFDA will find out if RFP is going out and when bids are required.

Kidds in the Mud Extreme Farm
The Stasiaks have lost their Appeal of the Township Zoning. They are still committed to the creation of a private off road park in south-western Michigan and are looking for another location. Your ideas and support are welcome and encouraged. If you know of a suitable piece of land or a motorized recreation friendly Township, please contact Carol and Dave Stasiak at Cstasiak7478@esagelink.com (Cstasiak7478@esagelink.com)or 269-325-2890 or the GLFWDA Land Use Committee at landuse@glfwda.org.


Miscellaneous

KOTARO
The LUC is forming groups of volunteers (members and non-members alike) who are willing to gather GPS data of trails utilizing a uniform set of standards. These groups will be dubbed ’KOTARO Teams’. KOTARO stands for Keep Our Trails And Roads Open. The goal is to gather complete data to submit to the National Forest Service for inclusion in the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs). The Huron MVUM will be published in 2008, the Manistee in the spring of 2009. The maps will be reviewed annually and additional GPS routes may be considered for inclusion. Data gathering will be easiest before publication of the MVUMs make travel on the majority of trails illegal.Contact Pat Brower (landuse@glfwda.org (landuse@glfwda.org).) or Bob DeVore (membershipsecretary@glfwda.org (membershipsecretary@glfwda.org) ) if you are interested in assisting the project.

If you have read this far, read on:

http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php?t=6372 (http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php?t=6372)

http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php?t=6316 (http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php?t=6316)

http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php?t=6247 (http://www.glfwda.org/showthread.php?t=6247)