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Thread: GLFWDA Legislative Update - HB6160 and 6161

  1. #1
    Chair, Land Use Committee GLFWDA Member Trail_Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default GLFWDA Legislative Update - HB6160 and 6161

    Yesterday, GLFWDA, as a member of the MMRC, was asked to testify before the House Tourism & Natural Resources Committee (TNR Com.) about HB6160 and 6161.

    It went well. The DNRE is withholding their support until all of the amendments have made it into print. This is key because final review of the Bills found a couple of things missing plus we had made some agreements with the Dept. at our meeting last week. Their support (or at least lack of opposition) is critical to the passage of these Bills. We do not know if we would have enough votes to get them passed if the DNRE uses their political clout against them.

    I arrived in Lansing early with a copy of the attached internal Law Enforcement Division Memo (I believe most of you are familiar with it). The memo is dated and GLFWDA is uncertain if the document has been rescinded or is still in use. We have been seeing occasional ticketing (and harassing) of wheelers in contradiction of what the memo indicates.

    My intention was to ask Representative Hansen's Assistant, Peter Wills' opinion about how, or even if, to proceed with trying to get it added to one of the Bills during the Amendment process. Pete walked me right into Representative Hansen's office to get his opinion too. So, I explained to them that we had an issue that I had failed to bring up during the crafting of the current Bills. I hadn't even discussed this issue with the MMRC folks yet and that due to my inexperience with the "system" a Bill must pass through, I wanted their opinion on if I should talk with the MMRC and try to get it put in as an Amendment or if the Bills were already too loaded or there were already too many amendments, etc. that it would be problematic.

    Well, Mr. Hansen said (words to the effect) "I don't know. Let's go ask Joel". (Representative Sheltrown, Chairman of the House TNR Committee who's office we've been working with to get these crafted). So he walked me up to Representative Sheltrown's office where Joel, Brady (Sheltrown's Assistant who actually took the notes and did all the political errand running to get these Bills crafted) and his other Aides were having their morning meeting together. Hansen had me explain everything again to them. I gave them a copy of the Field Directive. They read it and said that it was only "common sense stuff" and that it was no problem at all to make it an Amendment . . . and so it was; before I even had a chance to run it past the MMRC!

    I'll NEVER say that nothing gets done in Lansing again! Maybe not the really big stuff, but that Amendment happened in less than a half an hour!

    I then went down to meet the rest of the MMRC in the lobby so that we could go back to Joel's office for our regularly scheduled 10:00am meeting. While sitting in the lobby talking with Lew Shuler (the CCC's MMRC Delegate) and waiting for the rest of the crew, I happened to look at the group next to me - at Pete Hookstra! So I put in a plug for STOPPING all the Wilderness Designations. I also talked about our off-road needs here in Michigan. After all, he just might win the Governor's race (who knows).

    OK, Pete leaves and the MMRC Delegates all arrive. I tell them of the morning's happenings up in Hansen's and Sheltrown's offices and describe the content of the Directive (Brady had the only copy I'd brought with me). Lew was the only person to have an objection and that was that if conditions weren't good enough to pass in 2wd then we shouldn't be there for fear of doing damage. My reply was that IF damage were in fact being done, the DNR has the authority to cite persons for creating an erosive condition or damaging a public roadway. The mere use of 4wd doesn't indicate damage - wheel spin does. Also that the proper application of 4wd can reduce wheel spin, thereby being better for the road than traveling it in 2wd. He seemed to accept my response and was silent on the issue the rest of the day.

    Back up at Sheltrown's office we reviewed possible opposition to the Bills and ranked their threat level. One of our biggest concerns would be if the USERS complain about a $30.50 sticker price.

    We MUST spread the word that:

    • Fees haven't been raised since 1996
    • Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculates that after inflation $16.25 would be near $25 at today's prices
    • The $5.50 difference is to cover:
    • $1 additional for the NEW safety training program (which will now include 4x4 training!)
    • The rest ($4.50) is to maintain the 800 miles of new trails and route being put on the ground (of which Drummond is a portion)
    • We're not asking for pie in the sky. Part of the package is that the DNRE MUST publish all expenditures online for us to read. REAL receipt-based numbers, not the broad categorized type crap they've given us at the Advisory Board meetings. They WILL be held accountable for every penny of it.


    We then went to the TNR Com. Meeting and answered questions. Pretty straight forward. The Q&A went well. All seemed happy with the answers they were given. As I mentioned, DNRE is neutral until the amendments are put in place, then they will support if all is as we'd covered in our meeting last week. So far, the only thing they have a problem with is the 75 event number. It's not the number they're unhappy about; it's that we want it legislated and taken out of their control. We'll have to play that one by ear and see what happens.

    After the TNR Com Meeting we all went back to Sheltrown's conference room and talked with Brady some more. During conversation, Brady had the bright idea to open all Forest Roads on public lands to all OHVs like is the current situation in the U.P. ALL of the MMRC Delegates chuckled. We told him that if he can get it, GREAT! But we weren't going to hold our breath over it! He didn't understand why the DNRE would object. We laughed. His thought was to give the users more riding for their fee increase. We tried to explain our current political situation with the Department, but don't know if it sank in or not. Another "Wait and see".

    Have to be back again next Tuesday for the same thing on HB6159 and 6162 (Today was just HB6160 and 6161).

    I'll keep you informed of any progress.



    Your humble servant,

    Pat B
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    Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; May 19th, 2010 at 11:00 AM.
    Pat Brower

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  2. #2
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member DDS4X4's Avatar
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    GREAT work Pat
    Thank you, thank you, thank you ...

    PS - Isn't it GREAT what can be found in OLd Boondockers!!!
    What year was that? I can remember reading about it.
    Doug - KD8EDH
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDS4X4 View Post
    GREAT work Pat
    Thank you, thank you, thank you ...

    PS - Isn't it GREAT what can be found in OLd Boondockers!!!
    What year was that? I can remember reading about it.
    1996, and repeating what Doug said.
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  4. #4

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    Atta boy!
    KDSRGON GL#2665 KD8EGK
    Thanks to those that do all the hard work.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for your dedication and updates.

  6. #6
    Senior Member dustyxj's Avatar
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    Thumbs up great work pat..

    Thank you so much for all your time and effort to keep our trails open...

  7. #7
    Chair, Land Use Committee GLFWDA Member Trail_Fanatic's Avatar
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    We MUST spread the word that:


    The new Registration fee will get you:
    • The expansion of PA240 STATE WIDE
    • Removal its SUNSET DATE (remember that it IS set to expire, making ALL road shoulder riding illegal again soon)
    • Counts all CRC roads on NFS lands as OPEN in open counties, despite the NFS' attempt to claim that those are Federal Roads and therefore subject to the MVUM (NO PA 240).
    • Will allow State Highway Commission to designate State and Federal Highways for shoulder riding where needed



    Trail Permit Fees haven't been raised since 1996.

    Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculates that after inflation $16.25 would be near $25 at today's prices .

    The $5.50 difference will get you:
    • REAL receipt-based accounting, not the broad categorized type crap they've given us at the Advisory Board meetings
    • Statutory definition of "Other Road"
    • Statutory clarification of Forest Road
    • INCREASE in Event Permit trigger number from 20 PEOPLE to 75 VEHICLES
    • Liability protection for maintenance workers and groups
    • Maintenance of 800 miles of new trails and routes (including Drummond)
    • Tremendously improved Safety Training Course that will now include 4x4 and extraction training
    • Safety Training personnel will now be required to take and PASS all 3 types of NATIONAL Programs (Bike, ATV, and 4x4) before they will be allowed to teach.


    Are these Bills completely comprehensive and make ALL of the improvements we would like to see?

    No

    BUT . . .

    Do they make a hell of a good start?

    I sure think so!

    Besides, if they fail to pass, the system will deteriorate VERY quickly. We are out of surplus money and are NOT taking in enough at $16.25 to maintain the system in its current condition. Just to keep our current level would take an increase to $25. PLUS we have those 800 miles of new stuff to try to pay for.


    PLEASE, PLEASE,PLEASE help us get the word out that we NEED people to call the Committee and ask them to SUPPORT these Bills (6159, 6160, 6161, and 6162).
    Pat Brower

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  8. #8

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    GREAT JOB PAT!
    Tom
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    GLFWDA Member # 7205

  9. #9

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    QUOTE*
    Yesterday, GLFWDA, as a member of the MMRC, was asked to testify before the House Tourism & Natural Resources Committee (TNR Com.) about HB6160 and 6161.
    END QUOTE*

    Regarding this so called MMRC, could somebody please answer the following questions?

    *Who is the President of this MMRC?
    *Who are the Board members of this MMRC?
    *When are club meetings held?
    *Where are club meetings held?
    *Where can I read the clubs minutes at?
    *What legal statis [ 501c3?] does this club hold in the State of Michigan?
    *How does a person sign-up and join this MMRC?

    Im not trying to be a smart or anything, but I have asked Dick Ranney, Joel Sheltrown, Lew Shuler and a host of various other ORV folks the exact same above questions as well, and NOBODY has answered them.

    I suspect its really because this MMRC has no legal statis in Michigan. And if thats the case, than I would ''think'' that one would want to be sort of careful about testifiying in front of a State Committee.

    Anybody?

  10. #10
    Lower 41.5 GLFWDA Member Renegade II's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    QUOTE*
    Yesterday, GLFWDA, as a member of the MMRC, was asked to testify before the House Tourism & Natural Resources Committee (TNR Com.) about HB6160 and 6161.
    END QUOTE*

    Regarding this so called MMRC, could somebody please answer the following questions?

    *Who is the President of this MMRC?
    *Who are the Board members of this MMRC?
    *When are club meetings held?
    *Where are club meetings held?
    *Where can I read the clubs minutes at?
    *What legal statis [ 501c3?] does this club hold in the State of Michigan?
    *How does a person sign-up and join this MMRC?

    Im not trying to be a smart or anything, but I have asked Dick Ranney, Joel Sheltrown, Lew Shuler and a host of various other ORV folks the exact same above questions as well, and NOBODY has answered them.

    I suspect its really because this MMRC has no legal statis in Michigan. And if thats the case, than I would ''think'' that one would want to be sort of careful about testifiying in front of a State Committee.

    Anybody?
    I thought the MMRC was disbanded by the governors EO (2009-54) and the MSATAC (Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council) took it's place

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