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Thread: Primitive Road

  1. #1

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    Primitive Road

    The upcoming 2010 ORV Comprehensive legislation includes a provision on adding a new classification of road. My understanding is that GLFWDA is a driving force behind this.

    The summary includes this specific line:
    ---
    Language would be added to define "primitive road" and clarify that primitive roads are closed to OHV traffic.
    ---

    I'm initially supportive of such a change. There are a few concerns, thought, as I do not want to see anyone's access reduced (mine included!) and we know how the DNR can twist items to suit their needs-of-the-moment.

    Let's start with what we know, referring to State land only as the USFS has their own rules.

    1. Forest road is defined by MCL 324.81101, part e:
    http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-324-81101
    (e) "Forest road" means a hard surfaced road, gravel or dirt road, or other route capable of travel by a 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel conventional vehicle designed for highway use, except an interstate, state, or county highway.

    2. ORV Route, part t (same URL as above)
    (t) "Route" means a forest road or other road that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.

    Trails are for vehicles under 50". So the only pathways on State land for vehicles wider than 50" are Forest Roads. ORV Routes are just forest roads or other roads and by "other roads", they mean county roads. I suspect you can tweak "other roads" to mean some other non-classified pathway in that they could designate an ORV Route using something that's not passable by 2WD and thus not a "forest road".

    I'll take this a step further in that the "other road" as described in statute is ignored by the DNR in their Administrative Rules. The DNR designates an ORV Route as a Forest Road, period.

    See part f:
    http://www.state.mi.us/orr/emi/admin...pt=NR&RngHigh=
    (f) "Designated route" means forest roads that have been properly signed on the ground for ORV use.

    Anything not a trail is a forest road, unless a 2WD passenger vehicle can't traverse it, then it doesn't exist (or is not legal to be on). This is also supported by the DNR's ORV Route confidence markers that clearly state that DNR license is required unless you are licensed by the secretary of state (ie ORV sticker needed unless you have a license plate).

    Searching the forum here, what little info I could find, I think we are on the same page so far.

    The full-size crowd is interested in changing the definition of a forest road, or at least expanding it, to include another description, one that would include roads that are not otherwise passable by a 2WD vehicle, i.e. it would require 4x4 or similar high clearance to traverse it.

    Prior to PA451, the definition of a forest road was (paraphrase here as I don't have the actual handy):
    Any path or way capable of travel by a four wheeled vehicle.

    Since four wheeled ATVs were becoming quite popular about the time PA451 went in (and I reference PA451, but I believe it was actually the statute implemented in '92), those were technically "four wheeled vehicles" and they could go "anywhere" relatively speaking, without the need for a way or path, and were creating those "forest roads" by making a pass or two through the woods. Basically cross country travel was being allowed and new roads were potentially being created. To stop this, the passenger vehicle bit was thrown in.

    Now we've circled back around and realized (unfortunately through tickets) that this language doesn't adequately cover ordinary scenarios, where a forest road is not passable by a 2WD "car" and so it's not really a forest road by "definition", but it IS a road and it IS passable without destruction by an appropriate vehicle.

    The suggestion of adopting "primitive road" in addition to the forest road definition is being proposed as a remedy. I think the BLM's language is being used as the template.

    Here's is the BLM's current road/trail definitions:
    Transportation Route Definitions

    Transportation Routes are comprised of roads, primitive roads, and trails. The definitions
    below have been adopted by the BLM and will be used to classify the transportation
    assets.

    Road: A linear route declared a road by the owner, managed for use by low
    clearance vehicles having four or more wheels, and maintained for regular and
    continuous use.
    Primitive Road: A linear route managed for use by four-wheel drive or high-
    clearance vehicles. Primitive roads do not normally meet any BLM road design
    standards.
    Trail: A linear route managed for human-powered, stock, or off-highway vehicle
    forms of transportation or for historical or heritage values. Trails are not generally
    managed for use by four-wheel drive or high clearance vehicles.

    Here's current (April 09) BLM guidance on "primitive roads":

    When to classify as such:
    http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...9-132_att1.pdf

    Maintenance Guideline (this one has some nice visuals):
    http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...Guidelines.pdf

    If we adopt the primitive road definition, we now have a legal description for those roads that require 4x4.

    Questions and concerns:

    1. How will the "no erosive condition" edict be avoided. It's Michigan and if you need 4x4 it's usually sand or mud (snow too, I suppose) since we don't have rocks. Since sand and mud easily "erode" it's pretty clear that if 4x4 is needed, by definition an erosive condition exists. Not saying it's bad or that one shouldn't 'wheel, just that this would appear to be issue #1.

    2. What restrictions on use will be placed on these roads? Obviously the best way to keep the DNR from making rules to kill these primitive roads would be to use similar requirements as Forest Roads - require PA300 compliance (ie license plates) in the LP and free-for-all in the UP.


    My main concern is that we don't want forest roads to be closed or restricted in some way that would prevent access to them by the Users that _can_ currently use them.

    "Closed to OHV traffic" is not necessarily a good thing. I suspect this is just the "short version" used in the summary and details are missing (which is what I'm hoping). For example, if OHVs were restricted from the newly defined Primitive Roads, then many forest roads in the UP would suddenly become closed to ATVs and motorcycles (sleds too, I think, but not by the OHV verbiage).

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    /Jeramey

  2. #2
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Trail_Fanatic's Avatar
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    Jeramey,

    A lot has happened over the last 1-2 years that GLFWDA has been struggling to get the Drummond Island ORV Route designated. One of the more notable items to come from the process is a new DNR definition for the words "other road" in the Pa 451 definition of Route. The letters are attached below.

    Until Drummond, the ORV Routes were all set up using your interpretation of the definitions in PA451. You interpreted it the same way as LED but GLFWDA and FMFM were interpreting 451 (Route in particular) as is stated in the attachments below. This had to be run up the chain and have a unified interpretation before we could take Drummond forward. The ORV Route markers will now be changing in some areas because the new stance on the word 'other' in the definition of Route is allowing non-Forest Road travel ways to be designated as Routes. A SOS license currently covers you on all Forest Roads and used to cover you on all ORV Routes until Drummond. Drummond is the first ORV Route to use large segments of travel way that don't meet the definition of Forest Road OR the former interpretation of "Other Road". Those portions will now require an ORV Sticker to operate upon.

    The BLM info is a GREAT resource and I'd hope that our DNR might take a look at it someday, but that isn't the intent at this point.

    The new definition is merely to give a word to all of those pre-existing "roads" (for lack of a better word) that fail to meet the PA451 Forest Road definition. Always reverting to the word "other" is awkward and lends an impression of illegitimacy. Currently, anything 'undefined' by 451 (failing to meet the Forest Road definition) is illegal for any form of ORV. If passed, Primitive Road would define those routes but the legislation would also not make them legal.

    Nothing would change on the ground.

    It only serves to define all of those currently undefined roads, not make them legal or illegal for any vehicle class. They're already illegal for any of us unless designated as a route (or trail if you're riding rather than driving).

    It would be a separate, 'stand-alone' definition that would also be referenced in the definition of Route thusly:

    Current definition:

    (t) "Route" means a forest road or other road that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.

    New definition:

    (t) "Route" means a forest road, primitive road or other road that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.

    I am also very concerned that the DNR will try to interpret them out of consideration for designation. That's why they'll be specifically mentioned in the definition of Route.

    Hope this helps.
    Let me nkow if anything needs further clarification.
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  3. #3
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member Trail_Fanatic's Avatar
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    Could you post a link to the original public announcement for everyone?
    I haven't seen it yet (or know where to find it) myself.


    Never mind, found it:

    http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/fo...d.php?t=296316

    Thanks though!

    For those who aren't aware, Brady is Representative Sheltrown's aid.
    Representative Sheltrown is the Chairman of the House Tourism, Recreation and Natural Resources Committee.
    Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; July 23rd, 2009 at 06:43 PM.
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  4. #4

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    From District 103 (Rep Sheltrown)
    Version: July 21, 2009 (Pre-Draft #1)

    2010 OHV Comprehensive Legislation


    This legislation impacts numerous sections of Michigan ORV law. It is referred to as the "2010 Comprehensive" to distinguish it from other ORV legislation. The legislation is based on public comment and the contribution of various user groups to date. It is a work in progress. Changes are anticipated throughout the legislative process. The summary below reflects the status of the legislation as of the date listed above.

    The 2010 Comprehensive would increase funding for trail maintenance and law enforcement on public land and county roads. It seeks to better address problems regarding public and private trespass and unsupervised youth operation. It would improve OHV safety education. It would clean-upissues identified with PA 240'08, apply PA 240'08 state-wide and make that law permanent.


    Summary of changes:

    References to "Off-road vehicle" and "ORV" in Michigan law would be changed to "Off-highway vehicle and "OHV" to reflect federal law.

    The cost of an annual trail permit would increase to $30.50. Of that, $14.50 would go to trail maintenance, $14.50 to department operations, enforcement and special initiatives, $1 to OHV safety education, and 50 cents to the license vendor.

    An annual registration of OHVs not already plated by the state would be established. The cost of the annual registration would be $6. Of that, $1 would go to the Secretary of State for administration and 50 cents would go to OHV safety education. The remaining money would be dispersed to county sheriffs where county roads are opened to OHVs pursuant to PA 240'08 in a ratio proportional to the number of OHV lane miles open in each county to the state total. The registration would expire on April 1 of each year. Otherwise, the registration process would be closely based on the current snowmobile registration process.

    Along with a certificate of registration, the Secretary of State would establish and issue an identifying decal under rules promulgated by that department that would be displayed on the OHV. The registration decal would not be required for OHVs that are already plated through the Secretary of State or have a current plate or current registration decal from another state or a province of Canada.

    OHV registrations would be included in the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).

    Any county, township, city or village in the state would be able to open its local roads under PA 240. PA 240 would no longer be restricted to northern Michigan.

    The Michigan Transportation Commission would be able to permanently, seasonallyor temporarily authorize the travel of OHVs on short stretches of state highways that have a speed limit at or below 45 miles per hour.

    The location of operation on county roads would be clarified to include maintained shoulders.

    The language allowing county road commissions to close up to 30% of county roads for environmental or safety reasons would be clarified to reflect the original intent of PA 240.

    Language would be added to authorize local units of government to permit the travel of OHVs on roads maintained with state or local funds that pass through or along federal forest lands.

    Penalties would be doubled for trespass on private and public lands, unsupervised youth operation and operating an OHV without a helmet except where helmet use is not currently required.

    The definition of an ATV would be amendedto reflect the languageof HB 5087.

    The MDNR would establish an OHV Safety Training Academy to train and license OHV Safety instructors. These instructors would be compensated through rules promulgated by the department through the OHV Safety Training Fund at a rate of not more than $20 per student. Licensed OHV safety instructors would not be allowed to charge an additional fee for classroom instruction but would be allowed to charge a fee for optional hands-on instruction desired by the parent or student.

    A free riding day would be established the third Saturday in May where an OHV trail sticker or OHV registration is not required.

    Liability limits would be established for trail maintenance organizations equal to that provided to organizations that groom snowmobile trails.

    The threshold for an organized group event on state land would be increased to 75 vehicles unless the group is collecting a fee for the event.

    Language would be added to define "primitive road" and clarify that primitive roads are closed to OHV traffic.

    The PA 240 sunset would be removed.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Fanatic View Post
    a new DNR definition for the words "other road" in the Pa 451 definition of Route
    I hadn't seen the guidance letter from the DNR. It's great they have decided to ignore their administrative rules and go by statute (as they should) and use the "other road" definition in a way that benefits the Users. Very rare indeed.

    PS - Good deal on the Drummond ORV Route, great work that y'all were able to get it established.

    Am I understanding correctly, then, that the Primitive Road definition is solely to help ensure the Dept won't be able flip flop on the "other road" definition?
    In other words, the DNR could change their guidance letter (on a whim) and no longer allow "other road" to mean, well, other roads? In doing so, they'd kill off the Drummond Route, for example (clearly a bad thing if they did).

    I'm concerned that by defining the new road category, the Dept will come up with some whacky qualifications for said road and then start applying it to existing forest roads.
    Without mandating the new category be open to particular vehicle types, the Dept could systematically start closing legitimate roads through their forest simply by declaring they are "primitive roads" and not designating them as Routes. As primitive roads would not be open to any vehicles, suddenly that road is now closed.

    Right now, the DNR only has forest roads and trails. If it's not a trail, it's a forest road. We can agree that some forest roads don't meet that technical description, but for discussion purposes, and more importantly for management purposes, everything that's not a trail is a road.

    If we use the BLM's example, they define the road, define the maintenance level and define the traffic suitable for use on that road.
    In our situation, if we do not define who/what can use the new road category, we create a situation were the DNR can now easily close roads. Currently, since we lack that definition, forest roads are all that are out there and forest roads are all open to PA300 vehicles. Supposedly, forest roads can only be closed by Director's Orders; although we all know they close roads without following that procedure (usually through timber harvests). If this new category is created, now they don't have to get a DO, they just have to declare that road a "primitive road".

    I think we can all agree there are some forest roads that do not meet the current definition, since 4WD is needed to traverse them.
    What's more prevalent, however, are forest roads that only at certain times of the year - such as early spring - do not meet the forest road technical definition.

    I'm concerned that the Dept would start classifying these roads as primitive roads, since they would meet that category part of the year. Using their logic, if it meets the definition, then it must be, regardless of when it meets that definition.

    If primitive road has nothing defined for what is allowed on it, the road has suddenly become closed year 'round simply because it meets the definition of primitive road at some time of the year.

    Basically, it's great to define a primitive road, but we need to ensure access to such a road so it can't be used as a tool against us.

    Briefly on the new category of ORV Route. Having a route requiring an ORV Sticker is a concern. Confusion, lack of clarity on what/where, changing signage. Hmm. The ORV Route markers say "unless licensed by SOS". It would be better to define a new type of ORV Route. It reminds me of the cycle-only trail stuff that went through last year. Suddenly the rules changed, but the same signs were still being used.
    I'm supportive of the challenging Route type of system, just don't like the idea of bending the existing ORV Route designation to fit it with new criteria for use. It would be better to define a new Route with it's own sign. "Primitive ORV Route" or "Challenge Route" (or whatever) and then apply the rule that the Sticker is required.
    Our ORV-related rules are confusing enough, this only serves to add to that confusion (this is my only point of contention). The simpler we can keep it, the more compliance we'll see. As we're changing the laws/rules right now, this would be a good time to add such an item to the list.
    Just to be clear, not saying that what was done to get the DI Route going was bad, nope. I understand what was done, was done in the best interest and with the best means available.
    However, if we're changing stuff, this is one item that deserves inclusion.

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    OK.....I don't know this 2TrakR guy.................but he definitely needs to post more often!!

    WOW! I learned a lot from this post! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by T-way View Post
    OK.....I don't know this 2TrakR guy.................but he definitely needs to post more often!!

    WOW! I learned a lot from this post! Thanks!

    I have had to learn all of this and more the last few years in just trying to maintain pace in facilitating change. The beautiful part in what Jeramey was able to do, was articulate it following his thought process.

    My thoughts aren't always so clear
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    My comments are in red to make it easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2TrakR View Post
    I hadn't seen the guidance letter from the DNR. It's great they have decided to ignore their administrative rules and go by statute (as they should) and use the "other road" definition in a way that benefits the Users. Very rare indeed.

    PS - Good deal on the Drummond ORV Route, great work that y'all were able to get it established.

    Am I understanding correctly, then, that the Primitive Road definition is solely to help ensure the Dept won't be able flip flop on the "other road" definition?
    In other words, the DNR could change their guidance letter (on a whim) and no longer allow "other road" to mean, well, other roads? In doing so, they'd kill off the Drummond Route, for example (clearly a bad thing if they did). That's one of the larger reasons.

    I'm concerned that by defining the new road category, the Dept will come up with some whacky qualifications for said road and then start applying it to existing forest roads. The 'qualifications' have already been on the books since 451 passed in 1994. 2WD = Forest Road / Not 2WD = NOT a Road and ILLEGAL to drive or ride (currently undefined).
    Without mandating the new category be open to particular vehicle types, the Dept could systematically start closing legitimate roads through their forest simply by declaring they are "primitive roads" and not designating them as Routes. As primitive roads would not be open to any vehicles, suddenly that road is now closed. They've already been doing that for years as a result of the current Forest Road definition. This changes nothing about how they've been managing the systems, it only gives a statutory name to them, rather than leaving them undefined.

    Right now, the DNR only has forest roads and trails. If it's not a trail, it's a forest road. We can agree that some forest roads don't meet that technical description, but for discussion purposes, and more importantly for management purposes, everything that's not a trail is a road. I have to graciously, but completely disagree with this statement. 4x4s have been getting cited for years (since 451 passed) for driving on travel ways that have been on the ground for 100+ years but fail to meet the Forest Road definition. The DNR (and NFS too) consider it illegal off-road operation, even though there's a definite path being followed (but it's not passable in 2wd).

    If we use the BLM's example, they define the road, define the maintenance level and define the traffic suitable for use on that road.
    In our situation, if we do not define who/what can use the new road category, we create a situation were the DNR can now easily close roads. Currently, since we lack that definition, forest roads are all that are out there and forest roads are all open to PA300 vehicles. Supposedly, forest roads can only be closed by Director's Orders; although we all know they close roads without following that procedure (usually through timber harvests). If this new category is created, now they don't have to get a DO, they just have to declare that road a "primitive road". It is defined - and has been since 1994 (2wd = Forest road). Now those travel ways not passable in 2wd will be called Primitive Roads, rather than off-road or cross-country travel.

    I think we can all agree there are some forest roads that do not meet the current definition, since 4WD is needed to traverse them.
    What's more prevalent, however, are forest roads that only at certain times of the year - such as early spring - do not meet the forest road technical definition. This was covered years ago by the attachment below.

    I'm concerned that the Dept would start classifying these roads as primitive roads, since they would meet that category part of the year. Using their logic, if it meets the definition, then it must be, regardless of when it meets that definition.

    If primitive road has nothing defined for what is allowed on it, the road has suddenly become closed year 'round simply because it meets the definition of primitive road at some time of the year. What can travel on them is defined -NOTHING. Just as today. Nothing changes, it's only a statutory definition of all those travel ways in the forest that fail to meet the current Forest Road definition. Those travel ways are currently illegal to drive and after they are redefined as Primitive Roads, they'll still be illegal to drive. No change in management or the on-the-ground situation. The only thing that changes is that instead of being called "other" they would now called "primitive".

    Basically, it's great to define a primitive road, but we need to ensure access to such a road so it can't be used as a tool against us. The word changes nothing. They are currently illegal and would continue to be.

    Briefly on the new category of ORV Route. Having a route requiring an ORV Sticker is a concern. Confusion, lack of clarity on what/where, changing signage. Hmm. The ORV Route markers say "unless licensed by SOS". It would be better to define a new type of ORV Route. It reminds me of the cycle-only trail stuff that went through last year. Suddenly the rules changed, but the same signs were still being used.
    I'm supportive of the challenging Route type of system, just don't like the idea of bending the existing ORV Route designation to fit it with new criteria for use. It would be better to define a new Route with it's own sign. "Primitive ORV Route" or "Challenge Route" (or whatever) and then apply the rule that the Sticker is required. That's why you'll be seeing the signs on Drummond change. It will probably also require clarification in the ORV Handbook too. I'd like to see it defined as a 4x4 Route. Then go on to confirm that 4x4 Routes are open to all forms of OHV, but designed with the full-sized 4x4 as the primary user-group.That's all still in review by the DNR's Drummond ORV Route Design Sub-Committee.
    Our ORV-related rules are confusing enough, this only serves to add to that confusion (this is my only point of contention). The simpler we can keep it, the more compliance we'll see. As we're changing the laws/rules right now, this would be a good time to add such an item to the list.
    Just to be clear, not saying that what was done to get the DI Route going was bad, nope. I understand what was done, was done in the best interest and with the best means available.
    However, if we're changing stuff, this is one item that deserves inclusion.
    Last edited by Trail_Fanatic; August 5th, 2009 at 11:23 PM.
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  9. #9

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    Thanks for continuing the discussion!

    (short version)

    Two items we are both in agreement on (I believe):

    1. There are roads that meet the definition of "Primitive Road" effectively year-around. These do not qualify as "forest roads" by definition.

    2. There are forest roads that do not qualify as "forest roads" during certain times of the year. LED Guidance says for enforcement purposes, they are still forest roads.

    My concern is if the new definition is available, FMFM will use it to apply to those forest roads that are passable most of the year.

    FMFM Staff do not have a guidance letter that says all forest roads are always forest roads (only LED does); they do not have guidance on how/when/why to classify a road; they only now have two classifications. Before we gave them "primitive road", they only had one classification "forest road".

    "Other road" is not a classification option for a road that is a forest road 10 months of the year. This is because that road meets the minimum "forest road definition" at some point in the year - lowest common denominator. However, if FMFM now gets to choose between "Primitive Road" and "Forest Road" and that road meets the minimum "Primitive Road definition" at some point in the year, they will classify it as a Primitive Road.

    To back up that assertion - Which path will the DNR take most of the time: One that keeps roads open or one that closes roads?
    Will the Dept be able to use the Primitive Road definition to close roads?


    I suggest an alternative, and not that it's the only or best solution:

    1. Skip the primitive road addition and change ORV Route to be inclusive of those types of roads:
    (t) "Route" means a forest road, or other road which may require the use of four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles, that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.



    (long version)

    I'm concerned that by defining the new road category, the Dept will come up with some whacky qualifications for said road and then start applying it to existing forest roads.
    The 'qualifications' have already been on the books since 451 passed in 1994. 2WD = Forest Road / Not 2WD = NOT a Road and ILLEGAL to drive or ride (currently undefined).
    Using the LED Field Directive you attached, Forest Roads remain forest roads, even if they are not passable seasonally. That's how things are enforced now. That's not how they are managed though. The only type of non-trail that's mentioned in any of the management prescriptions, rules, director's orders, prescriptions or requests, is "forest road".

    Let's try a hypothetical example to illustrate my concern:

    Primitive Road is accepted into statute and is defined as:
    A road that requires use of four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles.

    FMFM Staff take the new category and apply it to any forest or other road that meets the description, even if it only meets that description seasonally.

    How could they do this? Well, the LED Field Directive is only for Law Enforcement, it's not guidance for FMFM Staff. FMFM Staff go by Administrative Rules and/or Statute. Statute, as is being proposed, would only define those characteristics of a Primitive Road - there would be no "seasonal" reference.

    In other words, some forest roads are seasonally out of technical description of forest road. While the LED Field Directive says for law enforcement purposes that road is still a forest road, the new statutory description of a primitive road would not take seasonal changes into account, it would just define it as any road that needs 4x4 (and doesn't matter "when" that time would be).

    See where I'm going?

    FMFM Staff would now be able to define any road as being closed simply because in their mind/definition it's a primitive road as one needs high clearance to pass it - during some point in the year.
    I won't say that snowfall would be a contributing factor, that's a bit far for even the DNR to push it.


    Just to clarify, I'm not trying to argue or stop the idea of what is being proposed. I'm concerned on language, implementation and how it ultimately impacts us all.

    To give an example of how the bureaucracy can do things... statute defines how ORV funds are to be distributed. For sake of simplicity: 50% to Trail Maintenance, 25% to Administrative and 25% to Law Enforcement. (actual disbursement formula: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-324-81119)

    So, if we collected $100, Maint gets $50 and both the others get $25, right? That's what statute intends. If any of those sections don't request the full amount, they still had the full amount available, right?
    NO! Says the DNR. Since Law Enforcement only requested $10, now everyone else can only have $20 and $10 because:
    Law Enforcement gets 25%; they are getting $10; and since $10 is 25% of $40, the whole available pot is now only $40. Even though we had $100 in the pot, all they can give out is $40 because they are sticking to the formula. Not the intent of the formula. Certainly not common sense ;-)

    Now allow me to provide an example of the use of forest road terminology for management and closure purposes.
    On the upcoming NRC meeting in August, the Dept is requesting Director's Orders to allow closure of a forest road (ok, a bunch of roads).
    Side point - if they were not "forest roads" the DNR would not need a DO to close them, they could just stump 'em up. Right? Not-a-forest-road needs nothing, it's already undefined and "closed".

    Here's the DO proposal for these roads in Roscommon county:
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dn...d_286279_7.pdf

    The third road is clearly not a forest road as it has a creek crossing and is not passable by 2WD: "The road is contributing to illegal ORV use, which is causing damage to soils, riparian zones and is contributing to run off into Denton Creek. Closure of the road will enhance non-motorized recreational use, provide habitat for wildlife with less roads, and provide for an old growth or bio-reserve area. Staff recommendations include replacing a missing culvert over Denton Creek and berming both sides of the creek to block the road to prevent illegal use by ORVs. "

    If we give the Dept the primitive road definition, they could apply it here. The road clearly meets that definition. This forest road would now be a primitive road and automatically closed to everyone. The Dept would not have to get Director approval to close it/berm it/gate it. Without Director approval, you and I would never have a chance to fight the closure. Right now, We can go in and say "we need this road, the DNR plans to put in a culvert which will solve the wet-area issues and this forest road provides much needed vehicle access to x, y and z".

    The Dept does not have guidance on when or how to classify a road. Now they only have one classification (forest road). Using the BLM for reference, they have detailed instructions on how to classify, what can be done to change classification and so on. Without that level of guideance, the DNR could (and from past experience, they will) randomly designate various roads as either primitive or forest.

    Here's a couple alternate approaches that would accomplish the same goal, but not open us up for more indiscriminate closures:

    1. (simple one) Skip the primitive road addition and change ORV Route to be inclusive of those types of roads:
    (t) "Route" means a forest road, or other road which may require the use of four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles, that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.

    Item 1 solves the concern for the Drummond Route while also enabling other such designated routes to come into existence. Effectively it is taking the guidance letter from the DNR and making it part of statute; making it so they can not flip-flop on it down the road.

    2. (complex) Add primitive road, open it to PA300 vehicles and modify Route to include such a road so that ORVs can be on it when designated as a Route.
    (f) "Primitive Road" is a road that requires use of four wheel drive or high clearance vehicle and is open to PA300 licensed vehicles and also to ORVs when included in a Designated Route.
    (t) "Route" means a forest road, primitive road or other road that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.

    Number 2 is not the best since forest roads are open in the UP and closed in the LP via Administrative Rules. Statute has not defined what Forest Roads are open to. This example also has the negative of requiring a plate in the UP on "primitive roads". It also has the benefit of opening up these roads everywhere. Due to this last point, I doubt it would fly... LED could still use the "erosive condition" test and so would have some control yet.

    Briefly on the new category of ORV Route.
    I'd like to see it defined as a 4x4 Route. Then go on to confirm that 4x4 Routes are open to all forms of OHV, but designed with the full-sized 4x4 as the primary user-group.
    4x4 ORV Route would be a good option. Keeps the language close enough, but adds the necessary additional language so as to allow the requirement of a sticker.
    Do you know where the committee is at with their review/recommendations?

  10. #10
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member
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    Jeramey...

    I was was surprised to see you posting here... I'm glad you did.

    I read thru your logic and find I am in full agreement with your premise as you've stated it.

    I wish I had better control of the Quoting process ... as it would help me respond.

    Just the same, I'll try.

    You made two suggestions reguarding a verbage change to support a "Primitve Road" definition:

    [[[Here's a couple alternate approaches that would accomplish the same goal, but not open us up for more indiscriminate closures:

    1. (simple one) Skip the primitive road addition and change ORV Route to be inclusive of those types of roads:
    (t) "Route" means a forest road, or other road which may require the use of four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles, that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.

    Item 1 solves the concern for the Drummond Route while also enabling other such designated routes to come into existence. Effectively it is taking the guidance letter from the DNR and making it part of statute; making it so they can not flip-flop on it down the road.

    2. (complex) Add primitive road, open it to PA300 vehicles and modify Route to include such a road so that ORVs can be on it when designated as a Route.
    (f) "Primitive Road" is a road that requires use of four wheel drive or high clearance vehicle and is open to PA300 licensed vehicles and also to ORVs when included in a Designated Route.
    (t) "Route" means a forest road, primitive road or other road that is designated for purposes of this part by the department.]]]


    I agree we need to keep it simple.. and your 1st choice keeps it that way...
    your second choice brings it back to interpetation, much like the "Primitive Road" description would. (I say that based on the the new insite you provided)

    I havn't seen Mr. Brower respond yet,, but with the long hours Pat is working that is no surprise. I believe Pat's sole intention when he inserted the term "primitive road" was seek a better definition then what exists in the DNR's lexicon at the present time.

    The arguement you presented made a lot of sense... at least it made me think, (which doesn't happen to often).....Anyways... thanks for your input.

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