Updating the 1979 michigan orv plan
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Updating the 1979 Michigan ORV Plan . Dr. Chuck Nelson Dept. Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies MI State University. MI’s First and Only ORV Plan. Mandated by PA 319 of 1975 Approved by NRC in 1978 Part of the 1979 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

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Updating the 1979 Michigan ORV Plan

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Updating the 1979 michigan orv plan

Updating the 1979 Michigan ORV Plan

Dr. Chuck Nelson

Dept. Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies

MI State University


Mi s first and only orv plan

MI’s First and Only ORV Plan

  • Mandated by PA 319 of 1975

  • Approved by NRC in 1978

  • Part of the 1979 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

    • Key Initiatives

      • Sought to separate ORV activity and other uses where conflict occurred

      • ORV riding allowed on

        • Designated ORV trails, routes and areas

        • Forest road system open to ORVs

        • Develop designated riding opportunities in S. MI

      • Protect the resources of the state from pollution or impairment


Since 1979 changes in technology recreation facilities and regulations

Since 1979: Changes in Technology, Recreation, Facilities and Regulations

  • 1980 DNR promulgates administrative rules

    • Close state forest land to ORV use except for forest roads and designated trails, routes and areas

      • Need 1,500 miles designated trail on the ground

  • DNR unsuccessful in creating S MI ORV areas

  • 1989 statewide ORV study

    • ORV has risen dramatically from the 1976 study

    • ATVs are the most common ORV

    • No major apportionment of gasoline sales tax money for ORVs as the PA 319 of 1975 recommended

  • 1990 DNR finishes 1,500 miles/rules effective

  • ORV Trail Improvement Fund authorized

  • 1991 NRC approves the system of ORV trails, routes, areas


Since 1979 changes in technology recreation facilities and regulations1

Since 1979: Changes in Technology, Recreation, Facilities and Regulations

  • 1991 Public Act 17

    • On Lower Peninsula state forest lands

      • Forest roads, trails, routes and areas closed unless posted open

      • Huron-Manistee National Forests adopted same rules

    • UP state forests stay open for use on forest roads and designated trails/areas/routes unless posted closed

      • Task force of citizens/DNR critical in decision

    • 1992 ORV season rules in effect for first time

    • ORV Trail Improvement Fund distribution authorized

  • Forest Recreation 2000 (approved 1995)

    • Strategic Plan for MI state forest recreation system

      • Goal is a high quality forest recreation program as part of a working, multiple use state forest system

        • Campgrounds, trails (motorized and non-motorized) and areas with forest recreation as the key value


  • Since 1979 changes in technology recreation facilities and regulations2

    Since 1979: Changes in Technology, Recreation, Facilities and Regulations

    • Public Act 58 of 1995

      • Use annual licensing to provide ORV program funding

        • Residents and non-residents pay

        • Eliminates MI registration, now use titling

        • Re-Create ORV Trail Improvement Fund, modify distribution formula

          • Restricted fund with carry-over authority

          • Grants to governmental agencies, non-profits for:

          • > 50% revenues for trail, area, route construction, maintenance, acquisition

          • >31.125% for trail, route and area enforcement

          • > 12.125% for ORV damage restoration on public lands

          • < 3.125% for administration


    Since 1979 changes in technology recreation facilities and regulations3

    Since 1979: Changes in Technology, Recreation, Facilities and Regulations

    • 1997 ORV Trail/Route Assessment

      • System of 2,531 miles (not including MCCCT)

        • 86% on MI state forest land

        • 14% on National forest land

      • DNR System condition (not including MCCCT)

        • Of 2,097 miles rated by DNR

          • 61% good (trail/route in compliance with trail standards over 95% of trail mileage)

          • 27% fair (trail/route in compliance with trail standards 75%-95% of trail mileage)

          • 11% poor (trail/route in compliance with trail standards for less than 75% of trail mileage)


    Since 1979 changes in technology recreation facilities and regulations4

    Since 1979: Changes in Technology, Recreation, Facilities and Regulations

    • 1997 Trail Maintenance Costs/Reimbursement Rates

      • Workshop with cooperators

        • Out of pocket costs (gasoline, equipment, etc.)/mile

          • $29.04 ORV trails

          • $21.69 ORV routes

        • If labor is considered a reimbursable cost/mile labor costs (@ $6/hour)

          • $104.05 for ORV trails

          • $ 55.05 for ORV routes

      • DNR used the following rates

        • In 1998 Trails @ $45/mile, raised to $54 in 2002

        • In 1998 Routes @ $34/mile, raised to $40 in 2002


    Since 1979 changes in technology recreation facilities and regulations5

    Since 1979: Changes in Technology, Recreation, Facilities and Regulations

    • 1998 Public Act 418 Forest Recreation Act

      • Mandates DNR to “develop, operate, maintain and promote an integrated system that provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, snowmobiling, ORV use,…w/in each state forest”

  • 2000 ORV licensee use and user study

    • First study to use ORV license info

      • Key trends 1975-2000

        • ORV use has shifted northward

        • Proportional and absolute use of the designated system has increased

        • Trail system has been created, grown, matured


  • 2000 state wide orv use and user study continued

    2000 State-wide ORV Use and User Study Continued

    • Key 2000 findings

      • 57% licenses ATV, 23% MC, 19% SUV

        • 21% from UP, 21% from NLP, 58% from SLP

      • 4.2 million ORV days per year

        • 44% private land ride, 31% public land ride, 25% hunt/ice fish

      • In average ORV household 2/3 family members ride

        • 71% 12-15 aged kids operate ORV, 1/3 riders completed ORV safety course

        • 57% 10-11 aged kids operate ORV, 1/6 riders completed ORV safety course

      • 54% of licensees used the designated trail system

        • 46% did not use the designated system

      • 29% of licensees used a designated ORV area

      • Key changes desired in response to open-end ques.

        • More riding opportunities, better signage, legal on road shoulders, reduce fee for non-trail users


    2000 2002 ausable pilot project

    2000-2002 AuSable Pilot Project

    • Value of more law enforcement and better signage to improve ORV rule compliance

      • Clare, Gladwin, Roscommon and Ogemaw Cos.

      • Improved signage appreciated by riders

      • Area with improved signage and additional enforcement had a 30% decline in ORV violations per contact by DNR enforcement personnel

      • Signage had relatively few apparent vandalism problems

      • Strong support for linking MCCCT loops with designated ORV trail/route connectors


    An updated plan for tomorrow

    An Updated Plan for Tomorrow

    • Key issues for updated plan

      • Meet legal mandates

      • Provide adequate riding opportunity

      • Minimize social conflict

      • Maintain environmental integrity

      • Maximize rider safety

      • Make most efficient use of ORV funds

      • Recent new wrinkle – New FS rules

        • “Closed unless posted open” on all NF

          • Not just the Huron-Manistee

      • Forest certification


    Who will be involved

    Who will be involved?

    • ORV Trails Advisory Board

      • Plan involvement is an important charge

    • ORV riders

      • Significant input through existing statewide surveys

      • Public information meetings, written comments

    • ORV Trail Improvement Fund grant sponsors

      • Trail maintenance grant sponsors

      • Law enforcement community

      • Environmental restoration interests

    • County road commissions

    • ORV organizations and dealers

    • Trail managing agencies

    • General public

      • Public information meetings, written comments

    • DNR

      • 8/26 Supervisors, 10/14 NLP, 10/15 UP


    Timeline march 2004 may 2005

    Timeline March 2004 – May 2005

    • Assemble and review background data

      • License trends

      • Grant programs

        • Trail maintenance

        • Law enforcement

        • Environmental restoration

      • ORV user surveys

        • 1976, 1989, 2000, 2002

  • Listen to interested stakeholders

    • Stakeholder workshops

      • 9/16 Restoration grant recipients

      • 9/21 Trail maintenance grant recipients

      • 10/11 Oscoda Co. local gov./citizens

    • Public information meetings

      • 10/12 Lansing

      • 10/13 Grayling

      • 10/14 Marquette


  • Maintenance and restoration grant workshop input

    Maintenance and Restoration Grant Workshop Input

    • Maintenance

      • Support for improved signage

        • Yellow backers from AuSable Pilot Project

        • Sign plan removing discretion for sponsors

      • Significant concern about liability associated with maintenance activities

      • Growing trail use = more trail maintenance

      • Costs higher than reimbursement for most

      • Support gas sales tax money to ORV program

  • Restoration

    • Engineering requirements are challenging

    • Need better ID of ORV damage sites off trails

    • Need more restoration interests involved


  • Public information meetings

    Public Information Meetings

    • S. Michigan (Lansing 10/12)

      • Attendance about 100

      • Three distinct user groups represented

        • Motorcycles, ATV, full size truck/dune buggy

        • Non-trail oriented users not well represented

      • Want separate trails to meet differing user needs

        • More trails in total

        • Parallel trails,“play” areas for large trucks

        • Many want NLP forest roads open to MC/ATV

        • Stated need for trail restoration, relocation

      • Want direct access from trails to goods/services

      • Support using gas sales tax $ from ORV for ORV

      • Support hands on & written youth ORV safety ed.


    Grayling public info meeting

    Grayling Public Info Meeting

    • Attendance about 85 on 10/13

      • Again three distinct groups plus 56” width ATV

        • Gator, Mule, etc.

        • Non-trail oriented users not well represented

      • Want separate trails to meet differing user needs

        • More trails in total

        • Parallel trails,“play” areas for large trucks

        • Many want NLP forest roads open to MC/ATV

        • Stated need for trail restoration, relocation

      • Want direct access from trails to goods/services

      • Support using gas sales tax $ from ORV for ORV

      • Support hands on & written youth ORV safety ed


    Marquette up public meet

    Marquette (UP) Public Meet

    • Attendance 135 (10/14)

      • Different character than previous meetings

        • Three ORV vehicle types represented

        • Also had vocal non-ORV riders concerned about trespass, property and environmental damage, cross-country use & beach riding

        • Also had hunt/fish/pick non-trail riders

      • Keep state/national forest roads open to ORV

      • Support county road shoulders open to ORV

      • ORV riders seen as major component of tourism

        • Want more designated trails for tourists

      • Support for ORV education focused on written to reach more youth, work through sheriffs

      • Want sign compatibility with snowmobile prog.


    Timeline march 2004 may 20051

    Timeline March 2004 – May 2005

    • Design and administer new surveys

      • Trail managers nationwide and in MI

        • How do others plan/manage ORV program

        • MI trail managers update MI trail condition info

      • County road commissioners

        • Willingness/concern with providing ORV opportunity

      • Law enforcement community

        • Experiences with ORV enforcement grant program and interest in education program

      • ORV organizations/dealers

        • Concerns, needs


    Timeline march 2004 may 20052

    Timeline March 2004 – May 2005

    • Reports on all surveys (December 2004)

    • Draft plan to DNR (January 2004)

    • Public draft plan presentation to MI ORV Trails Advisory Board

    • Draft plan out for public review (January – March 2005)

    • Revisions based on input (April 2005)

    • Final plan May 2005


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