Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Ignace
Some new ORV Info
Got an e-mail with this info in it, thought I would toss it up.
Michigan Trail Signing:
Before I get to the OHV Legislation, I am proud to have represented Mi-TRALE and the Michigan OHV Community on the Mi DNRE State Trail Signing Board. Our final 'face-to-face' meeting will be tommorrow in St. Ignace. This will have been the 3rd meeting of this board, and it will be at tommorrow's meeting that I hope to have the chance to present the SUCCESSFULL Mi-TRALE OHV Trail Signing program. A program that was in the works for YEARS, and implemented over 3 years ago.
Mi-TRALE's OHV Trail Signing Program was based upon the following FACTS:
1) While it is important to standardize a consistant STOP and STOP AHEAD program between the different motorized OHV users, it is also imperative that OHV Trail Designation Signing be DIFFERENT then that of the snowmobile trails. In the Western UP, we have many miles of snowmobile trails that are NOT open to OHV users. When the wheeled community rides on the Private Property whereby only snowmobile use is permitted, the wheeled community is putting snowmobile trail use easements at risk.
2) Snowmobile Trail's use a numeric system. Mi-TRALE OHV Trails use an alphabetical letter system. This allows the users to know which trails are snowmobile-only trails, which trails are OHV (wheeled) use only, and which trails are used by both user groups.
3) With Mi-TRALES proven OHV Trail Signing program, Mi-TRALE developed a 6-County OHV Trail Map. The trails on this map coincide with the Signs on the trails.
4) With the Mi-TRALE Trail Signing program, and the map, OHV Riders and Emergency personal are able to locate where an accident happened.
5) With the Mi-TRALE Trail Signing program and the Mi-TRALE Western UP OHV Trail Map, Chambers and Tourism Associations were able to help us in the PROMOTION of OHV recreation in the Western UP.
6) With the Mi-TRALE Trail Signing program and the Mi-TRALE Western UP OHV Trail Map, the OHV Rider knew where he could ride and knew where he was riding. This helped prevent OHV Riders from getting lost and/or riding on trails that OHV Riding is not legal. This helped in keeping OHV Riding out of areas where possible enviornmental damage could occur.
7) Mi-TRALE OHV Trail Signing used the color combination that has been used by the MiDNRE for years on its OHV-ONLY "Arrow" Signs. It is the same color combination that the US Forest Service currently uses to inform OHV Riders of the Travel Management Rule. The color combination is Black lettering on a White Background, which has the MOST contrast during the primary OHV Riding seasons of Spring, Summer, and Fall. This color combination is the MOST VISIBLE during those seasons and has been associated with OHV Riding in Michigan for years. It is also the OPPOSITE of the Black on Orange that the snowmobile trail numbering signs use.
8) This program allows for both the MiDNRE and the USFS to put their logo and/or name at the top of the sign, where we currently have "Mi-TRALE." It also allows for the bottom of the sign to have "OHV Trail," "OHV Route," Motorcycle Trail," or whatever the MiDNRE and/or USFS wants to title the trail.
9) The Mi-TRALE trail signing program allows for the use of 1, 2, or 3 letters, and allows for a trail to be easily identified and signed between connecting OHV Trail Signing Clubs and/or organizations. This is already being done on our IRM Trail, the LL Trail, the BN Trail, and others. On Non-Connecting trails, an organization can use whatever alphabetical letter they want. Plus it is easier to have up to 3 letters on a trail map and a trail sign, then a long and lengty 'trail name.' This is proven with Highway maps and Highway signing, which use numbers or alphabetical letters, in place of 'highway names.'
Even with all these reasons, we do have one snowmobile club in the Western UP that took it upon themselves to go out and take down our IRM Trail Signs. Mi-TRALE got permission from the MiDNRE to have these signs up. This snowmobile club then simply tossed the posts into the woods. The posts, material to make the signs, and all the time in making the signs and putting them up, is PAID FOR BY OUR MEMBERSHIP DUES. Mi-TRALE volunteers will be replacing those signs in the next few weeks.
With all these reasons, and the years of a PROVEN successfull program, Mi-TRALE is hoping that the State will implement this OHV Trail Signing program.
Mi-TRALE continues to push for "OHV Crossing" Signs on Roads and Highways:
For the past year, Mi-TRALE has been trying to get "OHV Crossing" Signs on highways, just like the Snowmobile Crossing Signs. Michigan has THOUSANDS of Snowmobile Crossing Signs on the highways, but does not have a SINGLE ONE OHV Crossing Sign! We have asked the MiDNRE and our Western UP State Representative Mike Lahti and State Senator Mike Prusi to intervene and get the Michigan Department of Transportation to put the OHV Crossing Signs up BEFORE we have a serious accident.
Mi-TRALE understands that it is UP TO THE OHV RIDER to STOP at the already posted STOP Signs before crossing the highways. This is apparant as to all the work our VOLUNTEERS have done over the years to make sure that STOP AHEAD and STOP Signs are up. Once again this spring,Mi-TRALE volunteers have put on hundreds of miles in making sure that STOP AHEAD and STOP Signs are up.
Just like the snowmobile warning signs on the highways, the OHV Crossing signs simply alert Semi's, Trucks, Cars, and Street-Legal Motorcyclists that they are coming to a 'blind' crossing where an OHV may be crossing the highway.
This is the latest e-mail I received from State Senator MikePrusi:
Dear Mr. Schulz,
Thank-you for your e-mail regarding the lack of appropriate ORV Cross Warning signs in the Western Upper Peninsula. I appreciate your initiative to contact me and efforts to address this particular issue.
I wanted to share with you that my office has reached out to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to resolve this problem as a result of your e-mail. Please be assured that as soon as we receive some feedback, I will share that information with you immediately. I believe you have raised a valid concern and will work with the Department to ensure the State best addresses it.
Once again, thank-you for writing. I will be back in touch, but meanwhile, if you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to follow-up with me.
Senate Democratic Leader
This is what I received on Friday, May 21st, from State Representative Mike Lahti.
Mr. Schulz: I received a response from the DNRE, below:
(From Ronald Yesney on May 18, 2010)
The requests for ORV Trail Crossing Signs have come from the ORV Clubs to the DNRE, and then from the DNRE to MDOT.
The signs haven't been put up because MDOT doesn't have a policy or template for signing ORV Trail Crossings.
I received a call today from Andy Sikkema, the Ishpeming MDOT Travel Service Center Director, and he said he would be working with his colleagues from Lansing on developing a policy for signing these trail crossings. Andy also asked who should be the DNRE contact on the issue, I suggested DNRE Trails Coordinator Jim Radabaugh.
So it looks as though this situation is moving forward and I'm confident that a sign template and sign policy are in the works.
(From Mike Lahti's office, the e-mail ends with....)
Skip, I have also followed up with MDOT. It's being worked on.
Time will tell if Mi-TRALE's efforts to get these OHV Crossing Signs up will happen.
To review copies of the 2010 OHV Comprehension Legislation, Go to:
www.legislature.mi.gov/ type in bill numbers 6159, 6160, 6161 and 6162 and they will come up. 98 pages total. Bold print identifies new language.
Please be aware, the four OHV Bills were enrolled in the House on Tuesday, May 11th, they are subject to amendments by any member of the House and concurrence of the House Committee of TOURISM, OUTDOOR RECREATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES before a House floor vote.
What is included in this summary is an overview of what is in each Bill. They will affect the sports of OHV activity for several years in the future, if not decades. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to submit. Dick Ranney, coordinator of Michigan Motorized
Recreation Council, 989 469-2405, e-mail: www: email@example.com. Please make Subject; 2010 OHV
We expect these bills to be voted on in the House either the first or second week of June.
HOUSE BILL No. 6159
All references to ORV shall now be OHV
Defines an enforcement officer and level of certification required
Defines “other road”
DNRE Chief Safety instructor shall complete all nationally recognized safety
All OHV’s must be registered, fee is $20. for 3 years. All OHV’s will be entered
into the LEIN system. $3. will go to SOS for decal, $2. for Safety Education, 4%
to administration and the balance to County Sheriffs, city and municipal
enforcement agencies, based upon lane miles of roadway open within their
jurisdiction for OHV travel. All monies remaining at the end of the “grant cycle”,
shall be placed in the Off-highway Vehicle Account.
HOUSE BILL No. 6160
OHV TRAIL PERMIT is not required for operation on private property
OHV TRAIL PERMIT is not required on the frozen surface of a lake, river
or stream, for the purpose of ice fishing. (You must unload on the ice.)
Cost of TRAIL PERMIT, affective April 1st of 2011, $30.50 with adjustments
made to the formula, with 50% going to on the ground efforts, 31.25% to
enforcement and 24% of that going to County Sheriffs for trail enforcement
efforts. A review every 5 years regarding COL adjustment and raised to the
Any group of 20, or less than 75 vehicles shall notify the Department they are
having an event on the trail system to coordinate with other users groups. There
shall be no fee for events of 75 vehicles or less.
To be amended, language requiring the DNRE to publish on their web-site, an
annual accounting of receipts and expenditures of OHV funds.
HOUSE BILL N0. 6161
There will be a Safety Training Academy for instructors. All new instructors must
complete and all current instructors must be re-certified within 3 years. Cost is
free to instructors. Program instructors will no longer be limited to enforcement
personal or those associated with a school of learning.
The maximum fee charged to any student for enrolling in the DNRE Safety Education program shall be no greater than $20 for classroom instruction. Parents are encouraged to sit in, free of charge, unless requesting a certificate.
DNRE shall develop a “hands on” OHV Safety Training program within 2 years.
HOUSE BILL N0. 6162
No county or township shall charge a fee for OHV operation on their roadways.
“Roads” include any of those passing through or along Federal Land within a
Township, if more than 50% funds used to maintain the road come from state
or local sources.
Road closure by counties and townships reduced from 30% to 10%.
5 year sunset on PA 240 rescinded
MDOT may authorize operation of OHV’s on the highway, portion of the
highway and shoulders of the highway. MDOT shall not charge a fee for such.
Headlight and taillight not required for a permitted event
Liability relief for those doing trail maintenance
Fines increased to $250 minimum/$1,000 maximum for not wearing a helmet,
lack of adult visual supervision. Including Environmental violations of section
81133, (1) (E), (I), (L), (M) or (N)
All Michigan counties given to option to open their roadways under PA 240.
Not in the bills, but playing a very important role. Prior to establishment of a proposed permit fee, there were 5 Long Range Financial Planning meetings. It was the consensus of that group, $30. including, Safety Education cost, would enhance the program to the levels desired by the user community.
Once the permit fee is decided by legislature, financial planning can resume.
OHV Legislation 'recap' of meeting with Dick Ranney:
The vast majority of those in attendance of this past Saturdays (5/22/10) meeting stated that they support all of the House Bills. One person in attendance did state, 'that as a farmer, I feel it is not right to be 'ticketed' for not wearing a helmet on my ATV while working on my farmland." He also questioned as to why should the County Sheriff's Departments get more money.
That concern was also brought up by myself, of which I stated that no County Sheriff's Departments should receive funds from both Secondary Highway Patrol AND the OHV paid fees for road patrol.
I also stated my concern that those teaching OHV Safety Instructors at the proposed Instructor Academy be qualified to teach.
Everyone at the meeting agreed that since the OHV user gets NONE of the State Gas Taxes that the OHV user pays put back into our sport, that we do need more money in the Trail Fund. Thus it is important to get this legislation passed as soon as possible. Especially since a part of the legislation will allow Mi-TRALE the opportunity to get MDOT to allow us to have an OHV Trail along a State Highway AND to use the shoulder of State Highway Bridges.
This is CRITICAL, as Mi-TRALE NEEDS to have access to the ROW of the following highways:
M-28 from Sidnaw to Watton. This would give us a connecting trail from our SB Trail to the Baraga Plains Road. We then could use the currently open Baraga Plains Road to get to the Baraga Plains ATV Trails.
M-28, east of Bergland. This would give us connection from the SB Trail into Bergland. Having access into Bergland would provide the ATV Rider with Food, Gas, and Lodging, and HELP OUR AILING TOURISM ECONOMY.
M-64 from our PN Trail (old M-64) into Bergland. This would give us North-South access in and out of Bergland.
M-64 from our PN Trail (old M-64) north to our E Trail. This would give us a connection from Bergland to White Pine.
M-64 from north of White Pine to Silver City. This would give us access to Silver City for food, lodging, and partially up the currently open county road going up the Porcupine Mountains.
You've read a summary of the 4 House Bills, along with comments from the May 22nd meeting, NOW IT IS UP TO THOSE THAT CARE TO SEND AN E-MAIL TO THE FOLLOWING with your comments, ideas, and suggestions. Please remember, the longer we keep this bill going we face the chance that NO ACTION will take place. Thus we will have to start ALL OVER AGAIN with the New Legislature.
Even though, Mi-TRALE had no part in drafting this legislation, I feel we have made our point that as an organization that has one of the largest connecting OHV Trail Systems in the State, Mi-TRALE should have a 'voice' in ALL OHV issues. Which is why Mi-TRALE is proud to be leading an effort to get ALL the OHV Clubs in the UP UNITED. Our second meeting of the UP OHV Groups will be on Saturday, October 2nd in Gwinn.
VP Straits Area Snowmobile Club