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This is Ames Mister...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Post any issues that pertain to this region in this thread. I'll add them to this post so it's easy to find information about the latest issues.

Wisconsin:

Illinois:

Indiana:

Michigan:

Ohio:

I'm also looking for contact information for these regions i.e. law makers, BLM, Forest Service, etc. Anybody who has anything to do with Land Use. That will go in the second post of each regional area.
 

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This is Ames Mister...
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3,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Public Comment Period on Ottawa National Forest OHV Connector Trails Ends October 15t

Doing some research I found this on BRC's website. If you live in the area you might want to look into this a little more!

I've posted most of the text from BRC's website below but here a couple of links as well:

Link 1: This is BRC's page for this alert with more links to follow

Link 2: This link will bring you to the Ottawa National Forest section of the Forest Services website.



BLUERIBBON COALITION PARTNER ALERT!

Public Comment Period on Ottawa National Forest OHV Connector Trails Ends October 15th

Dear BRC members, supporters and action alert subscribers,

We just got an email from Skip Schulz, President of the Michigan Trails and Recreation Alliance of Land and the Environment (Mi-TRALE), letting us know about an important issue that they need your help with.

I have pasted Skip's email below; please take a minute to read it over.
Please pass this on to your friends, family and anyone who you think might be able to help.

Thanks in advance for your involvement,
Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

TO: Mi-TRALE Members, Associates, Friends (NOT FOR MEDIA RELEASE)
FR: Skip Schulz, Mi-TRALE President
RE: Ottawa National Forest OHV Connector Trails Public Comment
DT: Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010

Last night the Ottawa National Forest held the only public hearing they are going to have on the latest report on OHV Connector Trails in the Ottawa National Forest. As most of you know, this is something that Mi-TRALE has been working on for a number of years. The Ottawa National Forest is currently mid-way through the Public Comment period on the Environmental Analysis (EA) in response to the appeal that was upheld by one organization and one individual. They appealed the Ottawa National Forest Supervisor decision to provide some of the OHV Connector Trails that Mi-TRALE has been seeking. While the latest EA did take out the Western Lake Gogebic Connector Trail, that was done because the land in question was outside of the ONF boundary.

The Public Comment Period ENDS on October 15th. I am asking you to please e-mail a letter in SUPPORT of BOTH Alternative 3 and Alternative 4, PROVIDING that FR 630 is OPENED to OHV Travel. You can either copy/paste the letter that Mi-TRALE has sent, use portions of the letter that I personally sent, or send your own comments.

The e-mail address for your public comments is: [email protected] Put in the Subject line: Comments on OHV Connector Routes Project

Here is what Mi-TRALE sent, below that is a copy of what I personally submitted. THANK-YOU!

Dear Ms. Spear,

Since the implementation of the Travel Management Rule on US Forest Service Managed land in November of 2005, Mi-TRALE has been attending meetings, sending letters, and e-mails to the Ottawa National Forest stating the importance of having OHV Connector Trails within the Ottawa National Forest.

With the 3 Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment Designated ORV Routes being East-West, Mi-TRALE has had to either find Private landowners that would give us a Trail Agreement, or use paved County Roads to offer a North-South OHV Connecting route. In many instances this has only provided one way for OHV Riders to connect from one trail to another. In some instances, the OHV Rider simply cannot connect from one trail to another.

This has caused some OHV Riders to ride illegally on roads and trails, some of which were in environmentally sensitive areas. This has also caused many OHV Riders to simply not come to our area, thus hurting our area's tourism economy. This has also forced OHV Riders to ride on some county roads that simply are not as safe as riding on an Ottawa National Forest Road.

I am stating my support for the proposed OHV Connector Trails in both Alternatives 3 and 4. I want to stress that it is important that FR 630 be opened up to OHV Riders, just as it is currently open to Street Legal Vehicles. I also am asking that OHV Riders continue to be given the right to use the Powerline Road as an access to the north for those that want to go to the Village of Ontonagon via the Norwich Road.

While it is not in any of the Alternatives, I join with Mi-TRALE in continuing to ask for a connector route to Presque Isle, Wisconsin, This is a connector route that Mi-TRALE has been asking for over 3 years. Same with an OHV Connector Trail from the SB Trail in Sidnaw to the Baraga Plains ORV Trails. Mi-TRALE and myself are asking that the Ottawa National Forest work on having a connector Trail to the Kane Lake OHV Trails that were opened in the Nicolet/Chequamegon National Forest of Wisconsin.

Thank-you for accepting this as a public comment during the brief Open Comment time on OHV Connector Trails.

Mi-TRALE Board of Directors
% Skip Schulz, President
PO Box 248
Ontonagon, MI 49953

906-884-9101
[email protected]
MI-TRALE - Michigan Trails and Recreation Alliance of Land and the Environment

Here is what I personally sent:

TO: Susan J. Spear FR: Robert "Skip" Schulz
E6248 US Highway 2, 610 Greenland Road
Ironwood, MI 49938 Ontonagon, MI 49953

RE: Comments on OHV Connector Routes Project
DT: October 5, 2010

With the number of OHVs Nationally, State-Wide, and regionally constantly increasing, the demand for Environmentally-friendly, Safe, and Fun OHV Trails is increasing.

In 2009, the Michigan DNRE sold 198,602 ORV Trail Permits. In 2005, 189,900 ORV Trail Permits were sold. In less then 5 years, over 8700 permits were sold in the State of Michigan.

In a 2005 report to support the work of the US Forest Service's National Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Policy & Implementation Teams, it states, "A variety of statistical sources show that demand for OHV driving and riding grew especially fast in the 1990s, and in the first few years of this decade."

Then the sales of ORV Trails Permits in Michigan by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE), show that the sales of the permits continue to rise.

The Sales of new All Terrain Vehicles, according to the US Forest Service Report show sales went from 277,800 in 1995 to 747,581 in 2005. Total Number of ATV's in use in 1998, according to the US Forest Service Report was at 3,910,000. From 2001-2003, the numbers rose to 5,600,000. These numbers do not include Off Road Motorcycles.

Taking into consideration the growth of what the industry titles, "Side-by-Sides, or UTVs," the numbers of Off Highway Vehicles sold and in use in 2010, are significantly higher. This is stated in the USFS report, "Based on the latest data (2005-2007), nearly one in five Americans (19.2 percent) age 16 and older participated one or more times in OHV recreation within the past year. While statistical surveys are always subject to error, the sizeable samples in each of the six interviewing seasons indicates relatively precise estimates with modest error ranges.

Facts show that the numbers of ATV's being sold, and used is on the increase. However, the amount of miles of environmentally safe trails for OHV Riders to recreate on is NOT keeping pace with the increased numbers of riders. Thus riders either are riding the limited amount of trails more, or they are riding on trails that have not been legally opened to operate on.

This creates an environmental concern for not only those that are opposed to OHV Riding, but for many of us that enjoy this form of outdoor recreation. It is the majority of OHV Riders that enjoy the beauty of the Ottawa National Forest, and want to keep it that way. That is why the Western Upper Peninsula is fortunate to have Mi-TRALE working hard to preserve the riding opportunities we currently have, and look to 'connect' these riding opportunities from one trail to another.

The 'trent' in OHV Riding is to be able to go from one destination to another. This is evident by the increased amount of manufacturers now building and selling 'Side by Side's" and 2-Up ATV's. Just this past year, BRP and John Deere have come out with new "Side-by-Sides," and all of the current Original Engine Manufacturers (OEM's) now build a 2-Up ATV.

The problem we have in the Western Upper Peninsula is that both the MDNRE Designated ORV Trails/Routes do not connect. While Mi-TRALE has done an excellent job in 'connecting' the MDNRE ORV Routes via County Roads, an OHV Rider is exactly that...an OFF HIGHWAY Vehicle rider. The OHV Rider does NOT want to ride paved roads, they prefer 2-track trails, and gravel forest roads.

Not only does the OHV Rider prefer to NOT ride on paved County Highways, it is much SAFER to ride on the routes that Ms. Spear and the Ottawa NF has identified as "Connectors." These OHV Connector Routes are much SAFER for the OHV Rider.

With the work that the Ottawa NF has done in identifying OHV Connector Routes, it is apparent that these Connector Routes are also environmentally friendly. These routes provide the OHV Rider with the opportunity to find services (gas, food, lodging), without harming environmentally sensitive areas.

These Connector Routes also provide a 'stimulus' for our economically depressed area. In a 1995 Study, done by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, it showed that OHV Riders invest $295 Million Dollars into Wisconsin's Tourism economy. The $295 Million Dollars is ONLY for food, lodging, and gas. This does not take into consideration the Millions of Dollars invested by the OHV Community into the purchase and service of an OHV.

While I am disappointed that an OHV Connector Trail from the SB Trail in Sidnaw does not connect to the popular Baraga Plains ORV Trails, nor do we have an OHV Connector Trail from Marenisco to Presque Isle, WI, I totally support the proposed OHV Connector Trails that Ms. Spear and her team has proposed.

Sincerely,

Robert "Skip" Schulz
610 Greenland Road
Ontonagon, MI 49953
[email protected]
906-884-9101
 

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A One-Two Punch to the Drummond ORV Route System

Posted originally on another site by Trail_Fanatic, one of GLFWDA land use committee. This has the potential for serious ramifications to us in the area.

Folks, GLFWDA and the Drummond Island Off Road Club need your help!

We are in jeopardy of loosing the Drummond ORV Route System that was JUST designated this year. We need all of you to please help spread the work that WE MUST STAY ON THE DESIGNATED ROUTE SYSTEM!

Sometime on or around the weekend of September 18th and 19th some 4x4s drove sown a couple of the Island's ORV Trails smashing trees down and widening it out from its original 50" to 72". One trail in particular was a favorite of the ATV crowd because it was very tight for a quad. They are extremely unhappy that it is now ruined. The DIORC is now going to have to spend many, many man hours repairing it and thousands of dollars putting barriers up to keep 4x4s off the repaired trail.

Sometime shortly after that, C.O. Kyle Publiski caught a group of Jeeps from Ohio who had driven around the "No Motor Vehicles Beyond This Point" signs and the large boulders that were placed to block off access on Marble Head and were parked out on the top of the cliff. They were issued tickets.

Needless to say, the DNRE is now quite unhappy with the 4x4 crowd. Unhappy enough that we are starting to hear talk of closing the Route if we can't stop this type of behavior! WE MUST STOP THIS BEHAVIOR! Too many people put in too much work and too many of us REALLY enjoy the Drummond System to let a few uninformed or malicious miscreants screw it up for all of us!

Drummond is the FIRST ORV Route designated for the full-sized crowd. Because it is the first, it is being watched closely by the Department AND the greenies. If we want MORE Routes designated for us (and I know I do!), then we MUST prove to them both that we can follow the rules.

PLEASE PASS THE WORD AROUND:



THIS IS FOR VEHICLES LESS THAN 50" WIDE ONLY, NO 4x4s ALLOWED!



THIS IS FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING FULL-SIZED 4x4s

If you see a "No Motor Vehicles Beyond This Point" sign, DON'T go past it! You just might cost ALL of us our access on the Island as well as ALL FUTURE 4x4 ROUTES that we might otherwise be able to get designated!

PLEASE help us save our driving privileges!
 

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This is Ames Mister...
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for posting that! I'll go put a reminder in GD if you haven't already.
 
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