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Old 02-17-2009, 08:36 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by freeflow
Still contacting legislators . . . slow but sure. . .
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:58 AM   #32
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Update

I have been able to get this information in front of a good number of legislators that seem like appropriate contacts based on their committee assignments and the characteristics of their districts.

Of course, everyone is quite busy right now dealing with the budget and with the economic stimulus package.

I anticipate that it will be a few weeks (or more) before our issues will get the attention we prefer and this is quite understandable.

I will follow up on this at an appropriate time.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:21 AM   #33
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Most excellent Bryan and thanks for posting your updates!!
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Old 02-19-2009, 04:14 PM   #34
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Tuesday night at a union function I was able to pass a copy of Bryans white paper to a majority senator. after a short explaination he said he would be glad to read it and try to meet with me next thursday at the ABATE Lobby Day. so far I have appointments with 5 more reps and senators who are willing to let me pitch it to them. Thank you Bryan for all the ground work you laid and hard work that went into this paper. lj
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Old 02-19-2009, 04:20 PM   #35
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Tuesday night at a union function I was able to pass a copy of Bryans white paper to a majority senator. after a short explaination he said he would be glad to read it and try to meet with me next thursday at the ABATE Lobby Day. so far I have appointments with 5 more reps and senators who are willing to let me pitch it to them. Thank you Bryan for all the ground work you laid and hard work that went into this paper. lj
Great work John!

I'll give you a call. I've got it in to about a dozen well placed legislators myself so we should compare notes (although overlap is probably good). I'll likely be at the lobby day myself so I'll give you a call on that day when I am at the Capitol.

Cannonshot screwed with this post 02-19-2009 at 04:41 PM
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:15 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Cannonshot
Coincidentally I was just notified today I was selected to be in a Hall of Honor (plaque with my likeness on it describing some career contributions). Have to go to an induction ceremony. Thought I was done with all that. Could have knocked me over with a feather. . .
way cool Bryan. I especially commend you on your reaction to the honor and recognition I owe you yet another beer.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:31 PM   #37
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Some progress.

Here is a nugget of good news. . .

Some of us have been involved in a committee intended to make recommendations to ensure fair representation of trail users on the State Trails Council. This grew out of the assembly bill (that we discussed here before) that tried to mandate that an off-highway motorcycle rep and a 4WD rep be legislated on to the State Trails Council since both groups believed they had been disenfranchised.

After months of work, our committee representing a broad array of trail users were able to come up with a very fair recommendation that included some positive changes for all groups. At a meeting a while back, we had unanimous support within the committee concerning our recommendations. Since then some opposition came up and we had another meeting today that sustained our initial recommendation, but now with one dissenting vote.

Once the document is in it's final form and is posted to the web, I'll post a link here so you can consider the entire package. By the way, the State Trails Council can adopt all, none, or select parts of the recommendation as they see fit. The problem is, that the required fairness results from adopting the entire package.

Also, the recommendation includes a required changed to the statutes. What this means is that we are basically back to supporting Assembly Bill 600 to get the legislative change we need to allow for (or maybe require) the recommendation to be adopted. AB600 needs to be amended to adopt the specific recommendations of our committee and some of us will be contributing on that initiative very soon.

So, we will need to revise AB600 and support it to ensure our interests are properly represented. More to come on this later . . .

I don't want to get into the details of the recommendation until it is published, but I will say that the recommendation includes that a current vacancy be filled (as a priority) by an off-highway motorcycle representative.

Stay tuned.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:36 PM   #38
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New Single Track in the UP

Just got word through one of the clubs that a new single track motorcycle trail has been approved in the Hiawatha National Forest in the UP of MI.

Construction starts next month.

The trail is going to be almost 27 miles long with trail heads near Rapid River and Manistique.

Take a look at Appendix A (Public Comments and Responses) to see what kind of opposition is around - even in an ORV friendly state.

Don't know when the project will be complete.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/hiawatha/mot...etrl/index.htm

(Many thanks to the UP Sandstormers for their efforts.)

Nice comment from the USFS:

"Motorized use is a legitimate use of National Forest lands,


including vehicular, snowmobiles, three and four wheelers, motorcycles and multiple
passenger OHVs."

Also note that this commenter made a reference to pictures that the sponsoring motorcyclists posted on their own web site to use against them. . .

"Soil Erosion-Do I really have to point out what will happen in this area if this Race Track is built? Just
look at this groups (www.upsandstormers.com) own web site to see the damage and soil erosion that is
done to the environment. These are their own pictures. Do you really think that it will be any better in
the national Forest? If anything it will be worse because it will not be confined to just the Race Track.
These Kids, (that’s right most of the users will be kids and young adults) will not be confined to the
Track but will explore new areas for more excitement. See B below. To believe that this Race Track will
only stay 12 to 18 inches wide is foolhardy. The more it is used the wider and deeper the erosion will
occur."

Cannonshot screwed with this post 04-04-2009 at 01:48 PM
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #39
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It is true. After YEARS of paperwork and meetings, it is finally time to get the trail in. I am a member of the UP Sandstormers and will be helping put the trail in. It will be similar to the Bass Lake trail. I will post when the trail is near completion.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:44 PM   #40
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Tomorrow we brief the State Trails Council on the recommendations we made as an ad hoc committee to the STC. Our recommendations focus on revamping the STC to ensure more complete representation of trail users.

The briefing will be in the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol and it is open the the public. There will be three of us briefing. Our detailed written recommendation has already been submitted to the STC so this is kind of a formality.

Here is a very brief recap of the nine recommendations we made.

1. Change to the STC mission statement.

2. Restructure to reflect three trail use categories and identify the user groups within each category.
-Non Motorized/Non-Mechanized (hikers, horses, XC skiers, water trails, etc)
-Non-Motorized/Mechanized (bikers, skaters, boards, etc)
-Motorized (snowmobiles, ATVs, OHM, 4WD, UTV)

3. Biennial review of categories, users, and major users.

4. Recommended seats for the current 9 member council and for a future 11 member council.
-4 Non-Motor/Non-Mech (Equestrian, Hiking, XC Skiing, Water Trails)
-3 Motorized (snowmobile, ATV, OHM)
-2 Non-Motor/Non-Mech (biking, off-road biking)

5. As a priority, fill current water trails vacancy with an off-highway motorcycle rep.

6. Implement the 9 member council, then go to 11. For 11 we would add 4WD and in-line skating seats.

7. Improve process for new appointments to the STC.

8. Biennial review of Recreational Trails Program criteria. (rating tool used to award RTP trail grants)

9. User friendly web-based information on organization and function of the STC with links to detailed references about trail related matters.

As I mentioned, there is much more to the detailed written recommendation than what I recapped here. With that in mind, please refrain from making any inappropriate remarks about some of the other users that are also entitled to be fairly represented on the STC. There is room enough for everyone.

Since it requires legislative action to increase the number of members on the STC from 9 to 11, it is time to dust off AB 600 (which started this whole thing by trying to madate two new seats on the STC). Some people believe that the recommendations will not be adopted without legislative action. No doubt AB600 will be coming up again soon.

On a related matter . . .

After we get done with the briefing to the STC, Alex Bub (who also served on this committee), one of his WOHMA reps, some WOHVA reps, and myself will be having an informal meeting with some DNR folks. This is intended as a brief information exchange about the initiative for OHM legislation (white paper stuff from this thread) as it affects the DNR. The WOHVA folks will be talking about their recent proposal concerning some 4WD interests. This meeting is intended as an informal information exchange.

The effort to get the legislation we need is still underway and is moving forward. As mentioned before, it takes a lot of time to come to fruition. I am confident that it will happen.

Great to see people working together to try to get some things done.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:18 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot
Tomorrow we brief the State Trails Council on the recommendations we made as an ad hoc committee to the STC. Our recommendations focus on revamping the STC to ensure more complete representation of trail users.

The briefing will be in the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol and it is open the the public. There will be three of us briefing. Our detailed written recommendation has already been submitted to the STC so this is kind of a formality...
'Just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for all the hard work that has gone into the effort so far. Coordination of so many interests is a full-time job in itself, not to mention trying to effect "change".

Thank You!
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:41 AM   #42
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We all appreciate the hard work, But get some SLEEP man... You're retired... I thought that meant Dinner at Five, Bed at 7

Let us know how it went, Eh?
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #43
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We all appreciate the hard work, But get some SLEEP man... You're retired... I thought that meant Dinner at Five, Bed at 7

Let us know how it went, Eh?
A candid assessment.

The briefing went well. Some of the points met some resistance by a couple of members of the STC. To be expected. It is true for all of us that change is often initially resisted.

There were many favorable comments and appreciative remarks about some of the innovations we developed. Seems to be a lot of support for most of the initiatives. It was encouraging to hear some of the very favorable remarks from some of the STC members.

There is one member of the STC who seems intent on not adopting the commitee's recommendation to put at OHM representative on to fill a current vacancy. Don't know why this is such a problem for him. We obviously worked through the arguments in our committee before we made this recommendation.

Anyway, some of us have to attend the next STC meeting (July) to speak to our recommendation as the STC goes back to considering it point by point. The key fairness factor is achieved by adopting the entire proposal. Taking it apart and adopting some recommendations while rejecting others has the potential to set us back to somewhere near where we started.

It is very clear that we will have to press for the statutory change to increase the council size from 9 to 11 members. I don't see where the STC is going to do that on their own. There is probably a little complication with this being initiated by the STC since this is the Governor's STC. The best course of action would be to revise the old AB 600 to incorporate appropriate recommendations from the committee. It would be difficult for people to argue against a bill that reflects the recommendations of a committee carefully selected by the STC to best represent a broad array of trail uses.

It is also important to keep in mind that the STC is an advisory council that tends to deal with trail policy in general. They do oversee the Regional Trails Program criteria dealing with trail grants. More important to us than achieving some revisions in STC representation, is getting the legislation and administrative code we require to get a registration program for OHM and everything that comes with it (see white paper in post 1). Getting that legislation puts us in business with money and enabling laws and admin code to build and maintain trails, get access to other existing trails, and the rest.

So . . . . overall, it was encouraging to hear some strong acceptance of our recommendations by most of the STC.

Of course, the grind goes on to continue to work this and the OHM registration issue to see them through to full implementation.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:11 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Cannonshot
There is one member of the STC who seems intent on not adopting the commitee's recommendation to put at OHM representative on to fill a current vacancy. Don't know why this is such a problem for him. We obviously worked through the arguments in our committee before we made this recommendation.
Would it help change this member's mind if we were to lobby him directly (in a polite and professional manner)? Mobilizing everyone will help change things more effectively, I would imagine.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:48 AM   #45
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Thanks for your hard work guys!
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