Updated Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan Adopted

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An updated off-road vehicle (ORV) management plan was approved by Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries at the Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing late last week.

The ORV plan was last updated in 1979, and the updated version is the result of nearly four years of work by the ORV Advisory Board. The plan can be viewed in its entirety online at the DNR’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

“At the heart of this management plan is the need for strong partnerships with local ORV clubs, land managers and local units of government,” said Steve Kubisiak, DNR recreation and trails program coordinator. “Future expansion of Michigan’s ORV trails will rely on partnerships and the DNR’s ability to manage social and resource impacts brought about by ORV use.”

Currently, there are 30 grant sponsors who maintain more than 3,185 miles of designated ORV trails in Michigan’s state and national forest lands.

The plan also highlights that rider education remains a key to promoting safe use of Michigan’s ORV trail system.

“Responsible riding and knowing and obeying the rules is key to everyone enjoying our trails,” said Kubisiak. “The updated plan reaffirms the DNR’s commitment to providing rider education and awareness.”

The plan also places emphasis on reporting illegal ORV use through the Report All Poaching (RAP) Line, the DNR’s 24-hour law enforcement line. Riders or other forest recreation enthusiasts who see signs of illegal ORV use are encouraged to call the RAP Line at (800) 292-7800. Information can be left anonymously.

The DNR will have enhanced public education and outreach efforts in the future to eliminate and reduce illegal ORV use and damage through enhanced education, law enforcement, and damage restoration, Kubisiak added.

More information on ORV riding in Michigan can be found on the DNR’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.