Dear fellow Backcountry Hunters and Anglers,
We have one chance to keep our most wild public lands in Michigan "wild." Last year, the state legislature passed Public Act 288, which required the DNR to conduct a forest road inventory and change northern Lower Peninsula forest roads from "closed unless opened" to "open unless closed" to ORV's.
The DNR has conducted that inventory and is taking public comment THIS WEEK on the roads they've recommended to open or remain closed. We encourage you to review the map and comment on the roads near where you hunt, fish, trap, backpack, and adventure, but we also ask that you comment in SUPPORT of the DNR's decision to keep certain roads closed to ORV's , especially in the Pigeon River Country State Forest.
While there are many forest roads that are being opened to ORV's - and many where that is appropriate - the DNR has been careful to preserve the more wild character of surrounding lands in places containing critical wildlife habitat or that provide a last refuge for non-motorized outdoor adventure, like the Pigeon River Country State Forest, known as the "Big Wild."
This is especially important since another provision in Public Act 288 allows ORV's to travel OFF-TRAIL to retrieve game if they leave from a road already open to ORV's. So if these ORV closures aren't maintained - even where motor vehicles are already allowed - then the last wild places which require us to "USE THE QUADS GOD GAVE YOU" will be lost in northern Michigan.
If you can attend one of the public meetings tonight in Cadillac or tomorrow night in Gaylord, please do so. Even if you can't, please take a few minutes to review the map and leave a comment to keep our wild public lands wild!
For more information, visit the DNR's Forest Road Inventory page at http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365_15070_80105---,00.html.
For more information about Backcountry Hunters and Anglers work on responsible OHV & ORV use and how it impacts our wild public lands, visit http://www.backcountryhunters.org/ohv.
Yours in conservation,
Secretary, Board of Directors
Michigan Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers