Michigan Mountain Biking Association
I am writing in opposition to the proposed house bill which will open up all trails in the State to equestrian use. The reason for this opposition is that as a trail volunteer I have logged many hours building and maintaining trails in this State, only to see time and again these trails become damaged by horses. It is common sense that hiker and bicycle traffic as well as other non-motorized use of trails such as geo- caching, and mushrooming are going to be trumped with the use of these trails by horses, which tend to destroy trails and forest habitat. The planners at Custer State Park recently divided the trails so that different user groups could co-exist. This represents a perfect example of how I believe these types of issues should be mediated, not by high level political posturing, but by local residents and their park managers. Arbitrarily opening up all trails to equestrian use represents an unnecessary and inappropriate use of State legislative authority to protect one user group's rights at the expense of others. This will also cost roughly 25 million dollars in federal monies which are currently used to help fund other activities and user groups. In my opinion the passing of this bill represents the priveleging of the few at the cost of the many. This type of pandering to one group reflects the kind of political gamesmanship that the voters of this State are fed up with. Please represent all of the people of this State by opposing house bill 4684.
William J. Zimmer
Di_bear wrote:It's the Pigeon River Country equestrians who are pushing this, and their story has been plastered all over the web for all to see. Google to find more.
The committee meeting has been postponed until Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. in 308 House Office Building, Lansing, MI.
OneMoreMile wrote:I got the same reply from McMaster. His explanation is not what the bill says. It is over broad and it affects how all trails in the state are treated.
BTW - the committee meeting got moved to today - still time to call or email.
Mountain Biking is a Pure Michigan generator and brings in millions of dollars in tax based revenue. You should be very concerned with protecting this as it is far more substantial then that of equestrian revenue.
OneMoreMile wrote:It passed 9-0 with these amendments:
Representative Foster offered the following amendments to HB 4684.
1. Amend page 1, line 1, by striking out all of section 504.
2. Amend page 10, line 7, after "department." by inserting "HOWEVER, THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ALLOW PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS TO UTILIZE
PACK AND SADDLE TRAILWAYS IN A MANNER THAT VIOLATES FEDERAL
LAW OR FEDERAL GRANT REQUIREMENTS, THAT CONSTITUTES A
DIVERSION OF FUNDS UNDER THE PITTMAN-ROBERTSON WILDLIFE
RESTORATION ACT, 16 USC 669 TO 669K OR 50 CFR 80.11 AND 50 CFR 80.136, OR
THAT VIOLATES SECTION 40501.".
I'm not sure that is good for Michigan or MMBA. I hope the MMBA leadership will evaluate it and let us know.
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