NMMBA's PA288 Update From Tom White

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We've been up to a lot this summer, and there have been few efforts as important as our work to help construct a safe, sustainable, and workable solution to PA288. PA288 addresses access to state forest roads all over Michigan, of which there are plenty that intersects the trails and singletrack in Northern Michigan. We took a look at PA288 earlier this summer, and we're excited to bring you an update on where we stand. 

NMMBA helped form the PA288 Motorized and Non-motorized Coalition to help compile goals and concerns with other interested trail user groups. Skiers, mountain bikers, hikers, dirt bikers, ORV users and more all worked to establish a person to represent their group as serve as their respective advocates. 

Over the course of several meetings, we made a number of compromises that will open select corridors that will allow ORVs to access the interior of the Vasa 25k Pathways through established East/West and North/South roads. On the face of it, this may sound dangerous, but we've all worked to make sure that these access points are existing roads that cross the path, which means there won't be any new roads or crossing used by ORVs. 

The coalition then submitted a plan to the DNR for their consideration, and we believe this plan will play a large role in the how the DNR deals with forest roads around the state. 

Even more importantly, the coalition helped establish a relationship between all the user groups, and that's crucial. The ability to connect and converse will help NMMBA, TART, and all trail advocacy groups work with different groups to prevent conflict and support sustainable trail practices. These are the exact relationships we need to make sure that we can protect our trails and our forests in the decades to come.