Advocacy

What You Missed at TCTF: Northwest ORV Association

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We really wanted to take a second to point out a little something you may have missed in your state of oxygen deprivation. As racers flew up the opening climb out of Ranch Rudolf, you may have noticed a little extra horsepower. 

On race day, we were joined by a few cheerful and encouraging members of the Northwest ORV Association. This group of guys and gals represent motorizes trail users across the region and work, like NMMBA, to protect trail access for their members. We have been working side-by-side with Northwest ORV Association for months to help determine safe places for both non-motorized and motorized trail users, establish communication between groups, and develop safe trail practices to minimize anything that could harm our trails or trail experience. 

We asked the ORV guys to stop by on race day and help to show our mountain bike community that we're all working on this thing together. Of course, they stole the show, with a great show of support for the racers at the height of the race's excitement and with its biggest group of the day. 

NMMBA is working with many organizations locally to better represent our members to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources both right here and in Lansing. While our mission supports non-motorized recreation, we also understand that working together and making sure that the stewardship of our natural spaces, and the enjoyment of these spaces, takes a full community to ensure. 

Thanks to the Northwest ORV Association for being at the Traverse City Trail Festival and for all your cooperation and enthusiasm!

Tom White Awarded Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award From TART

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Our friends at Traverse Area Recreational Trails have named Tom White the 2017 recipient of their Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award. The honor is given to those who have shown leadership and passion in building and maintaining trails. Since 2004, the award has gone to trail stewards and advocates such as George Lombard, Ted Okerstrom, and a number of other worthy winners. In naming Tom their 2017 winner, TART has shown a new recognition for the year-round efforts of mountain and fat bike enthusiasts, in addition to its rich history of honoring skiers, walkers, and other non-motorized trail users. 

Tom has spent over three decades building and maintaining trails, and his expertise has reinvigorated Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, as well as the countless volunteers that lend their time and effort to building a better recreational experience for others. 

Congratulations, Tom, and thank you for all that you've done to build our area into a trail mecca! 

Victory! GTRLC Bid Accepted By GT County

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With no one sure how the evening would turn out, only a single member of the Grand Traverse County Board voted against a motion to sell the 160 acre Whitewater Township property to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. The rest were convinced that the GTRLC bid offered more value than what could be measured in dollars. 

The GTRLC was supported by dozens of trail users that gathered at the Governmental Center, almost all of them raising green cards to support the many points in favor accepting the Conservancy's bid. Throughout public statements and a presentation for on the four bids, it was clear to both the board and everyone on hand that public opinion was strong behind the 'third' big, as presented in order of receipt from Coldwell Banker Schmidt.  

After hearing from the GTRLC and DNR, the board acknowledged that public opinion had pointed out the value of the recreational use and existing recreational zoning. The GTRLC was not the highest, but the short-term advantages of $95,000, the difference to the highest bid, are hard to measure without knowing how the loss of the parcel would harm the influx of tourism for the Iceman Cometh, Mud, Sweat and Beers and other area events that use the 160 acre parcel. 

The board reminded itself, really, that the parcel was purchased for just $60,000, making any sale to any party a solid investment. The GTRLC's plan to sell the land to the DNR in the future, and with both parties voicing their commitment to paying taxes on the land, were enough to convince any doubt on the board, save one. Commission Clous' most immediate concern was the $5,000 difference in fees the real estate company would lose by not taking the higher bid, a concern not shared by the room filled with his constituents whose interests he represents. 

Tonight, we came together to support the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy's efforts to provide protection and stewardship in our area. This parcel of pristine Pere Marquette Forest has a value beyond dollars and provides a value accessible to everyone with a love of the trails. Thank YOU for your hard work, your time, and your efforts in emailing, calling, and rallying to the Governmental Center tonight. It was your emails and your efforts that truly gave this bid to the right group, and for all the right reasons.