Rep. Cole and local guests join governor for ceremonial bill signing

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Lawmaker welcomes residents to Capitol for ORV legislation

State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, joins Gov. Rick Snyder at ceremonial bill signing for Public Act 288 of 2016, which will open forest roads to ORV use unless marked closed.

Top row (from left to right): Wade LaLone, State Rep. Triston Cole, Ryan LaLone, Legislative Director Denise Pallarito and Gov. Rick Snyder gathered at the Capitol today in Lansing for a ceremonial bill signing on Public Act 288 of 2016, which will open forest roads to ORV use unless marked closed.

LANSING, MI – State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, welcomed local residents to the Capitol today for a bill signing with Gov. Rick Snyder in recognition of legislation recently enacted into law that will open forest roads to ORV use.

In late September, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Rep. Cole’s legislation requiring the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow motorized use on forest roads unless marked closed.

House Bill 5275, now Public Act 288 of 2016, opens forest roads for off-road vehicle (ORV) use, requires the DNR to take inventory of all state forest roads to provide a comprehensive map available to the public, and reinstitutes an individual’s right to use a pack or saddle animal  for removal of large game.

“The signing of HB 5275 into law is a big win for all Michiganders and removes the restrictions regarding the use of forest roads currently enforced by the department,” said Rep. Cole. “This change increases recreational opportunities by giving ORV users the right of entry statewide, while also reauthorizing sportsmen rights to retrieve game in an alternative method, by use of pack or saddle animal, which is considerably less erosive on state land.”

PA 288 of 2016 requires the DNR to divide the state into five regions and complete the survey of state forest roads in regional phases. The two most northern regions in the Lower Peninsula will be complete by Dec. 31, 2017, while the remaining regions completed by Dec. 31, 2018. Forest roads will be open to motorized use only upon completion of each region’s state forest road inventory.

“I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in shaping this imperative piece of legislation, especially Jeremy Jones, and Ryan and Wade Lalone, who have joined the governor and myself today at the ceremonial bill signing in the Capitol for PA 288 of 2016,” said Rep. Cole.