The Michigan House of Representatives today approved state Rep. Ken Borton’s plan to protect Michigan’s snowmobile trail network from motor vehicle damage.
“The snow in Northern Michigan is perfect for snowmobiling through our forests and fields,” said Borton, of Gaylord. “Each winter, our state organizes trails for this seasonal pastime, and my plan will keep our trails in good shape for snowmobilers to use.”
Between Dec. 1 and March 31, the state coordinates a trail system for snowmobile riding. To keep the trails smooth for use, Borton’s House Bill 4535 will prohibit the use of any motor vehicle other than a snowmobile on the trails when they are covered with snow and groomed for snowmobiling. The restriction would not apply to vehicles used for emergency response, law enforcement or trail grooming. Motor vehicles would also be able to cross a trail where it intersects with a road or other trail where motor vehicle use is permitted.
A person who violates the prohibition would owe a civil fine of up to $200. Borton’s HB 4536 would ensure the fines would be deposited into the Recreational Snowmobile Trail Improvement subaccount. The funds would be used for trail maintenance and improvement, such as to regroom trails after damage from a violation.
HBs 4535 and 4536 were approved with bipartisan votes of 101-2 and 91-12, respectively, and they now advance to the Senate for consideration.
“Too many deer can become dangerous for Michigan,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “Hunters are Michigan’s first line of defense for conserving our environment. This year, we’re asking them to let a couple big bucks walk and focus on the does.”
“House Democrats pressed their green boots into the throats of Northern Michigan as they passed these bills today. This plan destroys the ability of local government to regulate wind and solar projects. Instead of letting local officials do their jobs, the legislation hands all power over to a commission of three unelected bureaucrats appointed by the governor. The commission have zero incentive to listen to the public, effectively silencing all protest to wind and solar projects.”