snowmobiling

Law
2:12 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Michigan lawmakers seek to drop BAC limit for boaters

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan boaters and snowmobilers would be held to the same drunken driving standards as drivers under legislation introduced in the state House.

The bipartisan package of bills was introduced by Republican Reps. Matt Lori of Constantine and Dave Pagel of Berrien Springs and Democratic Rep. Andrew Kandrevas of Southgate. The legislation would set the legal blood-alcohol limit for boat, snowmobile and off-road vehicle operators at 0.08 percent.

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Politics & Government
9:16 am
Tue February 5, 2013

This morning's news: Gun sales, 'no-fault' insurance changes, and snowmobile event canceled

Morning News Roundup, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Political winds flame gun and ammo sales in Michigan

President Obama called on Congress and the American public to support new gun control plans yesterday in Minneapolis. While public support for some kinds of gun control measures is up, others continue to stock up fearing coming gun restrictions.

MLive reports gun and ammunition sales are surging as gun control political winds blow:

In December, the FBI ran 59,445 background checks for guns sales in Michigan, the highest monthly total in the state since the database started in 1998. The second highest monthly total was October 2001 when the FBI ran 46,270 background checks.

Michigan leaders want changes to state's no-fault insurance

If you're seriously injured in an automobile accident in Michigan, the current insurance laws in the state set you up with lifetime medical and rehabilitation coverage for your injuries. But state lawmakers want that changed.

This morning, the Detroit News profiles Sam Howell. He's benefiting from the state's current insurance laws. The News points out why Gov. Snyder and other lawmakers think changes to the current system are necessary:

Snyder says the reforms are necessary to rein in no-fault auto insurance rates in Michigan that rank among the highest in the country — particularly in Detroit — and tackle a $2 billion unfunded liability in the state's catastrophic auto accident fund the insurance industry says is unsustainable without severe cost controls.

As Michigan Radio's Lester Graham has reported, many things influence overall insurance rates in the state, and some argue if these benefits are capped, taxpayers will step in to foot the bill:

Opponents also say capping injury benefits will force the most severely injured accident victims to turn to Medicaid and welfare once they reach the insurance cap and exhaust all their family resources. They estimate it will shift $30 million a year to taxpayers.

Snowmobile event in upper Michigan canceled in wake of Caleb Moore's death

Michigan's Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel near Traverse City was planning to hold a snowmobile freestyle event this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 8 and 9), but the group overseeing the event has canceled in the wake of the tragic death of snowmobile freestyler Caleb Moore.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

The ISOC, which overseas and promotes snocross racing with the AMSOIL Championship Snocross series, has also withdrawn snowmobile freestyle competition from Wisconsin's Lake Geneva Resort stop March 15-16.

Moore, 25, died in hospital from injuries suffered when his snowmobile landed on top of him after he crashed attempting a back flip on his 500-pound machine in men's snowmobile freestyle Jan. 24 in Aspen, Colo. It was the first death in the 18-year history of the X Games.

Transportation
3:58 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Governor Snyder proposes 599-mile recreational trail

Karpati Gabor Morguefile.com

Soon, Michigan bicyclists might be able to pedal across the state on a new trail spanning both peninsulas.

Governor Snyder proposed the idea for the 599-mile path in his speech on the environment yesterday.

The trail would connect the state's existing asphalt, dirt, and gravel trails.

The route would wind from Belle Isle in Detroit, to the Mackinac Bridge and across the U.P. to Wisconsin.   

Ron Olson runs the state’s parks and recreation division.

He says obstacles to the plan include building paths on private lands and securing more funding.

"There is no yet-defined pot of money to be able to say, 'Well, we’re going to do this,'" he said.

Olson says he expects the funds to come from state and federal grants. He estimates the trail will be complete in five years.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Environment
5:23 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Hunting, snowmobiling preserved in areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forest

The Manistee River flowing through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
USFS

In 2010, a man successfully sued the U.S. Forest Service saying the agency did not incorporate enough land for quiet recreation in the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

He said more land for these activities should have been set aside in the USFS' 2006 forest management plan.

Here's how the plaintiff, Kurt Meister, explained it in a story by Michigan Radio back in 2010:

“This case isn’t about hunting. It’s not about gun hunting. It’s not about stopping gun hunting. It’s simply saying it shouldn’t be everywhere. And if you make it everywhere, you’re affecting other people’s rights.”

In that report, Interlochen Public Radio's Bob Allen explained that "what Kurt Meister is asking the court to do is set aside areas designated as non-motorized for quiet recreation.

Those are places where, on paper, the forest plan says a person can expect to be isolated from the sights and sounds of other humans.

But on the ground, Meister says, what happens is that snowmobile trails and cross country ski trails run side by side."

Today, the U.S. Forest Service released its revised plan in response to the 2010 decision by the federal court.

The Forest Service says it will:

  • Continue to allow gun hunting in the previously designated Semiprimitive Nonmotorized and Primitive areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forests in accordance with regulations of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • Continue to allow snowmobiling on designated trails within the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

 

Ken Arbogast of the U.S. Forest Service says for the public visiting the national forest, very little will change.

What's changed, he said, is the description of these areas. The plan now describes the areas in contention as areas that are "more secluded" and "less roaded" - but it does not leave the impression that noise from human activity will be absent.

The Huron-Manistee forest covers about 1 million acres of land. The land in contention covers about 70,000 acres.

Recreation
10:20 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Snowmobile permits rising $10 to $45 in Michigan

A snowmobile trail near Cadillac, Michigan.
user harrisMI Flickr

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state is increasing snowmobile permit fees for the 2011 season.

 The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that this season the price for a permit is $45, an increase of $10 over last year's price. The fee will be $45 through the 2015 snowmobile season. A state law signed in 2008 provided for the incremental increase in snowmobile trail fees, which support maintenance and grooming of the state's snowmobile trail network.

Environment
11:13 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Partial ban on hunting & snowmobiling in national forest?

The Huron-Manistee National Forest
Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service has to consider making 70,000 acres off limits to firearm hunting and snowmobiling in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. That’s about seven percent of the Huron-Manistee.

It’s doing this because the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Service to do so... and that’s because of a lawsuit brought by a guy named Kurt Meister. Meister is an attorney, representing himself in the case. He’s trying to get areas that are already designated as non-motorized set aside for quiet recreation. 

“There ought to be some place in the forest where you can go cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing or kayaking or hiking or ride your horse without having to listen to the noise of other people and the guns and machines they use.”

This week, the Michigan House and Senate are discussing three resolutions. Those resolutions express opposition to any potential ban on hunting and snowmobiling in the Huron-Manistee. The resolutions couldn’t stop the federal agency – but it's basically a show of hands against a ban.

The resolutions are:

  • House Concurrent Resolution 2: sponsored by State Rep. Bruce Rendon (R-Lake City) - Passed the House Committee on Natural Resources, Outdoor Recreation and Tourism on Tuesday
  • House Resolution 17: sponsored by State Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Alpena) - Passed the House Committee on Natural Resources, Outdoor Recreation and Tourism on Tuesday
  • Senate Resolution 6: sponsored by State Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) - Being considered today in the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

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