Tell us what you think: Comment on revised ORV rules on state forest roads

Thousands of additional miles of roads available for ORV use starting January 2018.
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Statewide DNR News

June 9, 2017

Contact: Ken Silfven, 517-284-6027; Scott Whitcomb, 989-983-4101, or Jessica Holley, 989-426-9205

Tell us what you think: Comment on revised ORV rules on state forest roads for northern Lower Michigan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites public input on a proposal to open thousands of miles of state forest roads to off-road vehicles in the northern Lower Peninsula. The expanded access takes effect January 2018, as required by Public Act 288 of 2016.

The department has devoted the past several months to thoroughly mapping the region’s state forest roads. State forest roads, managed by the DNR, provide access for activities such as habitat improvement, timber management, and fire control, as well as public access for hunting, fishing, hiking and outdoor recreation. Historically, these roads have been closed to ORV use unless designated as part of an ORV route.  

PA 288 encourages more people to enjoy Michigan’s public lands by enhancing ORV opportunities in the northern Lower Peninsula. Beginning in 2018, all state forest roads in the region will be open to ORV use unless designated closed by the DNR. Reasons for closures include ensuring user safety, preventing user conflicts and protecting environmentally sensitive areas.

The public is welcome to attend any of the following meetings to review the proposed changes, ask questions and provide input.

  • Monday, June 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Quality Inn, 2980 Cook Road, West Branch

  • Tuesday, June 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, 6087 M-115, Cadillac

  • Wednesday, June 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Jay’s Sporting Goods, 1151 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord

Comments also can be made by viewing the online map at Instructions are available on the website.

Alternatively, comments will be accepted via email to or by mail to DNR Roads Inventory Project, P.O. Box 456, Vanderbilt, MI 49795. The comment period will close July 15, 2017.

“Michigan offers countless opportunities for outdoor adventures through the availability and diversity of its public lands,” said Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “Opening more forest roads to ORV enthusiasts lets people take full advantage of these recreational experiences. With the public’s input, we will determine which areas lend themselves to this type of use and which ones need protection. The result will be a well-thought out, balanced approach that protects our resources while encouraging use.”

For more information about the state forest road inventory process, visit For more information about trails in Michigan and to sign up for trail email updates, visit

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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