On The Legislative Front
House Bill 4021 would amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to allow a law enforcement agency to employ an officer who is not certified by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to patrol trails used by offroad vehicles (ORVs). Specifically, the bill would amend Part 811 (Off-Road Recreation Vehicles) of NREPA to replace references to “local law enforcement officer,” “law enforcement officer,” or “officer” with the term peace officer, which it would define to mean any of the following:1 • A sheriff. • A sheriff’s deputy. • A deputy authorized by a sheriff to enforce Part 811 who has satisfactorily completed at least 40 hours of law enforcement training, including training specific to Part 811. • A village or township marshal. • An officer of the police department of a municipality. • An officer of the Department of State Police. • The director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and conservation officers employed by the DNR. MCL 324.81101 et seq.
HB 4458 of 2023 ~ Civil procedure: civil actions; fines for use of wheeled vehicle on snowmobile trail; allow deposit in recreational snowmobile trail improvement subaccount. Amends sec. 8831 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8831). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4459’23 HB 4459 of 2023 ~ House Bill Recreation: trails; prohibition for wheeled vehicles from driving on snowmobile trails from December 1 to March 31; provide for. Amends secs. 82101 & 82110 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.82101 & 324.82110) & adds sec. 82163. TIE BAR WITH: HB 4458’23
DNR Rejects Proposed Camp Grayling Expansion
A proposal from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to lease 162,000 acres of state forest land for training around its Camp Grayling facility was rejected, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. The DNR declined a proposed 20-year lease of approximately 162,000 acres of state forest land to the DMVA. The land, located around the National Guard training camp in Grayling, would have been used to accommodate low-impact military training activities. “We appreciate the many comments we received on this proposal and the commitment people have to public lands,” DNR Acting Director Shannon Lott said in a statement. “Public concerns and feedback from Tribal governments, coupled with our own review of the proposal, led us to decide against a 20-year lease on such a significant portion of state-managed land.” Republican lawmakers representing the area expressed opposition to the project earlier this year. Public comments on the Camp Grayling expansion closed in early February. The county boards of the potentially affected communities of Crawford, Roscommon and Kalkaska counties also expressed opposition to the expansion, and the Anglers of Au Sable sent a newsletter to their members urging them to send the Department of Natural Resources public comment condemning the project during the period earlier this year. While the lease of the 162,000 acres was denied, under a Memorandum of Understanding between the DNR and the DMVA, the DMVA will be able to apply for limited land use permits to conduct exercises on up to 52,000 acres of eligible land. The permits would allow the Michigan National Guard to conduct low-impact training on specified areas of land, which would remain open to the public and Tribal members at all times, the DNR said. The MOU also provides that the permits will not allow military training to take place in any protected or sensitive habitat areas or within a certain distance of inland lakes and designated trout streams.