Enact HB 4610 & SB 578 - Michigan Right to Ride

Horse Riders and Outdoorsmen of Michigan - Your support of trails and public land use throughout Michigan is urgently needed. Representative Tim Moore submitted House Bill 4610 for consideration which has been approved, with changes, by the committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources chaired by Representative Joel Sheltrown.

Senator Cameron Brown submitted SB 578, which is the same as HB4610. The bill is with Senate's Natural Resources Committee that is chaired by Senator Patricia Birkholz.

Back Country Horsemen of Michigan want to be a part of land management planning, conservation, and education to further leave no trace trail riding and camping. We seek discussion and communication between all public land users and land managers. Please go to http://www.bchmi.org/ for more information.

SUBSTITUTE HB 4610 // SB 578 MAY 2009

March 18, 2009, Introduced by Reps. Moore, Sheltrown, Kurtz, Polidori, Elsenheimer, Stamas, Hildenbrand and Genetski and referred to the Committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources.


     A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled "Natural resources and environmental protection act," by amending sections 72101, 72102, and 72110 (MCL 324.72101, 324.72102, and 324.72110), section 72101 as amended by 1997 PA 129, and sections 72102 and 72110 as added by 1995 PA 58 and by adding sections 72114 and 72115.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 Sec. 72101. As used in this part:

 (a) "Advisory council" means the Michigan trailways advisory  council created in section 72110.

(b) "Council" means a Michigan trailway management council established pursuant to section 72106.

(c) EQUINE ACCESS LOCATIONS MEANS OPEN ACCESS ROADS, MANAGEMENT ROADS, FORESTRY ACCESS ROADS, ESTABLISHED 2-TRACK AND SINGLE-TRACK TRAILS, STAGING AREAS FOR PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS TO BE DROPPED OFF OR PICKED UP, AND ASSOCIATED WILDERNESS CAMPSITES.

(D) (c) "Fund" means the Michigan trailways fund created in section 72109.

(E) (d) "Governmental agency" means the federal government, a county, city, village, or township, or a combination of any of these entities.

 (F) (e) "Michigan trailway" means a trailway designated by the commission pursuant to section 72103.

 (G) (f) "Rail-trail" means a former railroad bed that is in public ownership and used as a trailway.

(H) (g) "Trailway" means a land corridor that features a broad  trail capable of accommodating a variety of public recreation uses.

Sec 72102. The legislature finds and declares that:

(A)      A statewide system of trailways will provide for public enjoyment, health, and fitness; encourage constructive leisure-time activities; protect open space, cultural and historical resources and habitat for wildlife and plants; enhance the local and state economies; link communities, parks, and natural resource opportunities for rural-urban exchange, agricultural education and the marketing of farm products; and preserve corridors for possible future use for other public purposes. Therefore, the planning, acquisition, development, operation, and maintenance of Michigan trailways is in the best interest of the state and is declared to be a public purpose.

(B)      THE USE OF TRAILWAYS AND EQUINE ACCESS LOCATIONS FOR PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE MANAGEMENT OF LAND FOR THE CONSERVATION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE.

Sec 72110. (1) The Michigan trailways advisory council is created within the department of natural resources.

(2) The advisory council shall consist of the following members appointed by the commission:

(a) One individual who is involved with the establishment and operation of a multiple use trailway.

(b) THREE individuals who represent Michigan trailways groups.

(C) ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL CREATED IN SECTION 72115.

(D) One local government official from a governmental agency in which a multiple use trailway is located.

(E) One member of the general public.

(3) The ADDITIONAL members OF the ADVISORY COUNTIL AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE 2009 AMENDATORY ACT THAT AMENDED THIS SECTION shall be appointed within 90 days AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE 2009 AMENDATORY ACT THAT AMENDED THIS SECTION.

(4) Members of the advisory council shall serve for terms of 4 years, or until a successor is appointed, whichever is later, except that of members first appointed, 2 shall serve for 1 year, 1 shall serve for 2 years, and 1 shall serve for 3 years. OF THE MEMBERS ADDED TO THE ADVISORY COUNCIL BY THE 2009 AMENDATORY ACT THAT AMENDED THIS SECTION, THE MEMBER FIRST APPOINTED UNDER SUBSECTION (2)(C) SHALL SERVE FOR 4 YEARS AND THE ADDITIONAL MEMBER FIRST APPOINTED UNDER SUBSECTION (2)(B) SHALL SERVE FOR 3 YEARS.

(5) If a vacancy occurs on the advisory council, the commission shall make an appointment for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

(6) The commission may remove a member of the advisory council for incompetency, dereliction of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, or any other good cause.

(7) The first meeting of the advisory council shall be called by the commission. At the first meeting the advisory council shall elect from its members a chairperson and other officers as it considers necessary or appropriate. After the first meeting, the advisory council shall meet at least annually or more frequently at the call of the chairperson or if requested by 3 4 or more members.

(8) A majority of the members of the advisory council constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business at a meeting of the advisory council. A majority of the members present and serving is required for official action of the advisory council.

(9) The business the advisory council may perform shall be conducted at a public meeting of the advisory council held in compliance with the open meetings act, Act No 267 of the Public Acts of 1976, being sections 15.261 to 15.275 of the Michigan Compiled Laws 1976 PA 267, MCL 15.261 TO 15.275.

(10) A writing prepared, owned, used, in possession of, or retained by the advisory council in the performance of an official function is subject to the freedom of information act, Act No 442 of the Public Acts of 1976, being sections 15.231 to 15.246 of the Michigan Compiled Laws 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 TO 15.246

(11) Members of the advisory council shall serve without compensation. However, members of the advisory council may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the advisory council.

(12) The advisory council shall do both of the following:

(a) Make recommendations to the commission and the department on the expenditure of money in the fund.

(b) Advise the commission and the department on the implementation of this PART and the establishment and operation of Michigan trailways.


SECTION 72114. (1) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PRESERVE AND FACILITATE THE CONTINUED USE AND ACCESS OF PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS ON ALL TRAILWAYS AND EQUINE ACCESS LOCATIONS ON STATE OWNED LAND THAT HAS BEEN OPEN FOR USE BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999. ADDITIONALLY, ALL TRAILWAYS AND EQUINE ACCESS LOCATIONS ON STATE OWNED LAND THAT WERE AVAILABLE FOR USE BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS ON JANUARY 1, 1999 AND WERE SUBSEQUENTLY CLOSED SHALL BE REOPENED AND MADE ACCESSIBLE FOR USE BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS.

(2) NOT LATER THAN JULY 31, 2010, THE COMMISSION IN CONSULTATION WITH THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL CREATED IN SECTION 72115, SHALL ESTABLISH A NETWORK OF TRAILWAYS ON STATE OWNED LAND THAT MAY BE USED BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS. THE NETWORK OF PACK AND SADDLE TRAILWAYS SHALL INCLUDE THOSE TRAILWAYS AND EQUINE ACCESS LOCATIONS ON STATE OWNED LAND THAT HAVE BEEN OPEN FOR USE BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS AT ANY TIME SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999.

(3) THE DESIGNATION OF A TRAILWAY FOR PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS UNDER SUBSECTION (2) DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE USE OF THE TRAILWAY FOR OTHER USES AS DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSION.

(4) THE COMMISSION, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL CREATED IN SECTION 72115, SHALL FACILITATE THE INCLUSION OF OTHER PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LANDS WITHIN THE STATEWIDE NETWORK OF PACK AND SADDLE TRAILWAYS TO PROVIDE FOR A COMPREHENSIVE NETWORK OF PACK AND SADDLE TRAILWAYS THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

(4) A PERSON SHALL NOT USE PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS ON STATE OWNED LAND EXCEPT ON TRAILWAYS AND EQUINE ACCESS LOCATIONS THAT ARE OPEN FOR USE BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS.


SEC 72115. (1) THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL IS CREATED WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT.

(2) THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL CONSIST OF THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS, APPOINTED JOINTLY BY THE GOVERNOR, THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

(A) ONE INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTING THE STATE%u2019S TOURISM INDUSTRY.

(B) ONE INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTING BUSINESSES THAT SUPPORT THE EQUINE INDUSTRY.

(C) FIVE INDIVIDUALS REPRESENTING THE EQUINE INDUSTRY AS FOLLOWS:

(i) ONE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE UPPER PENINSULA

(ii) ONE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE NORTHERN LOWER PENINSULA

(iii) ONE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE CENTRAL LOWER PENINSULA

(iv) ONE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE SOUTHEASTERN LOWER PENINSULA

(v) ONE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN LOWER PENINSULA

(3) THE MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED TO THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL BE APPOINTED WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE AMENDATORY ACT THAT ADDED THIS SECTION.

(4) MEMBERS OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL SERVE FOR TERMS OF 4 YEARS OR UNTIL A SUCCESSOR IS APPOINTED, WHICHEVER IS LATER, EXCEPT THAT OF THE MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED, 2 SHALL SERVE FOR 2 YEARS, 2 SHALL SERVE FOR 3 YEARS AND 3 SHALL SERVE FOR 4 YEARS.

(5) IF A VACANCY OCCURS ON THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL, AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE UNEXPIRED TERM SHALL BE MADE IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT.

(6) A MEMBER OF THE EUQINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL MAY BE REMOVED FOR INCOMPETENCY, DERELICTION OF DUTY, MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE, OR NONFEASANCE IN OFFICE OR ANY OTHER GOOD CAUSE.

(7) THE FIRST MEETING OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL BE CALLED BY THE DIRECTOR. AT THE FIRST MEETING, THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL ELECT FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS A CHAIRPERSON AND OTHER OFFICERS AS IT CONSIDERS NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE. AFTER THE FIRST MEEEING, THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL MEET AT LEAST QUARTERLY, OR MORE FREQUENTLY AT THE CALL OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF IF REQUESTED BY 3 OR MORE MEMBERS.

(8) A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL CONSTITUTE A QUORUM FOR THE TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS AT A MEETING OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL. A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS PRESENT AND SERVING ARE REQUIRED FOR OFFICIAL ACTION OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL.

(9) THE BUSINESS THAT THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL MAY PERFORM SHALL BE CONDUCTED AT A PUBLIC MEETING OF THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL HELD IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT, 1976 PA 267, MCL 15.261 TO 15.275.

(10) A WRITING PREPARED, OWNED, USED, IN THE POSSESSION OF, RETAINED BY THE EQUINE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF AN OFFICIAL FUNCTION IS SUBJECT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 TO 15.246.

(11) MEMBERS OF THE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION. HOWEVER, MEMBERS OF THE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THEIR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES AS MEMBERS OF THE TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL.

(12) TRAILWAYS ADVISORY COUNCIL SHALL DO BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING:

(A) ADVISE THE COMMISSION AND THE DEPARTMENT ON THE STATE%u2019S NETWORK OF TRAILWAYS THAT MAY BE USED BY PACK AND SADDLE ANIMALS.

(B) ADVISE THE COMMISSION AND THE DEPARTMENT ON OTHER MATTERS RELATED TO THE PROMOTION OF THE STATE%u2019S EQUINE INDUSTRY.






Honorable Representatives and Senators,

The undersigned, Petition the State to enact Right to Ride legislation to preserve and promote horseback riding and the use of pack animals on Michigan's public lands. 
We believe Right to Ride legislation is necessary to prevent - and reverse - current land manager practices that restrict equestrian and other trail user access to our public lands.
We urge you to approve and adopt HB 4610 and SB 578 which will create equestrian representation regarding trails and land use in Michigan. Equestrians want to be part of the educational process and have our voices heard in planning and conservation.

Thank you for your continued interest in our Pure Michigan!
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