Pigeon River & Beyond - Back Country Horsemen, Michigan

HB 4684 Introduced by Representative MacMaster


 

HOUSE BILL No. 4684

 

May 26, 2011, Introduced by Reps. MacMaster and Foster and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation.

 

     A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled

 

"Natural resources and environmental protection act,"

 

by amending sections 504, 72101, 72102, 72110a, 72114, and 72115

 

(MCL 324.504, 324.72101, 324.72102, 324.72110a, 324.72114, and

 

324.72115), section 504 as amended by 2009 PA 47, sections 72101

 

and 72102 as amended and section 72110a as added by 2010 PA 46, and

 

sections 72114 and 72115 as added by 2010 PA 45.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 504. (1) The department shall promulgate rules to protect

 

and preserve lands and other property under its control from

 

depredation, damage, or destruction or wrongful or improper use or

 

occupancy.

 

     (2) Subject to subsection (4), the department shall do all of

 


the following:

 

     (a) Keep land under its control open to hunting unless the

 

department determines that the land should be closed to hunting

 

because of public safety, fish or wildlife management, or homeland

 

security concerns or as otherwise required by law.

 

     (b) Manage land under its control to support and promote

 

hunting opportunities to the extent authorized by law.

 

     (c) Manage land under its control to prevent any net decrease

 

in the acreage of such land that is open to hunting.

 

     (3) Subject to subsection (4), by April 1 , 2010 and each

 

year, thereafter, the department shall submit to the legislature a

 

report that includes all of the following:

 

     (a) The location and acreage of land under its control

 

previously open to hunting that the department closed to hunting

 

during the 1-year period ending the preceding March 1, together

 

with the reasons for the closure.

 

     (b) The location and acreage of land under its control

 

previously closed to hunting that the department opened to hunting

 

during the 1-year period ending the preceding March 1 to compensate

 

for land closed to hunting under subdivision (a).

 

     (4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to commercial

 

forestland as defined in section 51101.

 

     (5) This section does not authorize the department to

 

promulgate a rule that applies to commercial fishing except as

 

otherwise provided by law.

 

     (6) The department shall not promulgate or enforce a rule that

 

prohibits an individual who is licensed or exempt from licensure

 


under 1927 PA 372, MCL 28.421 to 28.435, from carrying a pistol in

 

compliance with that act, whether concealed or otherwise, on

 

property under the control of the department.

 

     (7) The department shall issue orders necessary to implement

 

rules promulgated under this section. These orders shall be

 

effective upon posting. However, the department shall not issue or

 

enforce an order under this section that restricts the use of pack

 

and saddle animals on pack and saddle trailways as defined in

 

section 72101.

 

     (8) A person who violates a rule promulgated under this

 

section or an order issued under this section is responsible for a

 

state civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of

 

not more than $500.00.

 

     Sec. 72101. As used in this part:

 

     (a) "Advisory council" means the Michigan snowmobile and

 

trails advisory council created in section 72110.

 

     (b) "Council" means a Michigan trailway management council

 

established pursuant to section 72106.

 

     (c) "Department" means the department of natural resources.

 

and environment.

 

     (d) "Equine access locations" means open access roads,

 

management roads, forestry access roads, 2-track and single-track

 

trails that are not wildlife paths, staging areas for pack and

 

saddle animals to be dropped off or picked up, and associated

 

wilderness campsites.

 

     (e) "Fund" means the Michigan trailways fund created in

 

section 72109.

 


     (f) "Governmental agency" means the federal government, a

 

county, city, village, or township, or a combination of any of

 

these entities.

 

     (g) "Michigan trailway" means a trailway designated by the

 

commission pursuant to section 72103.

 

     (h) "Pack and saddle trailways" means trailways trails and

 

equine access locations that may be currently are or at any time

 

previously were used by pack and saddle animals.

 

     (i) "Rail-trail" means a former railroad bed that is in public

 

ownership and used as a trailway at any time.

 

     (j) "Trail" means a right-of-way adapted to foot, horseback,

 

motorized, or other nonmotorized travel.

 

     (k) "Trailway" means a trail or other 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) A statewide system of trails, trailways, and pack and

 

saddle 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 resources; create 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 trails, trailways, and

 

pack and saddle trailways are in the best interest of the state and

 


are declared to be a public purpose.

 

     (b) In providing and developing facilities for outdoor

 

recreation under sections 503 and 70301, the use of trails,

 

trailways, and pack and saddle trailways by pack and saddle animals

 

and other nonmotorized users is an allowed recreational use and is

 

permitted under chapter 21 of part 522 of the services manual of

 

the federal fish and wildlife service.

 

     Sec. 72110a. (1) The equine trailways subcommittee is created

 

as a subcommittee of the advisory council. The department may

 

provide staffing and administrative support to the equine trailways

 

subcommittee. The equine trailways subcommittee may also be staffed

 

and funded by user groups and other interested persons.

 

     (2) Subject to subsection (3), the equine trailways

 

subcommittee shall consist of the following members appointed by

 

the director of the department:

 

     (a) One individual representing the state's tourism industry.

 

     (b) 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 senate majority leader and the speaker of the house of

 

representatives shall each submit a list of 3 persons to the

 

director of the department. The director shall appoint at least 1

 

person from each of those lists to the equine trailways

 


subcommittee. The members first appointed to the equine trailways

 

subcommittee shall be appointed within 60 days after the effective

 

date of the amendatory act that added this section.

 

     (4) Members of the equine trailways subcommittee 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 2 shall serve for 4

 

years.

 

     (5) If a vacancy occurs on the equine trailways subcommittee,

 

an appointment for the unexpired term shall be made in the same

 

manner as the original appointment.

 

     (6) A member of the equine trailways subcommittee may be

 

removed for incompetency incompetence, dereliction of duty,

 

malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, or any other

 

good cause.

 

     (7) The first meeting of the equine trailways subcommittee

 

shall be called by the department within 30 days after the

 

appointments have been made. At the first meeting, the equine

 

trailways subcommittee shall elect from among its members a

 

chairperson and other officers as it considers necessary or

 

appropriate. After the first meeting, the equine trailways

 

subcommittee shall meet at least quarterly, or more frequently at

 

the call of the chairperson or if requested by 3 or more members.

 

     (8) A majority of the members of the equine trailways

 

subcommittee constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at

 

a meeting of the equine trailways subcommittee. A majority of the

 

members present and serving are required for official action of the

 


equine trailways subcommittee.

 

     (9) The business that the equine trailways subcommittee may

 

perform shall be conducted at a public meeting of the equine

 

trailways subcommittee 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, or

 

retained by the equine trailways subcommittee 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 equine trailways subcommittee shall serve

 

without compensation. However, subject to the availability of

 

funding, members of the equine trailways subcommittee may be

 

reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the

 

performance of their official duties as members of the equine

 

trailways subcommittee.

 

     (12) The equine trailways subcommittee shall do all of the

 

following:

 

     (a) Within 1 year after the appointment of its initial

 

members, prepare and submit to the advisory council a recommended

 

plan for a statewide network of pack and saddle trailways. The

 

recommended plan for a statewide pack and saddle trailways network

 

shall include both of the following:

 

     (i) All pack and saddle trailways on state-owned land that have

 

previously been open for use by pack and saddle animals at any time

 

and that the equine trailways subcommittee determines are

 

appropriate for pack and saddle trailways.

 

     (ii) All additional state lands that the equine trailways

 


subcommittee determines would be appropriate for pack and saddle

 

animals and would contribute to a statewide network of pack and

 

saddle trailways.

 

     (b) Advise the advisory council and the department on the

 

development and use of the pack and saddle trailways network.

 

     (c) Advise the advisory council and the department on other

 

matters related to the promotion of the state's equine industry.

 

     (d) Advise the advisory council and the department on funding

 

to conduct pack and saddle trailway reviews under section 72115 and

 

to provide for the reopening of previously closed pack and saddle

 

trailways, the preservation of existing pack and saddle trailways,

 

and the development of new pack and saddle trailways across the

 

state.

 

     (13) If the equine trailways subcommittee is not appointed as

 

provided for in this section, the department shall, within 2 years

 

after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this

 

section not later than April 2, 2012, work with the equine industry

 

to develop a plan for a statewide network of pack and saddle

 

trailways.

 

     Sec. 72114. (1) Within 1 year after receiving recommendations

 

from the advisory council under subsection (4), the department

 

shall establish a plan for a statewide trail network that includes

 

Michigan trailways, pack and saddle trailways, and other

 

recreational use trails and trailways. The plan for a statewide

 

trail network shall be designed to accommodate a variety of public

 

recreation uses and shall specify the types of uses that are

 

allowed on each trail segment. The plan for a statewide trail

 


network shall be in conformance with section 72115. and the

 

determinations made under section 72115. Prior to the department

 

establishing the plan for a statewide trail network, the commission

 

shall hold a public meeting to receive testimony from the general

 

public.

 

     (2) After the plan for a statewide trail network is

 

established under subsection (1), if the department is informed

 

that additional trails should be added to the plan or that uses on

 

particular trail segments should be modified, the department may

 

modify the plan to include additional trails or to modify the uses

 

on particular trails. However, any modifications shall be in

 

conformance with section 72115. and determinations made under

 

section 72115.

 

     (3) Upon establishment of a plan for a statewide trail network

 

under subsection (1), the department shall make the plan available

 

on the department's website. If the department modifies the plan

 

for a statewide trail network, the department shall make the

 

updated plan available on the department's website.

 

     (4) Within 1 year after receiving recommendations from the

 

equine trailways subcommittee under section 72110a, the advisory

 

council shall review recommendations from the equine trailways

 

subcommittee as well as other interested trailway trail users and

 

shall make recommendations to the department for the establishment

 

of a plan for a statewide trail network. If the advisory council

 

does not submit recommendations to the department as provided for

 

in this subsection, within 2 years after the effective date of the

 

amendatory act that added this section not later than April 2,

 


2012, the department shall review the recommendations of the equine

 

trailways subcommittee under section 72110a and recommendations of

 

other interested trail users and shall establish a plan for a

 

statewide trail network as provided for in subsection (1).

 

     Sec. 72115. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), pack Pack

 

and saddle animals shall be allowed to access pack and saddle

 

trailways on public land managed by the department. as follows:

 

     (a) Access on land of the state forest system is allowed

 

unless restricted by statute, deed restriction, land use order, or

 

other legal mechanism, in effect on the effective date of the

 

amendatory act that added this section.

 

     (b) Access on land of the state park system or state game area

 

system is prohibited unless authorized by land use order or other

 

legal mechanism in effect on the effective date of the amendatory

 

act that added this section.

 

     (c) Access on other land managed by the department is allowed

 

according to the specific authorization or restriction applicable

 

to the land.

 

     (2) Access by pack and saddle animals may only be restricted

 

on lands described in subsection (1) after the effective date of

 

the amendatory act that added this section if conditions are not

 

suitable for pack and saddle animals because of public safety

 

concerns, necessary maintenance, or for reasons related to the

 

mission of the department. Restrictions related to the mission of

 

the department shall be supported, to the greatest extent

 

practicable, by a written science-based rationale that is supported

 

with documentation that is made available to the public. Prior to

 


determining that access by pack and saddle animals be restricted,

 

the department shall make every effort to resolve any public safety

 

or maintenance concerns. Subject to subsection (3), the department

 

shall not restrict pack and saddle animals from lands described in

 

subsection (1) unless all of the following conditions are met:

 

     (a) The commission, upon request of the department, holds a

 

public meeting on a proposal to restrict access by pack and saddle

 

animals on pack and saddle trailways to receive testimony from the

 

general public. The commission shall invite the advisory council,

 

the equine trailways subcommittee created in section 72110a, and

 

the Michigan horse council to attend the meeting.

 

     (b) The department, after considering testimony at the

 

commission meeting under subdivision (a), provides a specific

 

rationale for its determination to restrict access by pack and

 

saddle animals.

 

     (c) Any decision by the department to restrict access by pack

 

and saddle animals shall not take effect for a period of time set

 

by the department, but not less than 60 days. However, if the

 

director determines that a restriction must be imposed because of

 

user conflicts or due to an imminent threat to public health,

 

safety, welfare, or to natural resources or the environment, the

 

director may issue a temporary order restricting access by pack and

 

saddle animals for 30 days or until the threat or user conflict is

 

abated. A temporary order under this subdivision may be reissued if

 

the threat or user conflict persists.

 

     (d) A written statement shall be posted at the trailhead in

 

which the restriction is imposed stating the cause and estimated

 


duration of the closure.

 

     (e) A list of pack and saddle trailways on which the

 

department has restricted access for pack and saddle animals,

 

including temporary orders, shall be posted on the department's

 

website and notification shall be provided to the equine trailways

 

subcommittee created in section 72110a.

 

     (3) Any restrictions described in subsection (1) on access by

 

pack and saddle animals that were in effect on the effective date

 

of the amendatory act that added this section shall remain in

 

effect until those restrictions are reviewed using the process

 

outlined in subsection (2). For the following areas, the department

 

shall review the restrictions on access by pack and saddle animals

 

previously imposed by the department according to the following

 

timelines:

 

     (a) Not later than June 15, 2010, the Pigeon river country

 

state forest.

 

     (b) Not later than January 1, 2011, the Lapeer state game area

 

and the Gladwin field trial area.

 

     (c) Not later than January 1, 2012, the Lost Nation state game

 

area and the Blueberry Ridge pathway.

 

     (2) (4) A person shall not use pack and saddle animals on

 

state-owned land except on pack and saddle trailways. that are open

 

for access by pack and saddle animals.