Pigeon River & Beyond - Back Country Horsemen, Michigan

Our Journey...

Natural Resources Commission Agenda

Nov. 8, 2007

 

Natural Resources commission to review Land Use Order for Pigeon River plan for Pigeon River Country State Forest at April Meeting

April 3, 2008

A proposed land use order will be amended to address the public's use of the Pigeon River Country State Forest at the April 10 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing. The order will discuss how multiple users can enjoy recreation in the 118,000-acre state forest tract in northeast lower Michigan, while protecting the wild character of the Pigeon River Country....  More.

 

The Resource Steward's Position Paper to the MDNR on the Pigeon River 

D.N.R.'s Pigeon River Forest Proposal Has Some Upset

 9 & 10 News  / Posted: 4/4/2008

A proposal by the Department of Natural Resources has some people upset.... 
More.

Video at:  9 & 10 News

 

Equestrian News

The Concept of Management in the Pigeon River Country has closed all horseback riding trails except for one trail through the PRC that is maintained by the Michigan Trail Riders.  The PRC has stated that we can ride on vehicle access roads.  In addition, they have closed all offsite camping within the PRC.  There were 15 offsites within  113,000 acres...  More.  

 

Conservation, land use subject of rally Saturday

By Jil Schult, Staff Writer / Friday, April 4, 2008

GAYLORD — Sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts are being encouraged to attend a meeting Saturday (April 5) regarding what some say is a threat to natural resources.

This is the second Michigan Natural Resources Rally, hosted by Antrim Conservation District (ACD)..... 
More.

 

Gaylord Rally by Matt Dunn / Weekly Choice

“This is a government by the people and for the people;

if we don’t get involved, changes won’t be made.”

-- Heidi Lang of the Antrim Conservation District

April 5, 2008 / Weekly Choice / By Mike Dunn

GAYLORD – Several hundred people packed the Knights of Columbus Hall in Gaylord on Saturday to express frustration about the direction they see the state government taking. The people who attended the rally were mostly part of “user groups” affected by recent regulations implemented by the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Quality, or both state agencies.
Mike Meriwether of the Antrim Conservation District was the moderator of the meeting... 
More.
 
9 & 10 News / Posted:  4/5/2008
Natural Resource users joined together on Saturday afternoon in Gaylord to voice their concerns of how natural resource issues are handled in the state...... 
More.
 
9 & 10 News / April 5, 2008
Natural Resource users joined together this afternoon to voice their concerns at a rally in Gaylord..... 
More.

 

NRC to decide limits on recreational use of Pigeon River Country trails

The Cheboygan News, April 8, 2008  / By MARK SPENCLEY, Tribune Staff Writer

 

Letter to R. Humphries from Representatives

APRIL 8TH 2008

TO MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
DIRECTOR REBECCA HUMPHRIES

Dear Director Humphries,

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, I appreciate you doing so.

It is our understanding that the department of Natural Resources is currently determining whether or not to keep open a number of equine trails in pigeon River Forest....  More.

 

Hundreds attend Gaylord rally to demand government accountability

Weekly Choice.com / By Mike Dunn / April 9, 2008

“This is a government by the people and for the people;

   if we don’t get involved, changes won’t be made.”

 -- Heidi Lang of the Antrim Conservation District

GAYLORD – Several hundred people packed the Knights of Columbus Hall in Gaylord on Saturday to express frustration about the direction they see the state government taking. The people who attended the rally were mostly part of “user groups” affected by recent regulations implemented by the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Quality, or both state agencies....  More.

Forest plans prompt protest:  Access to trails, campsites at issue in Pigeon River Country 

April 9, 2008

GAYLORD — An estimated 400 people attended Saturday’s Michigan Natural Resources Rally, mostly expressing concerns regarding government natural resource cuts.

Hosted by Antrim Conservation District and various other sportsmen and conservation groups, the rally focused on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding finances and administrative management services.

According to Heidi Lang, Antrim Conservation District soil erosion officer who was one of the hosts, mostly “horse people” attended the standing-room-only forum......
 
More.

April 12, 2008

Proposal would set aside trails for bikers, riders

BY SHERI McWHIRTER / smcwhirter@record-eagle.com

GAYLORD -- Changes could be in store for horseback riders and mountain bikers in the Pigeon River Country State Forest if state officials approve new proposed rules.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants to keep horseback riders to certain trails and campgrounds........More.

 

MUCC Policy Report for April 18, 2008:

 

DNR needs to start helping horse riders, too

May 02, 2008 / MLive.com

Two weeks ago, I wrote that the DNR's decision to restrict horse use in the 112,953-acre Pigeon River Country State Forest was a fair one, that the agency was correct in its desire to recapture some of the forest's wild feeling by limiting where horses, mountain bikers and snowmobilers could go.

That hasn't changed.

What has changed is my sense of how much the DNR needs to do to reasonably accommodate horseback riders, particularly those they are encouraging to ride on state lands other than the PRCSF......  More.

 

The following is a brief recap of the NRC Commission held on May 8, 2008 where Director Humphries signed the Land Use Orders for the revised Concept of Management.

 Minutes by Cynthia Kieliszewski

Read as follows: 
 
There was a good group of people to represent horse riders at the NRC
meeting.  Rep Casperson came in and stood at the back.  The Chair of the NRC
immediately announced that Tom was in the room.
During the public speaking session several of the PRC Advisory council...  More.

 

DNR Director Signs Land Use Order to Regulate Pigeon River Country State Forest 

Contact:  Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014
Agency: Natural Resources

May 9, 2008

A land use order designed to retain the wild character of the Pigeon River Country State Forest, while managing the use of the forest by multiple groups, was signed by DNR Director Rebecca Humphries at Thursday's Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.

The order regulates equestrian camping and riding, and bicycling within the Pigeon River Country State Forest.........  More.

 DNR Director Signs Land Use Order to regulate Pigeon River Country State Forest 

May 9th, 2008 NewsEngine Posted in Environmental News | Outdoor News Daily

A land use order designed to retain the wild character of the Pigeon River Country State Forest, while managing the use of the forest by multiple groups, was signed by DNR Director Rebecca Humphries at Thursday’s Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.

The order regulates equestrian camping and riding, and bicycling within the Pigeon River Country State Forest. The restrictions are needed to implement and enforce the recommendations outlined in the recently updated Pigeon River County Concept of Management. A link to the Concept of Management is available online to read on the DNR’s Web site....  More.

 

NOTE from Michigan Horse Council

Important meeting on equestrian trails on May 13, 2008...

 

 Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and  Natural Resources hearing

May 13, 2008

 

 

 Marieta, Jim and Chappy Sloan, Charles Kleinhardt, Connie and Dick Kleinhardt,

Norm Seppi, Jacob, Maggie, Norma and Gordon

House Committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources 

Regarding May 13, 2008

Representative Sheltrown, Chairman,

House Committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation & Natural Resources
 
Re: May 13, 2008, Committee Hearing re Pigeon River Country State Forest Concept of Management Plan  
 
I am writing as Chairman of the Legislative, Land Use & Environmental Committee of the Michigan Horse Council (MHC) regarding the recent reduction of equestrian access to the Pigeon River Country State Forest (PRCSF) lands.  I was a member of the PRCSF Work Group representing equestrians who were concerned with provisions in the Concept of Management Plan for the PRCSF approved by the Department of Natural Resources.  That Plan significantly reduced access by equestrians in the PRCSF.......  More.

 

Jacob and Maggie

 

House Committee on Tourism and

Outdoor Recreation Hearing regarding the PRC

May 13, 2008

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee:

I would like to thank the members of this committee for the opportunity to testify today! As a veteran of this country I took the oath to protect and defend the freedoms we enjoy here in this country. This is the greatest country on the face of the earth. I’m proud of our brave young men and women who continue to defend our way of life and freedoms. We should not and can not forget the sacrifices that they... 
 
 

Mr Dick Kleinhardt's interview to the house reporter

Gongwer Wednesday May 14

No More Horse Riding Off Pigeon River Trails

Last week Dick Kleinhardt found out he would be an outlaw if he kept riding horses on remote trails in the Pigeon River Country State Park.

On May 8, Department of Natural Resources Director Rebeca Humphries signed a land use order that restricted horse riding and camping in the 118,000 acre park that is home to the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi.....

Click here to read more.

 

Rebuttal by Dick Kleinhardt

Posted May 18, 2008

We hope you also take the time to go to the original website and post your comments.

 

The following letter was written by Matt Stahl:

Posted by Matt Stahl on 05/21/2008

I was made aware last week that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been working on (for many months) closing a large portion of the Pigeon River State Forest in Otsego and Cheboygan counties to horse riding, angering the multitude of horse back riders in our state, and many other people too....  More.

 

Legislators take ride into 'forest' conflict

 June 17, 2008

 Riders say they're being locked out of the Pigeon River Country

Vanderbilt — The Pigeon River Country may be a sanctuary for most but it’s becoming a battleground for others.

Following new guidelines from the state Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), Pigeon River Country (PRC) users, especially horseback riders, are finding increased restrictions and scrutiny toward their activities....  More.

 

Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing

Dec. 10, 2009

Dick Kleinhardt giving testimony before the committee.  Also testifying is Tom Tyler of Tom's Western Store, Norma Laine, president Shiawassee Trail Riders Association and attorney Rand Smith.

 

 

Rory Mattson, Representative Tom Casperson,

Dick Kleinhardt, __________ , and Mark Bartholomew.

Click here to read Dick Kleinhardt's

full testimony before the

Senate Appropriations Committee on

Dec. 10, 2008.

 

 

 

SENATE PANEL HEARS TESTIMONY ON WILDERNESS AREA

Gongwer News Service --  Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SENATE PANEL HEARS TESTIMONY ON WILDERNESS AREA

"The Pigeon River Area was the topic of discussion at Wednesday's Senate Appropriations Natural Resources Subcommittee meeting with several House members saying the area should be open for broader use by horseback riders...."

Click here to read more

 

The impression of the Senate Hearing held on December 10th was very positive!  I would like to thank all that attended this meeting as well as those who spoke.  It was so encouraging to see our  State Reps. in attendance.  Representatives Casperson, Sheltrown, Elsenheimer, Emmons, and Booher were in attendance.  Not only were they there in support but the lst three mentioned above went up to testify in our behalf.  These were the Representatives that attended our "Cowboy Picnic" this past summer.

 
They had 1st hand knowledge of all the ludicrous DNR claims by actually riding the Pigeon on horseback; even in areas that are now illegal to ride.
I have no idea as to the outcome of this hearing but I genuinely feel that the Senators were extremely interested in our findings.
I would urge everyone to continue to communicate with your Senator and State Representative.  We are not going away!
 
We feel that we need to have an alliance group formed possibly called "Trail Riders Alliance of Michigan (TRAM) to form a unified single voice in Michigan.  We would like to have as many trail organizations from across the state to be involved in the ground level of this.  Looking at sometime in late January or February.  Feel free to contact us if you would like to join in on this by emailing us or Norm Seppi in the UP as well.
 
Thanks again,

Dick Kleinhardt

Click here for the May 29th Town Hall Meeting

 
 
 
 
 

Check back again soon.  There is much more to tell about our journey!