Pigeon River & Beyond - Back Country Horsemen, Michigan


I recently became aware of some misleading information about State 
Game areas and state land that is controlled by the Michigan DNR.
First, it’s against the law for horses to go on State Game land. I don’t 
understand why. Someone told me it was because the land was bought 
with Hunting and Fishing License money.  But I found out that is not true.  
Representative Joel Sheltrown has introduced HB 4204 that wants to 
reallocate the money that DNR gets from mineral and oil leases, which is 
what is used to buy land. In addition, taxes paid into the state treasury 
contribute to purchasing land.  Some land is acquired through tax 
foreclosure. Less than one-third of the money comes from licenses. 
I’m finding out a great deal from this website www.bchmi.org  where 
there is discussion about legislation to open trails for multi-users – HB 4610
 -  and how the DNR uses funding. http://www.bchmi.org/legislation.htm 

I love to ride my horse on trails. In the spring, I can see the emerging flowers. In the fall, the colors are amazing and the sound  of the leaves fluttering to the ground is like the woods are whispering.  Just the clop, clop,clop of my horse’s feet.  Sometimes I go with friends.

I have recently learned that the DNR has closed more land to horses, up north.  It’s already hard to find places to ride. Michigan has thousands of acres of state land. HB 4610 introduced by Representative Tim Moore will hopefully open more land.  I learned about it here: www.bchmi.org 

I am also going to write to Governor Granholm. I think this is very important to keep land open to users. Not just horses but everyone.  Write to Governor Jennifer Granholm, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, MI  48909


I was looking up places to ride my horse here in Michigan. I searched the DNR State Parks. There are 108 parks but only 2 (two) of them list horseback riding.  I know there are trails across the state – but that is too far from me.  There are rails-to trails by me, but they are paved and I think they are too narrow for a horse to pass a bicycle with one of those cabooses on it.  

Why are these trails paved?  Isn’t that expensive?   

I heard about legislation that would require the state DNR to open more state-owned land to horses and other non-motorized users. I have contacted my representative about it. I hope that all your readers will contact the governor and let her know too that horse activities are an $8 BILLION industry here in Michigan. I think we should make it bigger!  I am learning from many websites on the internet. www.bchmi.org has been very helpful.

I have heard that sometimes the Michigan DNR is late paying their taxes on state land in my county. How can they do that?  It’s not fair to everyone else who pays.  And they don’t always pay the full amount. If they are late, do they have to pay late fees?  That is costing taxpayers money.   I am going to  contact  my state senator and representative about this. It’s not right.   Half the time, we can’t even use the land, what a waste.


Michigan News Media links

Michigan Newspapers I

Michigan Newspapers II

Michigan Newspapers III