Attention All Michigan Snowmobilers: MSA threat assessment............
Your snowmobile riding opportunities in the Huron Manistee National Forest are in danger of being taken away!
This is not a threat. It is a distinct possibility, following a lawsuit alleging that hunters and snowmobilers receive preferential treatment compared to “quiet users.”
The National Forest Service is considering banning hunting and snowmobiling in the semi-primitive non-motorized areas of the forest. There are currently 13 of these semi-primitive non-motorized areas in the Huron Manistee National Forest, of which 7 have snowmobile trails running through them.
Kurt Meister, a Novi lawyer who has a cottage in Cadillac near the Huron Manistee National Forest, successfully appealed a lawsuit to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court arguing the Forest Service favored hunters and snowmobilers over quiet users in its 2006 land management plan. A federal district judge in Detroit had ruled in favor of the Forest Service before this appeal.
Instead of appealing the ruling, the Huron Manistee National Forest has chosen to do a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The notice of intent was published on 12/28/10 that would ban firearm hunting and snowmobiling within Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Management Areas. Many of these areas that were designated as Semi Primitive Non Motorized had existing snowmobile trails before they were designated as such, and many of these trails are on the county road system.
Public Meetings have been scheduled for the week of January 31. The National Forest Service will have one at each of the District Offices (Baldwin, Manistee, Mio and Oscoda). The Forest Service will also have one in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Warren/Livonia, and north of Flint. The Forest Service is hoping to have many snowmobilers and hunters at these meetings.....and expect Mr. Meister to attend many of these meetings as well.
MSA will be sending you some "talking points" for use with your appearance at the meetings or for your letter to the National Forest Service. Mark these dates and attend if you can. your attendance will be crucial.
· 1/31/11 Holiday Inn Express of Birch Run,12150 Dixie Hwy, Birch Run MI 4-8 PM
· 1/31/11 Huron Shores Ranger Station, 5761 North Skeel Rd, Oscoda, MI 4-7 PM
· 2/1/11 Hilton Garden Inn, 26000 American Drive, Southfield, MI 4-8 PM
· 2/1/11 Mio Ranger Station, 107 McKinley Road, Mio, MI 4-7 PM
· 2/2/11 Causeway Bay Hotel (Best Western) 6820 South Cedar St, Lansing, MI 4-8 PM
· 2/2/11 Days Inn of Manistee, 1462 US 131 South, Manistee MI, 4-7 PM
· 2/3/11 Crowne Plaza, 57000 East 28th St., Grand Rapids, MI 4-8 PM
· 2/3/11 Plainfield Township Hall, 885 Eighth Street, Baldwin, MI 4-7 PM
Written comments must be sent to Lee Evison, Forest Planner, Huron Manistee National Forests, 1755 S. Mitchell, Street, Cadillac, MI 49601 Fax 231-755-5551
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Comments should contain in the subject line: "Forest Plan SEIS".
STAY TUNED, WE WILL BE GETTING MORE DETAILED INFORMATION TO YOU SOON!
Michigan Snowmobile Association