Michigan DNR Reminds ORV Riders to ‘TREAD Lightly’ to Encourage Outdoor Ethics

Off-Road Vehicle
Off-Road Vehicle
Michigan DNR
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan-(Ammoland.com)- With the increasing use of off-road vehicles in Michigan, Department of Natural Resources conservation officers encourage ORV riders to observe the “TREAD Lightly” program to promote responsible riding while enjoying Michigan’s out of doors.

“The TREAD Lightly program promotes outdoor ethics for ORV riders,” said Sgt. Steve Orange, DNR Law Enforcement Division recreational safety, education and enforcement supervisor. “Conservation officers are out on the trails on public land to enforce the ORV laws, and many of those laws and regulations are in place to protect the riders and public land.”

The program encourages riders to:

Travel responsibly on roads and trails in permitted areas.

  • Stay on designated trails. Don’t blaze new trails.
  • Travel only in areas open to your type of vehicle.
  • Drive over obstacles (if you can do so safely) to avoid widening trails.
  • Do not cross streams or operate in wetlands.
  • Comply with all signs and respect barriers.
  • Don’t mix riding with alcohol or drugs.

Respect the rights of others, including private property owners and all recreational trail users, campers and others.

  • Slow down around crowds and in camping areas.
  • Never operate on private land without permission.
  • Yield the right-of-way when you meet others on the trails.
  • Steer clear of wild animals and avoid disturbing livestock.
  • Minimize noise and avoid creating dust.

Educate yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies and knowing how to safely use and operate your equipment.

  • Get maps that show the area where you plan to ride.
  • Learn about the regulations governing ORVs in the area.
  • Make sure your ORV is properly licensed if operating anywhere off private land. A
  • Michigan ORV license costs $26.25. If riding on state-designated trails, a $10 trails permit also is required.

Avoid sensitive areas such as meadows, lakeshores, wetlands and streams.

  • Stay on designated trails and routes.
  • Avoid sensitive habitats.
  • Stay out of designated wilderness areas.

Do your part to leave the area better than you found it – properly dispose of waste, minimize the use of fire, avoid the spread of invasive species and restore degraded areas.

  • Practice minimum-impact camping.
  • Equip your vehicle with a spark arrestor.
  • Before and after you ride, wash your vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.

To legally operate an ORV in Michigan, drivers under the age of 16 are required to have a safety training certificate and be under the supervision of an adult.

Students who are unable to attend traditional ORV classroom instruction may take an online safety course. Michigan students have two options for an online course: www.atvcourse.com/usa/michigan/ or http://www.offroad-ed.com/michigan/. More details are available on each site.

For a complete overview of ORV rules and regulations in Michigan, go to the Michigan ORV Handbook online at http://www.offroad-ed.com/michigan/handbook/book.html.

While out riding, if you encounter anyone violating land use rules for ORVs, contact the DNR’s Report All Poaching law enforcement line at 800-292-7800.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.

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