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They’re your forests! Share planning ideas for state forests in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and parts of Otsego and Mackinac counties

If you live adjacent to, have a cottage or camp near, or simply like to spend time on state-managed forest land in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and parts of Otsego and Mackinac counties, here’s an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2018 forest treatment plans for these areas.

June open houses

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host open houses from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at the DNR Gaylord Field Office, 1732 W. M-32, Gaylord, and Wednesday, June 22, at the DNR Indian River Field Office, 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River.

For more efficient oversight, the DNR divides each forest management unit into smaller units or “compartments.” This year, compartments under review are in Chestonia, Custer, Kearney and Mancelona townships (Antrim County); Chandler Township (Charlevoix County); Ellis, Hebron, Koehler, Mentor and Wilmot townships (Cheboygan County); Littlefield, Little Traverse, McKinley and Pleasant View townships (Emmet County); Charlton, Hayes and Otsego Lake townships (Otsego County); and Bois Blanc Island (Mackinac County).

Maps and information regarding proposed management activities (treatments) can be found at Compartment review packets for the 2018 year of entry can be found by selecting the “Find a Forest” button and clicking the “Gaylord” button on the map. This information also will be available at the open house.

In addition to the review of these forest treatments, the DNR will be seeking public input regarding Special Conservation Areas, or areas recognized as having unique values, such as old growth, springs or wildlife habitat corridors. This review will utilize the most up-to-date categories of Special Conservation Areas and values.

July meeting – final treatment plans

The DNR will complete its formal compartment review Wednesday, July 20, to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That meeting will take place at 9 a.m. in the Tuscarora Township Hall, 3546 S. Straits Highway, Indian River.

If you have a disability that requires accommodations to attend these meetings, please contact Joyce Angel at or 989-732-3541, ext. 5440, at least five business days prior to each meeting.

Those unable to attend either the June open houses or the July meeting are encouraged to submit comments via email to Joyce Angel using the subject line “Gaylord Forest Management Unit open house comment.” All comments must be received at least three days before each meeting.


Call in! 616/361-2285 Mail In! 4543 Division Ave S Wyoming Mi 49548 or Join on the website at

20.00 gets you a new 1yr membership to MSA!


MSA would like to give a huge shout out to Fox Powersports for helping us grow! Fox Powersports is sponsoring all new memberships from now until July 31,2016! When you join you will be entered into a drawing to win a 250.00 shopping spree at Fox Powersports and several other goodies!!

 Below you will find the start of the history of MSA!  You can find more of our history at The history of MSA

What Has MSA Done For You!

In 1981 there were the following state associations in Michigan!

  • Michigan Association of Recreational Snowmobilers- MARS
  • Michigan International Snowmobile Association – MISA
  • Michigan Upper Peninsula Snowmobile Association – MUPSA
  • Snowmobile manufactures were dwindling, sponsorship money getting tight. Who or which association needs more sponsorship money, MUPSA, where the snow is, MARS, where the snowmobilers live, MISA where the snowmobilers race and provide R&D.
  • DNR, could not cope with all the demands from the three different associations. All wanted something different from the state.

June 1982 MSA was incorporated and in September 1982 it had 36 individual members.

January 1983 had agreement from MISA and MARS to transfer their respective recreational snowmobilers to the new MSA.

February   1983 MSA had its first general membership meeting, 232 individual members.

March 1983 MUPSA joined with MSA to complete the new association.

May 1983  first full board of directors meeting held in Marquette with 16 council areas represented.

September 1983  a special membership meeting was held to change the bylaw to create the Executive Committee to act in steed of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee make up would be the four officers, immediate past president and 9 delegates chosen from the respective regions, 1-UP, 2- Northern Lower, 3- Southern Lower, 14 total.  The plan was to have the Executive Committee meet every 6 weeks,  and the full Board to meet at least every 3 to 4 months. The reasons behind this move were;

  • Less Travel
  • Better Communication
  • Ability to Focus On Regional Issues
  • More Involvement

December 1983, MSA works to pass first Out of State Snowmobile Permit. Passed and goes into effect April 1 1984

February  1984 MSA held its second annual meeting in Cadillac. MSA now has 908 members and 18 council member areas. Hot button issues at the convention were 3 wheeler issues on trails, get a return of gas tax dollars, early retirement from DNR, new out of state user fees.

December 1984 with pressure from the UP lodging facilities and MN, WI, IN, and OH saying they would boycott the state snowmobile trails, on the last day of the legislative year they remove the Out of State Permit.

May 1985 the four manufactures through the International Snowmobile Industry Association (ISIA) hire a Michigan lobby firm to assist MSA in getting a gas tax or permanent funding for the trail system.

December 1987 The Michigan Legislature passes the Recreational Improvement Fund (RIF). Two percent of the tax on all gasoline is deposited into the fund. The distribution is as follows; 80% to the Recreational Boating Program, 14% to the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund, 6% to be used by others with consideration of restoration of damage caused by ATVs.

December 1989 Membership stands at 4,800 and the topic of the day was increased fuel costs.

March 1991 MSA working with legislators pass legislation to revise the current registration law and direct funds to SOS, Law Enforcement, and trails also passed was a mandatory registration at time of sale and mandatory helmet use.

August 1991 MSA uttered the first words since 1985 called it a Snowmobile Trail Permit,  this would add funds from Mi residents as well as out of state snowmobilers.

March 1993 Legislation introduced to raise the registration fee to $22, full increase going to Grant Program for sheriffs. Other issues in the law change are retaining the interest on the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund. (STIF), a fine for stealing snowmobile trail signs, and introduction of a Trail Permit Fee.

June 1993 passed legislation giving landowners that allow trails, more protection from lawsuits

May 1994 Legislation passed for a Michigan Trail Permit for $10.00 per year Snowmobile Advisory Committee also put into law.  Registration numbers removed from side of sleds.

December 1994 MSA Membership is up to 13,000

March 1995 Laws change to allow a snowmobile trail along an active RR with owner’s permission.

April 1995 Fisherman want permit law changed to exempt them.

June 1995 American Council of Snowmobile Associations formed, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association formed, first lawsuit to end snowmobiling in Yellowstone filed by the Fund for Animals.

September 1995 MSA membership is 14,000

March 1996 Sled dogs on trails was the talk of the time.

March 1997 MSA Membership is 17,000

July 1997 Registration decal changed and numbers added to decal. Stud Ban is first talked about.

September 1997 New sign manual for trail is enforced.

October 1997 MDOT working on road crossing tests for stud damage.

December 1997 MSA votes to support studs and there use on trails.

April 1998 MSA hires Reith Reily to do research on stud resistant asphalt.

September 1998 Legislation tying Drivers license to snowmobile DUI passed.

April 1999 Yellowstone lawsuit now cost over $100,000 to defend.

June 1999 MSA introduces its “Zero Tolerance” while riding Campaign

March 2000 First season of Zero Tolerance Campaign under the belt with fairly good results.

April 2000 Four years have passed without a new route around Mullet Lake on the Gaylord to Cheboygan trail. DNR contacted and reminded of their promise to find alternative route if snowmobile use could be curtailed along the lake trail in back of houses.

December 2000 Bills introduced a bill to raise the TP to $20 for 2001 and to $25 in 2004.

March 2001 Bills introduced to limit colored lens on headlights, and sleds no wider than 48”

April 2001 House passes fee increase, headlight bill.

March 2002 MSA Membership to 20,650

April 2002 We saw one of the strangest winters ever, Dec, Jan, Feb, no snow, March lots of snow.

May 2002 Test plots of the new stud resistant asphalt are being put on trails throughout MI.

September 2002 MSA takes over a major sponsor of For Women Only

December 2002 Mullet Lake issue was taken to the NRC where they danced it over the Trust Fund Committee.

March 2003 Legislature takes $7.5 M from boaters to balance the budget. Close call for a raid on snowmobile funds.

April 2003 Assumption of risk clause passes and signed into law.

August 2003 The US Congress holds a vote to end snowmobiling in Yellowstone and a tie vote defeated the measure, close call!

September 2003 had a committee set up to review the Mullet Lake issue, 12 meetings every two weeks.

August 2004 Mullet Lake issue has recommendation to go through Pigeon River Country.

August 2004 Chocolay Township proposes speed limit on trail through community

September 2004 MSA begins work on a non profit for permanent trails.

October 2004 MI Trail Permit raises to $25.00

October 2004 Snow Country Trails Conservancy formed to hold easements for snowmobile clubs across private property.

November 2004 Still no trail on the RR grade along Mullett Lake, and therefore no connection after Indian River to the Bridge

January 2005 DNR appoints Deputy Director to head up the Snowmobile Trails Advisory Workgroup.

February 2005 FWO raises $148,500 for Easter Seals-No Snow for the ride.

March 2005 Gov Granholm vetoes bill to allow a trail in the interstate ROW, voiding a possible link around the Mullett Lake issue.

June 2005  Pigeon River Country Advisory group votes to not allow a snowmobile trail in the Pigeon River Forest

September 2005 Gaylord to Cheboygan workgroup is disbanded with the Mullett Lake trail issue not resolved.

October 2005 Three Million $ raided from Harbor Development fund.

October 2005 Recreationists in MI solicit signatures for a ballot proposal for the 2006 November elections to Constitutionally Insure Protected Funds from any raids by the governor and legislature. Enough signatures are collected for Proposal One to be added.

November 2005 Financial Intuitions (BANKS) want to make snowmobile have a title along with their registrations for lien purposes.

December 2005 Still no trail on the RR grade along Mullett Lake, and therefore no connection after Indian River to Cheboygan.

January 2006 Governor signs legislation to allow a snowmobile trail on a limited access Highway ROW with restrictions.

January 2006 MSA wins and Snowmobiles are allowed on the Chocolay Twp RR grade with a 35 MPH speed limit for the 9 miles through the Twp.

February 2006 MSA hosts the ACSA Enlightenment Ride and takes the Chief of the US Forest Service snowmobiling. Because of the ride snowmobiles are exempted from the new Travel Management Rule in all National Forests

September 2006 MSA asks the membership for their opinion about raising TP fees.

October 2006 MSA works with and the Governor directs the Director of the DNR to allow snowmobiles on the Gaylord to Cheboygan RR grade along Mullett Lake with a speed limit and curfew.

November 2006 MSA in the state and National elections are recognized as a large block of the “Snowmo-Vote” by the national news media.

November 2006 Proposal 1 passes that will now constitutionally Protect All Recreation Funds from a raid by the Governor or the Legislature.

To be continued, keep checking back as we add the entire history of MSA!…………






U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar and U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek were in the area touring the local trail system with MSA!IMG_1328

February 22, 2016 Cadillac Evening News

By Rick Charmoli

BOON — For those who live in Northern Michigan and in particular the Cadillac area, the hum of snowmobiles is commonplace.

While it usually signifies Mother Nature has left a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, to many businesses in the region, that constant hum sounds like money. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar and U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek were in the area touring the local trail system as well as to find out about how they could possibly help ensure the area continues to thrive as a snowmobiler destination. U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga also was supposed to be on the ride, but was unable to participate due to the death of his father.

Michigan Snowmobile Association Executive Director Bill Manson said the current ride, which featured stops in Mesick, Boon and Hoxeyville on Thursday, marked the fourth time the group has taken out congressmen. Manson said it started when they took out Huizenga.

“He is an avid snowmobiler and he wanted to go out and check out Michigan trails,” Manson said. “The next year, we included Congressman Benishek, and now with Rep. John Moolenaar, all three districts, 1st, 2nd and 4th, come together across Lake, Wexford and Manistee. It was just a perfect fit to get them out to see snowmobiling and what organized snowmobiling is about.”

Manson said this year, his organization is focused on working with the Department of Natural Resources to possibly open up the railroad grade from Copemish, to Mesick and Yuma. There is an issue with a bridge that will take roughly $750,000 to make usable for hiking, biking and snowmobiling.

Moolenaar said he found this ride important as he learned about how the trails and snowmobiling affect the local economy.

“We had the opportunity to visit a bridge (Thursday) in Mesick that needs to be fixed and redone and looking at the way the federal, state and local government can partner to enhance regional attraction for tourism and recreation throughout Northern Michigan,” Moolenaar said.

Crossroads Trailblazers Snowmobile Club Vice President Jeff Saylor said getting that bridge opened will be huge in benefiting the entire area and tourism. It would connect the Benzie and Cadillac trail systems as well as area businesses to snowmobilers from Copemish all the way to Cadillac.

“We started 14 years ago with Al Green trying to get the rail removed in hopes of getting the trail done,” Saylor said. “I think we can see now we have the possibility to have it happen. We need (the congressmen’s) help and they have shown good faith in being here. It is not just for the bridge, but also other trail improvements.”



Proof that there is strength in numbers!

Because of the volume of calls to Munising Visitors Bureau and Alger County Road Commission, both parties felt the need to sit down again and revisit the closure of Trail 422!  In a public meeting at 1:00PM today Dec 17 2015 ACRC agreed to allow snowmobiles on the 2000 ft of  H-58  connector to Miners Castle for 1 more year as long as Munising Visitors Bureau agreed to aggressively work on a suitable reroute to be in place for next year!  Both parties were happy that a suitable solution could be reached and snowmobilers WIN!

Update Dec 5 2015

Snowmobile Trail #422 from Trail #8 to Miner’s Castle in the Pictured Rock’s National Lakeshore will be closed. Permission to use 2000’ of H-58 has been denied by the Alger County Road Commission. The reason for the denial stems from a 2013 claim to the DNR that snowmobiles damaged the paved driving lanes and posed a hazard to motor vehicles.
The trail is near Munising, Mi, the snowmobile Capitol of the US, and the trails are maintained by the Munising Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCVB)


I think that MSA needs to focus on the fact that Snowmobilers already pay gas tax and the ACRC should not be asking for more $ from snowmobilers.

Here is how the formula works now:

.19 cents of every gallon of gas sold in the state creates the gas tax fund. (Can’t tell you how much)

2% of this fund creates the Recreation Improvement Fund (RIF) Again can’t give you a number!

Of the RIF fund it is spent on the following:

80% Goes into the Boaters Fund for development of launches and harbors

14% to the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund (STIF) About 2.4 million

6% goes to fund non motorized recreation,hike,bike, walk CC ski trails.

My point is we don’t get all of it. Example using WI and MN snowmobile formula to return gas tax to their snowmobile programs this is what we should see.

.19 per gallon collected

125 gallons X .19 = $23.75 X 230,000 registered Snowmobiles in Michigan = $5,462,500

Just as an FYI……..Average Snowmobiler drives 1500 miles per season divided by 12 mi to gallon = or an average of 125 gallons per yr. 

So we still pay our fair share into gas tax, and about 3 million goes to MDOT and County Roads  get for damage to crossings.

Look to the November Michigan Snowmobile News for a list of legislators in our state.

We are asking you to call upon your state legislator and let them know how important this is to you and our smooth trails.  

Ask them to help you the snowmobiler, to help our chosen recreation! 


MSA needs you! The future of your sport needs you! This is an official call to action on behalf of the future of organized snowmobiling in Michigan!

After considerable discussion and calls to our state legislators, we are sad to report that we still can’t find a legislator to introduce our new Trail Permit bill. They are all afraid of raising taxes. Let me stress, our proposal is not, would not, be a tax increase. It is a “pay to play” system, and we already do that. We support our sport, and just want to assess ourselves differently. We have always paid our own way.

Our proposal is to raise the trail permit fee for those riders who are not members of the Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA). Perhaps a better way to put it is a new discounted trail permit for MSA members. Again, we have not been able to secure a sponsor for our bill.

You Can Make a Difference

If you think you can’t make a difference, you are wrong. When our legislation has been stalled in the past, we have asked you to contact your state legislators, and they have heard your voices. In fact after our last call to action, we were contacted by several legislative offices and asked what they could do to stop the phone calls and letters.

What they can do — is sponsor our trail permit legislation, which has already been written and waiting for a bill sponsor. Wisconsin, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, all passed legislation to offer trail permits to the members of the state association at a discounted price.

Keep in mind that if our funding mechanism isn’t changed, the snowmobile program will suffer. The groomed trails will suffer, and suffer greatly. Who is going to suffer if changes are not made? You, the snowmobiler, is going to suffer.

MSA Members Would Receive Discounts on Trail Permits


The fee for a snowmobile trail permit sticker shall be discounted $25 if all of the following apply: The purchaser is a member in good standing of the Michigan Snowmobile Association, a nonprofit corporation, with an individual or family membership. In the case of a family membership, only the purchaser of the membership is considered to be a member for purposes of this subsection. The Membership is an individual or family membership. The sticker is sold by the Michigan Snowmobile Association as the department’s agent under subsection (8). An individual shall not purchase under subsection (2) more than the following number of discounted stickers for the same 1-year period unless the individual owns a number of snowmobiles equal to or greater than the total number of discounted stickers purchased: (A) If the individual has an individual membership in the Michigan Snowmobile Association, 2 stickers. (B) If the individual has a family membership in the Michigan Snowmobile Association, 4 stickers. (4)  The Michigan Snowmobile Association may require an individual to submit snowmobile registrations and vehicle identification numbers to verify the number of snowmobiles owned by the individual for the purposes of subsection (3)

Note: Permits will be $60 each; the discounted cost to an MSA member will be $35 if purchased through MSA, a certified Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agent.

The cost of a MSA membership is $25, add that to the cost of a $35 permit and both are equal — $60.

The incentive to be an MSA member is you can buy multiple permits at the discounted rate. MSA members will also get continuous updates on safety, education, new trails or closures throughout the year.

Why We Need This Legislation

The cost of grooming equipment and maintenance continues to rise while funding for the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Program continues to remain the same, even decrease. The cost of fuel has stabilized, but the cost of equipment will continue to increase. Something has to change.

The average cost of a John Deere tractor, fully equipped with Soucy tracks now costs more than $265,000. Last month I explained that we have to  dip into next year’s equipment budget to purchase all of the equipment needed this year. We will be able to purchase seven or eight pieces of equipment with this year’s funds and two or three will be purchased out of next year’s budget, which began on Oct. 1

All of that equipment will be on our snowmobile trails for this season. However, if we don’t get this legislation approved, we will be forced to cut down on equipment purchases next year.

Equipment is also aging. Our equipment ranges from 20 years old to new this year. All of that equipment has to be maintained, repaired, and replaced. Cutting the equipment budget will hurt smooth trails in Michigan.

We also have to include expansion and improvements to our trails. Both cost money, money that is not in our snowmobile program budget.

I know that everyone is thinking — if you don’t have it in the budget, you need to cut back a little here and there. We have spent countless hours looking at where cuts can be made. We are at the point where drastic changes are going to have to be made. It is only a matter of time before the amount of miles groomed in Michigan is cut back as well as equipment purchases. Either way, our trails,  your trails will suffer.

What You Need to Do

We need all of our members to call, write, and e-mail THEIR Michigan House Representative and Senator. Tell them to support legislation to increase our trail permit fees. Included in this article you will find the name, district, and phone number of every Michigan House and Senate member. Look to the web site information included if you are not sure who your representative or senator is.

Your State  of Michigan Representative 

Your State of Michigan Senator



Ed Klim talks about FOSPAC!  (Friends of Snowmobiling Political Action Committee)