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The welcome sign at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Mich., in July 2014.
The welcome sign at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Mich., in July 2014. (Seth LaCount/U.S. Army)

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mich. (Tribune News Service) — A DNR proposal would open nearly 95 miles of forest roads in Northern Michigan to off-road vehicles.

The proposed opening of forest roads to ORV use would be on a trial basis, and includes 94.8 miles of forest roads on 16,000 acres north of County Road 612 in Crawford County.

The roads, located on state forest lands, are leased to Camp Grayling for military training. The forest roads under consideration will be open to the public when not in use for military training.

When the area is used for training activities, the roads will be gated off for public safety. Notice will be posted on the Camp Grayling Facebook page and shared on local radio stations.

“Grayling is known for its abundance of opportunities to enjoy the woods and water, and this opening to ORVs will add to our area’s outdoor offerings,” said Lovells Township Supervisor Gary Neumann.

Public input will be accepted online and via email through Dec. 1. The public can also comment on or view the locations of proposed changes on an interactive web map or printable PDF maps. Emails can also be sent to DNR-RoadInventoryProject@Michigan.gov.

“We’re looking forward to the trial opening of these forest roads for recreational use, and we’re committed to ensuring public safety. We intend to use this trial to evaluate the feasibility of opening more Camp Grayling lands for ORV use,” said Camp Grayling commander Col. Scott L. Meyers.

“The camp takes great pride in our community support, and helping people enjoy what northern Michigan has to offer expands that relationship. Looking forward to seeing you on the trail!”

Comments also will be accepted at upcoming Michigan Natural Resources Commission meetings in early 2022. At the January meeting, state forest road proposals will be presented to the DNR director.

At the February meeting, the DNR director will make a formal decision on the proposed changes. New maps will go into effect and be published online April 1, 2022

“Forest roads are a gateway to ORV riding, hiking, hunting, fishing and enjoyment of state forest lands,” said Jeff Stampfly, chief of the Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Resources Division.

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