Sep 10, 2014 — This is a fall 2014 update for everyone who signed our petition seeking a DNR Director's Order to ban fat bikes from the groomed Vasa ski trails near Traverse City, MI.
At a meeting held by the DNR last spring, billed as a meeting just to take public input, various points of view were shared. Then a self-appointed committee stepped forward and volunteered to help craft a solution short of a ban. The regional DNR official running the meeting, Tim Schreiner (Schreinert@michigan.gov), agreed to their offer.
The committee is made up of many of the same groups which, through TART, produced the Fat Bike Friday access last winter. They have been discussing development of a fat bike trail near and adjoining the Vasa system for winter 2014-15. Some work is underway. Their proposal would need DNR approval and assistance. Early descriptions of the proposal include a new groomed fat bike trail and, apparently, continued fat bike access to the groomed Vasa ski trails.
As a result of this committee's claim that a compromise could be reached, Tim Schreiner declined to forward our request for a Director's Order up the DNR hierarchy for review, as is the process for such orders. Responding to a recent email query, Schreiner said the DNR hoped to hold another public meeting in September to share the proposal with the public.
How the proposal addresses conflicts and concerns raised last winter remains to be seen. We will have to wait for the meeting, and then consider what steps may need to be taken. A Vasa Skiers email account has been created to facilitate communication going forward, if a second organized effort is required.
When the DNR sets a time and place for the fall meeting, we will share it via this change.org post and email system.