Connecting people to Michigan trails

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos has co-sponsored legislation to enhance user experience on the state’s Pure Michigan trails network and provide planning guidance to multi-jurisdiction trailway partnerships.

“Michigan is truly the Trails State, with more than 12,500 miles of state-designated trails that offer residents and tourists a wonderful chance to enjoy Michigan’s outdoors,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Three years ago, we enacted the Pure Michigan trails initiative to promote our outstanding trails, attract more visitors to our state, support Michigan tourism jobs and improve access to outdoor recreation activities. It has been a tremendous success, and this new initiative is designed to continue that momentum.”

Public Acts 210-215 of 2014 established the Pure Michigan trails network, redefining the designation process of special trails in the state and supporting the development of a statewide network of multiple-use trails and waterways. The initiative also developed a process for the state to create and update a broad database of trail maps — giving residents the ability to access local trail maps throughout the state online or on their smartphone.

“Throughout Michigan, we continue create an integrated system of trails for people of all ages to enjoy,” Proos said. “I co-sponsored this new legislation because, as we build on our trails system, it is important that state and local officials and nonprofit groups are all working together to encourage healthy lifestyles, highlight our outdoors and support our communities.

“One way this would achieve that goal is by promoting local involvement in the trail planning process through public hearings.”

Senate Bill 596 would identify management issues for trailway councils to consider when developing multi-jurisdiction trail plans, affirm trail amenities as public goods eligible for local assistance, and allow the Department of Natural Resources to make recommendations to trail managers on researching and providing historical and cultural information along trailways.

For more information about Michigan’s trails system, visit www.michigantrails.org

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.