Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation expanding use of off-road vehicles in the Lower Peninsula

Bill also allows use of pack and saddle animals in hunting for archery season beginning Oct. 1

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Michiganders will be able to operate off-road vehicles (ORVs) on more forest roads in the Lower Peninsula, and use pack and saddle animals for removing hunted game under legislation signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“With opening day of archery season around the corner, the return of pack and saddle animal use is great news for hunters,” Snyder said. “By expanding the use of ORVs to forest roads in the Lower Peninsula and creating a complete map of available trails, we can continue marketing our state as the premiere destination for outdoor recreation.”

House Bill 5275, sponsored by state Rep. Triston Cole, will open forest roads for ORV use following the completion of a statewide inventory of trails. Mapping will be completed in five regions, with the Upper Peninsula serving as one region, which already allows ORV usage. The DNR will complete the two most northern regions in the Lower Peninsula by the end of 2017 and the remaining two regions by the end of 2018. The maps of forest roads available for ORV use will be posted annually for the public. Local governments will receive notification of new restrictions placed on roads or trails accessing public land. The bill also reinstates the use of pack or saddle animals for the removal of harvested game on public land.

The bill is now Public Act 288 of 2016.

For more information on this and other legislation, please visit