The Beauty Of Nature

Set Out To Take A Path You Seldom Do

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Reflections Of Northeast Michigan


Thunder Bay Trails Association Board of Directors March Meeting

The TBTA Board of Directors March meeting is Thursday March 5, 2015 at 6:00PM.  The meeting place is ACC, BesserTech Building, RM 126.  It should be noted that this is a different room than where we normally hold the monthly meetings.


The agenda will include an update on the Chippewa Hills timber cut controversy.


The meeting is open to any interested party.


Randy Fairbanks,

Chippewa Hills Update

The Chippewa Hills User Constituent Group has been meeting regularly since I lasted posted.

A position paper has been prepared.  The position paper has been forwarded to the Director Creaugh of the DNR, Chief William  Oneil of the Forest Resources Division and Chief Ron Olsen of the Parks and Recreation Division.  Attached is the position paper and its rational.


Mary Beth Stutzman and myself had an informal meeting with Steve Milford, District Forester and Rich Hill, Parks and Recreation Division last Thursday.  No compromises to the proposed timber harvest plan were offered and none were made.  A meeting is scheduled in March to try and resolved this issue.  Steve Milford stated that the DNR wants to get this matter resolved in a manner that will be beneficial to all user groups.

Chippewa Hills Update

Much has happened in the last two months in our efforts to save the Chippewa Hills Pathway. The Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau has been very involved with their leadership. The Alpena County Board of Commissioners and the Ossineke Township Board of Trustees have both passed resolutions supporting the efforts of TBTA and requesting the DNR to reevaluate the proposed timber cut. A community wide forum held this past Tuesday had 60 area residents attend. All attendees had the opportunity to voice their concerns and comments on the proposed cut and the impact that it will have on the pathway and the community. The DNR did have two representatives in attendance. This was not a question and answer session nor was it a DNR bashing session. The vast majority of the attendees did speak and express their concerns. It should be obvious to the DNR that the community does not support the proposed timber treatment at the Chippewa Hills Pathway. Chippewa Hills Pathway is a valuable community asset and far outweighs any short term monetary gain that the proposed timber cut will bring. The user group coalition would hope to meet with DNR in the near future to reconsider the proposed timber cut.


Join concerned citizens during this open meeting to gather feedback from the community on the proposed timber harvest plan prescribed for Chippewa hills Pathway.

All users of Chippewa Hills Pathway & those interested in sharing thoughts/concerns about the cutting at the Pathway are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday Dec 9, at 6:30 p.m. at ACC’s Granum Theater

Public Open House at Chippewa Hills Pathway

TBTA and the Alpena CVB hosted an open house in the parking lot of the Chippewa Hills Pathway.  The event was on Saturday at 10:00 AM.  The goal for TBTA was to educate anyone interested in the pending timber cut and its impact on the pathway.  To say the least I was overwhelmed by the turnout.  I estimated 150 to 200 people were in attendance.  These people showed up to express their concerns over the proposed timber cut and the importance of the Chippewa Hills Pathway.  Non-motorized trails advocacy is alive and well in Alpena County.


TBTA leadership met with the DNR at the Alpena County Library on Friday afternoon.  The DNR was well represented with staff from the Forest Resources, Parks & Recreation, and the Wildlife Division.  Of particular note was the presence of William O’Neil, Chief of the Forest Resources Division.  Also in attendance were Mary Beth Stutzman, Alpena CVB, Jackie Krawczak Alpena Chamber of Commerce, and Representative Peter Petallia.


Join Thunder Bay Trails Association & the Alpena Area CVB for a PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE at Chippewa Hills Pathway.

Saturday, October 11th @ 10a.m.

Meet in the front parking lot at the pathway. Tour guides will lead an informational session and walk-thru of the Pathway and share information about the DNR’s proposed cutting plan and ramifications to the pathway.

Randy Fairbanks
TBTA, President

DNR Places Hold on Chippewa Hills Timber Cut

On September 30th the following email was received from the DNR.

Sent on behalf of Bill O’Neill, Chief, Forest Resources Division

Thank You for contacting the DNR about the Chippewa Hills Pathway. We appreciate your interest in the trail, and understand your concerns about timber management plans in the area and the potential impact on the trail system. The Thunder Bay Trails Association (TBTA) has also voiced concerns.



A recent mountain bike ride on the Chippewa Hills Pathway revealed that the surrounding forest has been marked for an extensive timber cut. Trees right up to the edge of pathway are marked with bright red paint designating them for elimination. The entire area surrounding the mountain bike single track will be cut.
Chippewa Hills Pathway is one of two pathways located on state forest land in Alpena County. Chippewa Hills is unique because of its elevation changes and rolling hardwood forest. The pathway is located within the confines of the Mackinac State Forest thus it comes under the management of the Forest Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources. TBTA has a considerable stake in the pathway. TBTA took over the maintenance of the pathway over 15 years ago after the Forest Resources Division cited lack of funding and manpower to maintain the pathway. TBTA has received no assistance from the DNR in preserving, protecting and maintaining the pathway. The pathway is used for hiking, biking, skiing, snow shoeing and equestrian recreation. Beginning in 1995, TBTA has lobbied the DNR and many others to expand the trail system to include the mountain bike single track. Those efforts have all been met with a resounding, “NO”, from DNR officials.

Residents hear update on Alpena-to-Hillman trail

April 2, 2014
Jordan Travis – News Staff Writer The Alpena News

ALPENA – Thunder Bay Trails Association members and others heard about an idea to improve the Department of Natural Resources’ Alpena to Hillman trail Wednesday.

Emily Meyerson, a trails consultant with Top of Michigan Trails Council, talked about the plan and answered questions. The council, along with the DNR, originally had hoped to apply to the Natural Resources Trust Fund to pay for part of the project by Tuesday, but a few issues forced them to hold off for a year.

Thunder Bay Trails to Hear Guest Speaker

Thunder Bay Trails will host Emily Myerson at the April 2nd meeting.  She TBTALogowill speak about the proposal to upgrade the Alpena to Hillman Rails to Trails spur.

Myerson is the trial’s coordinator for the Michigan Trails Council.  She was instrumental in acquiring grant money to develop the Nest Trail which runs from Cheboygan to Alpena.

The April 2nd meeting will be held at 6pm in the Alpena Community College’s Center Building in Room 106.  The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome.

New Accurate Trail Map at Norway Ridge

This new sign has a queue for those tech savvy skiers and hikers. As well as !cid__I1393693307accurate mileage for each trail.