Two articles in the Mining Gazette in April 2019 suggested that I should be consulted concerning ORV usage on Brockway Mountain Drive. My opinions on the legal issues are as follows:
1. ORV usage is not permitted on Brockway Mountain Drive as Keweenaw County Ordinance No. 2008-1 currently reads. However, the Board of Commissioners has the authority to amend the ordinance to allow ORV usage on Brockway Mountain Drive if it wishes to do so as long as it complies with notice and public hearing requirements specified in state law.
2. If the BOC decides to amend the ordinance to allow ORV usage on Brockway Mountain Drive, it will also need to decide how ORVs will be allowed to access Brockway Mountain Drive:
a. Only by off-road trails connecting to Brockway Mountain Drive;
b. By M26 – at either the west or east entrances; or
c. By M26 – at only the east entrance
3. If the BOC wishes to allow ORVs to access Brockway Mountain Drive using M26, it must first obtain permission to do so from the Michigan Department of Transportation.
4. The Road Commission will have the right to exclude ORVs from Brockway Mountain Drive (notwithstanding BOC approval) if it determines that banning the use of ORVs on Brockway Mountain Drive is necessary “to protect the environment” or to avoid “a particular and demonstrable threat to public safety.”
5. Eagle Harbor Township and Grant Township will also have the right to close sections of Brockway Mountain Drive to ORV use within their townships notwithstanding BOC authorization.