DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT  
FOREST MANAGEMENT DIVISION  
STATE AID FOR RECREATIONAL AND SNOWMOBILE TRAILS AND  
PERMANENT SNOWMOBILE TRAIL EASEMENTS  
(By authority conferred on the department of natural resources  
environment by 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.82110 and 324.82110a, and Executive  
Reorganization Order Nos. 1991-22, 2009-31, MCL 299.13, 324.99919)  
and  
R 257.1521 Definitions; A to M.  
Rule 1. As used in these rules:  
(a) "Acquisition project" means the acquisition of land or rights to use land for a  
recreational and snowmobile trail or permanent easement.  
(b) "Applicant" means a local unit of government or entity organized for  
educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of 26 USC 501(c)(3) that  
includes promoting and facilitating the expansion and improvement of the existing  
snowmobile trail system in this state with permanent snowmobile trails or nonprofit  
incorporated snowmobile club or organization applying for a grant.  
(c) "Approval" means the signing of a project agreement by the state  
recreational trails coordinator resulting in allocating a specified amount of state aid funds  
for a specific purpose.  
(d) "Assistance" means funds made available by the department to an applicant  
in support of the grants program.  
(e) "Damages" means payment for items destroyed or damaged by snowmobile  
use on lands leased through this program.  
(f) "Development project" means the development of support facilities, such as  
toilets, shelters, and bridges, or the construction and signing of a recreational and  
snowmobile trail.  
(g) "Groom" means 1 complete maintenance operation for the full length of the  
approved trail.  
(h) "Maintenance" means grading, grooming, mowing, and brushing of trails; sign  
replacement and post replacement; plowing parking lots and access roads; maintenance  
of toilets and shelter facilities; and normal repair of damages and replacement of  
facilities.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1522 Definitions; P to T.  
Rule 2. As used in these rules:  
(a) "Permanent snowmobile trail" means a trail constructed over land in public  
ownership or land under permit or easement that is open to the public greater than 1  
snowmobile season or 4 months.  
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(b) "Permanent snowmobile trail easement" means land purchased to allow use of  
private property for a permanent snowmobile trail that are open to the public greater  
than 1 snowmobile season or 4 months.  
(c) "Project agreement" means a contract between the applicant and the  
department setting forth the mutual obligations with regard to a portion or all of a  
project.  
(d) "Project period" means the period of time specified in the agreement during  
which all work shall be accomplished.  
(e) "Recreational and snowmobile trail" means a marked route on public property  
or on private lands subject to public easement or lease which is designated by the  
sponsor for use by snowmobile operators and other nonconflicting recreational trail  
users.  
(f) "Region" means a regional administrative office of the department.  
(g) "Site" means a plot or parcel of land under lease, easement, or use agreement  
for a recreational and snowmobile trail.  
(h) "Snowmobile route" means a marked route designated by a town, village, city,  
or county for use by snowmobiles. A snowmobile route connects authorized trails  
or offers entrance to, or exit from, trails leading to towns, villages, or cities.  
(i) "Staging area" means an undeveloped recreational facility designated as a parking  
area where snowmobiles are unloaded to access a trail.  
(j) "State recreational trails coordinator" means the person designated by the  
director of the department to coordinate and supervise the state aid program for  
recreational and snowmobile trails.  
(k) "Temporary recreational and snowmobile trail" means a trail constructed over  
land controlled by a short-term easement of 1 snowmobile season or 4 months.  
(l) "Trail" means a recreational and snowmobile trail.  
(m) "Trailhead" means a recreational facility designated and developed as a parking  
area with associated appurtenances that serves as the access point of a trail or area.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1523 Recreational and snowmobile trails; application procedures; grant  
selection process.  
Rule 3. (1) An applicant shall apply for a grant on a form furnished by the  
department.  
(2) The state recreational trails coordinator may establish regional committees  
comprised of appropriate trail users and department staff to assist on an annual basis  
in setting maintenance rates, trail design and grooming specifications, and in selecting  
grant recipients.  
(3) Grant selection criteria and process shall be explained in the application  
form provided by the department.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
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R 257.1523a Permanent snowmobile trail easements; application procedures;  
grant selection process.  
Rule 3a. (1) An applicant shall apply for a grant on a form furnished by the  
department.  
(2) To be eligible for a grant, an applicant shall be a local unit of government or  
be organized for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of 26 USC 501  
(c)(3) that includes promoting and facilitating the expansion and improvement of the  
snowmobile trail system in this state.  
History: 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1524 Recreational and snowmobile trails; acquisition of lands.  
Rule 4. (1) The department may grant funds to an applicant to purchase lands or  
to secure easements, leases, permits, or other appropriate written agreements permitting  
the use of private property for recreational and snowmobile trails, facilities, and  
areas, providing the agreements give access to the public.  
(2) Condemnation shall not be used.  
(3) An applicant shall certify to the department that such lands, easements,  
leases, permits, or other appropriate agreements have been secured on a form provided by  
the department.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1524a Permanent snowmobile trail easements; acquisition of lands.  
Rule 4a. (1) The department shall expend money from the permanent  
snowmobile trail easement subaccount in accordance with MCL 324.82110a.  
(2) Condemnation shall not be used.  
(3) An applicant shall certify to the department that such lands and easements or  
other appropriate agreements have been secured.  
History: 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1525 Use of department lands.  
Rule 5. (1) An applicant may enter into an agreement with the department to use  
lands owned or leased by the department for recreational and snowmobile trails,  
facilities, or areas.  
(2) An agreement shall be signed by the applicant's authorized official.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1526 Appraisals.  
Rule 6. An appraisal is required prior to purchase of lands in fee title. An appraisal  
shall follow department guidelines. Guidelines may be obtained from the department.  
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History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1527 Easements, leases, and permits; requirements.  
Rule 7. (1) A minimum term of 4 months between December 1 and the following  
March 31 is the required duration of an easement, lease, or permit.  
(2) The easement, lease, or permit shall be in writing.  
(3) The department, when it deems it necessary for maintenance purposes, may  
provide for a longer term.  
(4) After the department has approved a trail, the applicant may submit a signed  
certification in place of the leases or permits for future acquisition applications.  
(5) The easement or lease shall include, at a minimum, all of the following rights:  
(a) The right to post signs.  
(b) The right of limited construction.  
(c) The right of maintenance.  
(d) The right of use by snowmobilers and other nonconflicting recreational trail  
users.  
(6) Cost sharing shall be limited to the minimum land area necessary for the trail.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1528 Recreational and snowmobile trails; development of trails,  
facilities, and areas; grants; cost; uses; proceeds.  
Rule 8. (1) The development of trails, facilities, and areas shall be on a 100% grant  
basis, with 75% allocated at the time of approval by the department. The 25%  
balance will be allocated when the development project is completed and all applicable  
documentation required in R 257.1531 is submitted for reimbursement to the  
department.  
(2) An applicant may receive grants to develop trails, facilities, and areas on  
public lands designated by the applicant, leased lands, or lands under agreement with  
the department.  
(3) If proposed construction and improvement costs exceed an estimated $10,000  
per site, that site shall be purchased by the applicant or shall be secured by written  
easements or leases having a term of 3 or more years.  
(4) Recreational and snowmobile trail facilities shall be developed in accordance  
with MCL 324.82110, and shall not be converted to uses that are inconsistent with the  
purpose of the program, unless approved by the department. Such approval shall not  
be granted unless there is evidence that the other uses are essential to, and in  
accordance with, an official comprehensive plan for the area that has been developed  
in accordance with MCL 324.82106.  
(5) Proceeds from the disposal of recreational and snowmobile trail facilities  
developed under this program shall be returned to the snowmobile trail subaccount.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
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R 257.1528a Permanent snowmobile trail easements; development cost; uses;  
proceeds.  
Rule 8a. (1) Development of easements shall be on a 100% grant basis, with 75%  
allocated at the time of approval by the department. The 25% balance will be  
allocated when the development project is completed and all applicable  
documentation required in R 257.1531a is submitted for reimbursement to the  
department.  
(2) An applicant may receive a grant to develop an easement only on private lands.  
(3) Easements shall be secured under the authority of MCL 324.82110a, unless  
otherwise approved by the department. Such approval shall not be granted unless  
evidence exists of other uses essential to, and in accordance with, an official  
comprehensive plan for the area that has been developed in accordance with MCL  
324.82106.  
(4) Any proceeds from the sale of lands for easements purchased under this  
program shall be returned to the permanent snowmobile trail easement subaccount.  
History: 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1529 Maintenance of trails, facilities, and areas; funding.  
Rule 9. (1) A grant recipient shall maintain trails, facilities, and areas developed  
with funds from this program.  
(2) Funds for maintenance of trails, facilities, and areas shall be up to 100% of cost  
of maintenance, excluding administrative costs, based on an annually prescribed  
maximum rate per mile.  
(3) Only existing trails approved by the department shall be considered in an  
application for a grant for maintenance costs.  
(4) Additional trails may be added to a grant application as the trails are completed.  
The grant recipient shall submit an amendment to the application for department  
approval prior to commencement of the trail.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1530 Administrative costs.  
Rule 10. Assistance from this program shall not be used for administrative costs of  
a grant recipient.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1531 Recreational and snowmobile trails; financial administration and  
documents.  
Rule 11. (1) Claims for payment of costs allowed in an approved grant shall be on a  
reimbursement basis, except for development costs.  
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(2) A grant recipient shall obtain department approval of a project agreement  
prior to incurring costs.  
(3) The department shall use normal financial records of a grant recipient to  
determine reimbursement costs.  
(4) Claims for payment shall be within the scope of the work, the project period,  
and the dollar amount of the grant as shown on the project agreement.  
(5) Claims shall be submitted within 1 year of the project termination date.  
(6) Amendment requests for changes in the scope of the work, the project period,  
or the amount of the grant shall be submitted in writing to the state recreational trails  
coordinator.  
(7) After the department has approved the initial application for acquisition,  
development, and maintenance, a grant recipient may certify on subsequent applications  
that land control documents are on file for the entire trail. The certification shall be  
signed by a grant recipient's authorized official.  
(8) New land control documents shall be submitted if there is a change in trail  
location or ownership.  
(9) The following financial documents of an acquisition grant are required for  
reimbursement:  
(a) Cancelled checks, front and back.  
(b) Land control documents.  
(c) Appraisals, options, and other detailed documents which are required for fee  
title acquisition.  
(10) The following financial documents of a development and maintenance grant  
are required for reimbursement:  
(a) Vendor invoices which support the cost of development.  
(b) Cancelled checks, front and back.  
(c) Contracts and agreements.  
(d) Machine usage records.  
(e) Force account labor costs in hours and rates.  
(11) The following financial documents of a snowmobile signing grant are  
required for reimbursement:  
(a) Vendor invoices.  
(b) Cancelled checks, front and back.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1531a Permanent snowmobile trail easements; financial administration  
and documents.  
Rule 11a. (1) Claims for payment of costs allowed in an approved grant shall be  
on a reimbursement basis.  
(2) Grant recipient shall obtain department approval of a project agreement prior to  
incurring costs.  
(3) Grant recipient shall provide financial records to the department for  
determination of reimbursement costs.  
(4) Claims for payment shall be within the scope of the grant, the project period,  
and the dollar amount of the grant as shown on the agreement.  
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(5) Claims shall be submitted within 1 year of the grant termination date.  
(6) Amendment requests for changes in the grant, the project period, or the amount  
of the grant shall be submitted in writing to the state recreational trails coordinator.  
(7) New land control documents shall be submitted if any change in trail location  
or ownership occurs.  
(8) The following financial documents of an acquisition program are required  
for reimbursement:  
(a) Cancelled checks, front and back.  
(b) Land control documents.  
(c) Appraisals, options, and other detailed documents which are required for fee  
title acquisition.  
(9) The department fee schedule may be used for land rights compensation for  
snowmobile trail easements and is available from the department.  
History: 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1532 Audits.  
Rule 12. (1) The records of a local unit of government relating to this grant  
program shall be audited by the department during the course of the routine annual  
examination of the records of offices of local units of governments, or at such time as  
the department deems an audit necessary or desirable.  
(2) The records of an organization or association relating to this grant program  
shall be audited by the department when the department deems an audit necessary.  
(3) Records relating to this program shall be retained for a period of 1 year after an  
audit has been made by the department.  
History: 1982 AACS; 2011 AACS.  
R 257.1533 Availability of allocations.  
Rule 13. Allocations under this program shall remain available until expended if  
a project agreement has been entered into.  
History: 1982 AACS.  
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