MNR buys land easements from a local company | News, Sports, Jobs

Snowmobilers enjoy an afternoon on trail #417 in Marquette County. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with Lyme Great Lakes Timberlands, has purchased nearly 103 miles of snowmobile trail easements, primarily for snowmobiles, in Marquette and Baraga counties. (Photo courtesy of DNR via Escanaba Daily Press)

MARQUETTE – In partnership with Lyme Great Lakes Timberlands, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that it has purchased nearly 103 miles of snowmobile trail easements primarily in Marquette and Baraga counties.

MNR purchased the easements for $1.8 million from the company of L’Anse and Escanaba, with funds from MNR’s permanent snowmobile easement fund.

“Trail networks are an integral part of the economy of the Upper Peninsula and are used year-round,” said Bill O’Brion, general manager of Lyme Great Lakes Timberlands, in a press release. “We are thrilled to be working with the DNR again to provide permanent public access to the Marquette and Baraga county trail systems, which pass through some of the most scenic parts of the region.

“Our partnership with the DNR continues to grow and strengthen as we work together to protect the trail network across Lyme property in the Upper Peninsula.”

Eight of the trail kilometers will be designated as multi-use, including off-road vehicle use, with the remainder reserved for snowmobiles.

Ron Yesney, MNR’s Upper Peninsula Trails Coordinator, said the Permanent Snowmobile Easement Fund was created to provide a source of funding to ensure snowmobile trails would be available for current and future generations.

“Trails are essential to the economy of the Upper Peninsula, and we are proud to partner with Lyme to secure these trails forever,” Yesney said in a press release. “Michigan is a leader in snowmobile access and use, continuing to expand its network of permanent trails.

Michigan has about 6,500 miles of maintained snowmobile trails operated by the DNR and snowmobile clubs, with about half of those miles located in UP, the DNR said.

Karen Middendorp, executive director of the Michigan Snowmobile and Off-Road Vehicle Association, said her organization is pleased with the DNR’s purchase of easements, which will help make the state’s trail network permanent.

“Acquiring permanent easements for snowmobile trails is a priority for the snowmobiling community,” she said in a press release.

For more information on snowmobiling in Michigan, visit

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Gladys T. Hensley