Our Stories

NCTA Joins Michigan DNR’s Forest Management Advisory Committee

Categories: Michigan, Trail Maintenance, Volunteer Stories


For quite some time, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been wanting a “trails” voice on their Forest Management Advisory Committee (FMAC). Now, NCTA Regional Trail Coordinator for Michigan, Kenny Wawsczyk, is one of those voices.

The FMAC helps the DNR “balance environmental, social and economic issues in managing Michigan’s forest resources.” The Committee also “advises the DNR on priorities and practices related to renewable and non-renewable resource use opportunities, timber-related activities, forest health, recreation, biological diversity and habitat.”

Paul Jernberg, President of the Trailriders Snowmobile Club, also joined to be the trails voice for motorized users.
The following is from Kenny’s 1150 newsletter, his monthly publication showcasing happenings on the North Country Trail in Michigan.
“As new members they immediately wanted to hear about our issues and what we encounter out in the field. I of course brought up timber harvesting. I do feel that we’ve made progress in most areas as we comment on each compartment review and have more of a presence with DNR staff. That being said we still occasionally see loggers disregard the Trail during harvests. Whether that’s leaving slash on the Trail, crossing it multiple times or just ignoring that it’s there. Sadly I think we’ll always encounter this in some form as human error is always a factor but we’ll continue to strive to minimize these encounters as much as possible. This can be done by continuing to have a positive relationship with those DNR Foresters, being involved in the compartment reviews and educating ourselves and hikers about the need for proper forest management.
My goal is to be that non-motorized voice, bring up our concerns, send praise when we do things right, further those relationships and share the other side’s reasoning. You’re the ones out there on the ground witnessing what’s going on. As always let me know what you’re seeing and continue to work closely with those local Foresters so our trail’s community voice is heard.”

A timber harvest near the NCNST, Antrim County, MI. By Kenny Wawsczyk