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Joined: 10/12/2005
Posts: 4
Handicapped Deer Hunter nees help!

Handicapped hunters being discriminated against

Dear Sports Persons:

I am asking for your support in my fight to gain access to Michigan State operated hunting grounds. There is in place, a moratorium on using ORV's on ANY State Hunting Area in Michigan. I am asking you to help by calling and asking Mr. Scott Whitcomb to re-open State Hunting Conservation areas to the handicapped (in line with current standards) that must use ORV's to access the properties! This does not include State forests but only effects State ran Hunting areas. I feel that this action taken by them is unfair to the handicapped and that are now denied some fine hunting areas. I feel we have been shut out deliberately in this matter. After talking with many people in the Michigan DNR. I have found that if there are no requests for handicapped permits the state will Not re-open the state grounds for ORV use period. There have been many calls this year by several People seeking to ask for this access. After talking to Mr. Whitcomb on this issue. It can be turned over if he has enough public interest it to remove the moratorium. WE can use all the affirmative action we can get and show support for the Handicapped hunters. Please Contact Mr. Scott Whitcomb at 517-641-4903 or E-Mail at WHITCOSD@michigan.gov any support you can muster will be greatly appreciated.

W. D. Spencer Jr.

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Location: Connecticut
Joined: 07/13/2005
Posts: 61
Handicapped Deer Hunter nees help!

sad that is wrong. I was born with spinal biphada and was a lucky one who can walk after surgery. I cant imagine not being able to hunt because of something stupid like that. Im not a Michigan resident but ill try and call him also you should tell the NRA or the Safari Club and get there attention and support. Good luck Thumbs up

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Joined: 10/12/2005
Posts: 4
Handicap Update

Thank you very much!
I have included Here a copy of my complaint to the Federal goverment and the State of Michigan. As well as many other organzations and government officials, the NRA And SCIF. It seems now, that it is not just a matter of supporting the need. It must be reinstated by the feds and the State Powers in Michigan. They have decided to just elimante this access preiod.

Oct 13th 2005

Dear Official:

On Oct the 10th 2005 I spoke with a ranger for the National forest service located in Baldwin Michigan seeking to use an ORV to access the federally controlled forests. I am a handicapped Individual on Social Security Disability for degenerative arthritis, diabetes, depression and lung disorders as well as a recipient of open heart surgery Certified as a Handicapped Hunter in the state of Indiana. The only way I can access the out doors is by using my ORV (Off Road Vehicle or commonly called ATV). With out this form of transportation I am unable to enjoy out door activities. I was informed that the National forest service allows no one permission or access on any roads or logging trails and that this is a non-negotiable Item. NO ORV’s or ATV’s will be allowed on federally controlled lands period. (Exact comment). In line with all federal regulations this shuts the handicapped out from using the forests for out door recreation as it is limited to foot traffic alone.
In addition I spoke with the Michigan DNR seeking the same type of access to Michigan State ran Hunting areas and was informed that they to allow no ORV traffic on trails or roads with in the boundaries of State Hunting areas. This does NOT apply to State forest as they do with proper permits allow access to the forest. Please NOTE that this is ONLY on state ran hunting Properties and NOT State Forests. This I believe to be a direct violation of my personal rights under the disabilities act on both the part of Michigan and the United States forest service. With out the ability to use ORV transportation I and all other handicapped individuals are unable to use the closed road ways and logging trails of the national forests nation wide. Thus effectively denying Handicapped and disabled access to federal lands that are supposed to be open to all participants. Michigan saw fit to inform me that they have faced this opposition before and won two (2) cases upholding their position. As far as I know this has not been tried in federal court nor even addressed. However I strongly urge you and your department to address this situation and determine with reasonable rules and regulation that the use of Federal and State lands be opened to ORV traffic by the disabled and handicapped. With out this type of access it increases aggravation and demonstrates a sever lack of compassion for the Handicapped on the part of the Federal Forest Service and the State of Michigan. I see no difference in this matter than accessing a federal or state building or even Bathrooms not equipped to handle the handicapped. In effect my ORV is my wheel chair and transportation in the wild. Any Help you may offer is appreciated.

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