Great Lakes Better Backroads Initiative Phase III
Crawford County, MI

Grantee: Huron Pines RC&D Council, Inc.
Basin Program Funds: $20,000
Non-federal Funds: $10,750
Project Duration: 06/2000 - 07/2001
Status: complete

Problem Statement
There are many high quality, cold water streams in Northern Michigan supporting a multitude of cold water organisms. Road stream crossings are a source of erosion and sedimentation into adjacent streams if they are not built with best management practices (BMPs) or properly maintained. A comprehensive educational training tool has been developed to instruct managers on techniques and strategies to minimize sedimentation, and provide the scientific and economic rationale for this resource protection. The tool needs to be applied on a broader scale to more effectively reach all parties involved in road construction and maintenance.

In the two previous phases of this Initiative, project staff published a guidebook called Great Lakes Better Backroads - Clean Water by Design and presented instructional workshops to county road commissions. In this final phase, project staff completed the education of agencies and planners responsible for road maintenance in the Great Lakes region by targeting non-county road commission construction and maintenance agencies. Through training and encouraging agencies, planners and engineers to implement BMPs on backroad stream-crossings, sand will be kept out of the streams and the overall health of the coldwater streams in Michigan will be protected.

Project staff completed the editing of the Great Lakes Better Backroads - Clean Water by Design guidebook and prepared it for printing. In order to facilitate improved access to information, the Huron Pines RC&D Council made the guidebook available on compact disk. They also scheduled workshops with many federal and state agencies including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, United States Forest Service, municipal, county and private engineers and attendees at a Midwest Fisheries and Wildlife Conference. The Council conducted a total of 14 workshops that focused on the importance of protecting the biological integrity of the high quality Northern Michigan and Upper Great Lakes watersheds. Project staff used several stream crossings, completed by country road commissions, as examples of BMPs for all road managers to use. This highlighted the success of the previous education project staff had implemented for the county road commissions. The Council also conducted three statewide Local Technical Assistance Program conferences.

This project addressed a previously unmet need, in educating/training non-county road commission construction and maintenance agencies about backroads maintenance and road stream crossing construction, resulting in more wide scale applications of BMPs for stream crossings and reduced erosion and cleaner lake and stream resources in the northern Great Lakes states. The Council placed more than 1,200 Great Lakes Better Backroads, Clean Water by Design guidebooks into the hands of resource agency employees, processional engineers and other interested individuals. More than 750 foresters, biologists, engineers and planners attended one of 14 workshops or technical assistance conferences. At the Midwest Great Lakes Regional Conference the Council reached 1,200 natural resource agency personnel through a poster session.


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner