Great Lakes Better Backroads Education Program
Huron Pines Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, Inc.
Basin Program Funds:
Northern Michigan's high quality, cold water streams are vulnerable to high
levels of sand sedimentation, especially in the location of road stream crossings.
Many of these erosion problems can be controlled with little expense by a combination
of minor structures and consistent maintenance.
The transportation network across northern Michigan has provided the area with
important infrastructure to support local economies but can prove detrimental
to fast flowing, cold water streams if not properly maintained. The region's
sandy soil creates problems where these roads cross sensitive streams by eroding
into the water, slowing its flow and allowing it to warm up. Many of these eroded
areas can be controlled at minimal expense.
A comprehensive educational training tool, such as a workshop
and manual, is required to instruct road commission employees about the various
techniques and strategies available to minimize sedimentation. The project will
also provide techniques and materials useful in other parts of the Great Lakes
basin where these high quality streams are endangered by road construction.
The project steering committee, under the lead of the Huron Pines Resource Conservation
and Development Council, established document review and workshop presentation
subcommittees. The document review subcommittee reviewed the model manual, Vermont
Better Backroads and incorporated suggested changes into the Great Lakes Better
Backroads Guidebook: Water Quality by Design. After publishing the guidebook,
the workshop subcommittee developed an education session directed to road commission
associations and individual commission employees which they presented on seven
The project committee convened seven workshops beginning in May 1998. The first,
held in conjunction with the 37th Senatorial District Council meeting, included
representatives from 11 counties. Kalkaska Conservation District hosted a meeting
and demonstration in June for local watershed agencies and road commissions.
Two meetings of the County Road Commission Association Vacationland District
Council in June and July also included workshops. Workshops were also held with
the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program in June, and two meetings in July, including
the Regional Wood in Transportation Program. In total, 166 individuals were
reached through workshops, while an additional 585 persons received Great Lakes
Better Backroads Guidebook: Water Quality by Design. Additionally, this project
enabled the Huron Pines Resources Conservation and Development Area Council
to obtain an additional Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Section
319 Grant to continue and expand efforts initiated under this project.