Michigan DNR steps up snowmobile noise enforcement

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is stepping up enforcement on decibel limits for snowmobiles.

The D.N.R. says snowmobile noise is the largest complaint they receive and often leads to trails being shut down. So far, over 400 miles of trails have been closed statewide in response to noise complaints.

Snowmobile owners may replace parts of a snowmobiles exhaust in an effort to reduce weight or increase horsepower. But, according to Michigan law, snowmobile mufflers must in working order and cannot exceed 88 decibels at 13.1 feet. Failing to follow these restrictions can result in a ticket of $225. Repeat offenders can have their snowmobiles impounded until the problem is fixed.

“When you are snowmobiling, at least 50 percent of the time, you're on private land,” said Ron Yesney, Upper Peninsula Trails Coordinator for the Michigan D.N.R. “You're there operating at the sole discretion of that private land owner. That land owner doesn't want to hear that loud sled coming by. Also we have a lot of trails that go in and out of communities near people’s houses.”

The Michigan D.N.R. offers snowmobile sound testing free of charge. The D.N.R. Marquette Customer Service Center is located at 1990 US-41 S. Marquette, MI 49855. They can be reached by phone at 906-228-6561.

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