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Trail_Fanatic
August 17th, 2009, 07:10 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 17, 2009

Contacts: Brenda Curtis 517-373-6260 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

Public Input Sought on the Future of State Forest Campgrounds

In preparation for the possible closure of more state forest campgrounds due to budget cuts in the Department of Natural Resources’ Fiscal Year 2010 budget, the department today announced it is seeking public input to identify which campgrounds should be considered for closure or management by others.

State forest campgrounds are within state forest lands in Michigan, and are not state parks. State forest campgrounds offer a more rustic setting for primarily tent camping. Basic campsites are $15 per night or as posted at the campground information stations. State forest campgrounds are not staffed and are not a part of the DNR’s online reservation system.

Currently, the DNR manages 145 state forest campgrounds, though 12 were closed earlier this year due to budget cuts. Historically, the state forest recreation program, including the campgrounds, received General Fund support in the state budget, but has seen a steady dwindling of those funds due to budget cuts.

“We anticipate we will receive further General Fund reductions in the 2010 state budget,” said Lynne Boyd, chief of the DNR’s Forest, Mineral and Fire Management Division. “With those cuts, we will not be able to sustain the state forest campground system at its current level.”

A questionnaire has been posted on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr. This questionnaire will provide feedback on the importance of six criteria that DNR officials have identified, and three additional criteria that the respondent can suggest for use in evaluating campgrounds and cabins for closure or management by others.

The questionnaire may be filled out and returned via e-mail to
DNR-RTS@michigan.gov, or by U.S. mail to
DNR-Forest, Mineral and Fire Management
P.O. Box 30452
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7952

It is requested that only one response per individual be submitted. All responses must be in the hands of DNR officials by close of business, Sept. 14, 2009, in order to be included in the evaluation process.

Two PowerPoint presentations will be provided on the DNR Web site to help citizens understand the issues that impact this decision. The first PowerPoint presentation will provide background information on the state forest campground program including why campgrounds were first developed, how they are managed, and an explanation of how past budget shortfalls have been addressed. The second PowerPoint presentation will detail the specifics of each of the six criteria.


All information gathered from this input will be compiled and reviewed for any new criteria that should be included in the final decision-making process. This input will also help define the ranking of each criteria used. Results will be announced once the process is complete and the Fiscal Year 2010 budget is approved by the Legislature and Governor.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, accessible use and enjoyment of the State’s natural resources for current and future generations.


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T-way
August 17th, 2009, 10:46 PM
Yep...........expect more "good" news like this, as the State's budget for fiscal year 2010 is MUCH worse than the budget for fiscal year 2009, which ends on September 30.

Thanks, as always Pat, for keeping us all informed of this type of thing!

timbercruiser
August 18th, 2009, 08:30 AM
I know I asked this question before, but I'll try to phrase it better this time.
How much expense do they really have on these campgrounds? They are pretty low maintenance. Just hang a sign on the outhouse saying BYOTP.

T-way
August 18th, 2009, 08:43 AM
They have to be regularly patrolled by DNR personnel to collect the money out of the pay pipe, look for unregistered campers, and deal with the trash. Yeah....it's not a lot of work, and it's not done every day, but like everything else that the State does, it adds up.

Not saying that I agree with closing the campgrounds, but it is an expenditure that is easy to cut.