Governor Rick Snyder is considering whether to make some changes to Michigan’s parks.
Last year, the Governor appointed a panel on state parks and outdoor recreation. Their mission was to come up with a vision for the future of Michigan’s parks and state forests.
Erin McDonough is the executive director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. She was co-chair of the panel.
“We looked at what future generations are going to be looking for in terms of state parks, we looked at how to best use our parks as economic drivers, we looked at what resources are currently available for investment and we talked about an investment strategy for how we most successfully use those dollars.”
The panel made seven main recommendations in their recent report. For example, they recommended that the state should invest more in regional trail networks, and create what they call “signature parks” in urban areas.
“Creating opportunities for people to recreate close to their home is just as essential as protecting and creating opportunities up north.”
McDonough says they also recommended changing the state’s Recreation Passport to raise more money for parks. At the moment you have to check a box when you renew your license plate registration – and pay $10 to access all of the state parks. The panel suggested changing that, so you’d have to opt out if you didn’t want to pay the fee.