New Legislation to Fund Michigan State Parks


Two bills critical to the continued operation of our state parks were introduced in the Michigan Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 388 and Senate Bill 389 were both referred to the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs committee. This committee will hold a hearing on them next Wednesday at 1pm.

[EDIT: The hearing has been postponed.]

These bills are a reflection of years of studying various options by our Citizen’s Committee for Michigan State Parks, but especially under the guidance of committee member Dr. Chuck Nelson from MSU.

What do these bills do? From the new Citizen’s Committee web site,

These bills would ask every Michigan driver to pay an?optional?$10 fee each year when renewing their Michigan vehicle registration on non-commercial vehicles. While non-residents would still have to purchase a non-resident motor vehicle permit, worker time in entrance booths at most parks would be drastically reduced, resulting in cleaner bathrooms, less litter, better resource stewardship, improved security and increased education and interpretation programs. In addition to providing support for state parks and boating access sites, this would also provide funding for our outstanding and underfunded state forest recreation system including more than 140 rustic campgrounds and almost a thousand miles of non-motorized pathways that serve hikers, mountain bikers, cross country skiers and equestrians. Finally, it would approximately double the amount of grant money annually available to local units of government to renovate or improve recreational facilities in local parks across Michigan.

The Committee is calling on Michigan residents to contact their state senators to voice their support for this legislation. Here’s how you can get your senator’s contact information.

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