Posts Tagged ‘Citizen’s Committee for Michigan State Parks’

Citizen’s Committee receives state recognition

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Today the Michigan State Senate gave a Special Tribute to the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee, which replaced the now-defunct Citizen’s Committee for Michigan State Parks. The latter was a victim of the DNR and DEQ department consolidation.

The Committee received the White Pine Award for Environmental Excellence for over five years of work to make our state parks better. This work culminated with the recent passage of the Recreation Passport.

The White Pine Award is actually a white pine — Michigan’s state tree — which will likely be planted in a Michigan state park. Senator Patricia Birkholz, Chair of the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee presented the award and hinted that the tree could be planted in her district.

As a member of the committee, it was very rewarding getting this recognition on the Senate Floor. My Senator John Pappageorge was on hand and was a key supporter of the Recreation Passport. We spoke briefly about the recently passed texting-while-driving legislation. He said he helped push that those infractions to be a primary offense — something we certainly agree with.

— Todd Scott

(Photos by Lori Rhodes)

Joint House-Senate Hearing on State Parks Funding

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Michigan's State Capitol Building in LansingThis morning I expect to speak before a joint House and Senate committee hearing for a series of bills that improve funding for our Michigan state parks.

The above link provides information on how you can voice your support for this new funding proposal.

Here is my testimony —

Good Morning. My name is Todd Scott. I am a member of the Citizen’s Committee for Michigan State Parks and the Detroit Greenways Coordinator for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

My job is to advocate for and support a citywide trail network that provides great recreational opportunities for all Metro Detroiters as well as tourists.

We envision a trail network that allows folks to bike or walk to great destinations like Tri-Centennial State Park on the Detroit River.

However, the current state park funding model based on user fees doesn’t support parks like Tri-Centennial. All of its visitors will enter the park on foot, bike, or by boat – not by car. These visitors won’t need to buy motor vehicle passes nor will the park generate funds through camping fees.

And as we continue building trails that connect Michigan communities to our state parks, fewer motor vehicle passes will be sold and DNR park revenue will continue to suffer.

The proposed change in the state park funding addresses this issue.

It will allow great parks like Tri-Centennial to flourish.

I hope you consider supporting the bills brought before the committees this morning.

Thank you.

New Legislation to Fund Michigan State Parks

Thursday, March 19th, 2009


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.