Tuesday, October 26, 2010

State Forest Facilities Face Yet More Budget Cuts

tenting (photo by JHY)

based on a news article at M-Live

This year, yet again, there is less money to maintain State Forest facilities in Michigan. Another $300,000 has been taken from the forest recreation budget, leaving just $240,000 for maintenance of 133 rustic state forest campgrounds and more than 60 miles of non-motorized trail.

"We’re going to have to go in a different direction," said Lynn Boyd, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Forest, Mineral and Fire Management division.

Trails, including ski trails, will only be maintained where there are contractual agreements, or arrangements with volunteer groups in place. Money from the new recreation Passport program (the voluntary $10 fee associated with license plate purchases) will not begin to trickle down to the agency, for use, until 2012.

As a result of budget cuts, 12 State Forest Campgrounds were closed in 2009. These will remain closed. Half may be turned over to the recreation division of the DNRE for management as mini-state parks.

Only the The VASA Trail in Acme, Ogemaw Hills in West Branch and Blueberry Ridge in Marquette will be groomed for skiing this year, as they are worked under contracts. All other trails will remain open, but unmaintained.

A recent hike at Sheep Ranch Pathway, near Baldwin, bore evidence of the no-maintenance status. Selective logging over the past two years has left portions of the trail in bad shape. The treadway is obliterated. In one day, a handful of volunteers could restore it, but for now, the state has no means to provide the quality of recreational opportunities that it advertises.

See Sheep Ranch Pathway
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
See Get Off The Couch

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails