Monday, March 16, 2009

State Park Funding Proposal Would Require No Special Plate

Michigan License Plate
based on a communication from the Field Coordinator of the Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR

Two Michigan Senate bills (388 and 389) have been introduced to provide a new funding mechanism for Parks and Recreation Division, Forest, Mineral and Fire Management Division as well as local parks and recreation agencies. We expect that the corresponding House bills should be assigned numbers very soon.

The bills were introduced on March 12, 2009. Over 100 citizens were present when Senator Birkholz, Senator Basham, Representative Warren and Representative Meekhof introduced the bill.

News reports on the proposal have resulted in some misinformation, and created a large amount of debate.

If the proposal is passed there will be no special sticker or license plate required. Any regular or specialty plate issued by the State of Michigan will be your entrance ticket to Michigan State Parks, Recreation Areas, and boating facilities.

When you register a non-commercial motor vehicle you will be asked if you want to pay a $10 fee for State Park entry. If you believe that you do not use the State Parks you do not have to pay the fee. You would still be able to enter a park even if you change your mind.

Out-of-state vehicles will still be charged an entry fee of $29 for an annual pass or $8 for a day pass.

A similar program has been in place in Montana, operated on the honor system, the same as this one would be. 70%-75% of Montana motorists choose to pay the fee. The Michigan Insurance Institute lists 9.6 million registered vehicles. If there was 60% participation that's $57.6 million of income for the parks. With sticker sales about $47 million per year is raised.

Park staff are being asked to be prepared to immediately answer how the extra money could be used locally. The proposal is citizen driven, and is not a DNR initiative.

See Bill Would Propose New Park Entrance Funding

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Todd Scott said...

"If you believe that you do not use the State Parks you do not have to pay the fee."
That should read State Parks *and* State Forest Recreation. This legislation would provide funding for DNR forest recreation which hosts significant segments of the North Country Trail.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Todd- I clearly say parks, recreation areas and boat launching sites in the previous paragraph.
Are you just trying to pick a fight? I'd rather we worked on some mutual respect.

Todd Scott said...

I was simply trying to clarify and help others understand the information you had originally provided.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks, Todd

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