Monday, April 27, 2009

State Parks to Get No Money from 2009 General Fund

tent camping at a park
tent camping (photo from
based on a news article at, "Michigan lawmakers weigh options for funding state park system after years of cuts," by Peter Luke, April 26, 2009

Michigan State Parks will not receive any money at all in the 2009 general fund budget. Yet, the parks host 22 million visitors each year and generate $600 million in economic activity. It's hard to see how this level of use will be able to continue without funding. The parks also report a current backlog of maintenance to the tune of $341 million.

Department of Natural Resources director, Rebecca Humphries, told a Senate committee that without more money, some parks will have to close next year.

This brings lawmakers to the continuing debate on how to fund the parks. A proposed plan would switch from a window sticker to an optional license plate surcharge is at the center of the debate.

Comments on the article range from complete disgust that the state won't maintain infrastructure for its huge tourism industry, to disbelief that the entrance fees are insufficient to support the parks.

See State Park Funding Proposal Would Require No Special Sticker
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Mother Goose said...

They need to keep the parks open! At the same time, the answer to every monetary problem has become "a surcharge on license plates. There has to be another way.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Well, it's a voluntary surcharge that will cost less than a sticker. That way they figure more people will pay for it. Seems ok to me.

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