Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Forks State Forest Campground Closed

camping at Leverentz Lake
a primitive State Forest campground (photo by JHY)
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based on a news article in the Traverse City Record-Eagle

Due to budget woes, six Lower Peninsula (and six Upper) State Forest Campgrounds were closed this year. The hope is that these closures are temporary, but it's not looking good for next year either. The Forks, near Traverse City, is one of the casualties.

The other LP sites which were ordered closed in May 2009 are Thunder Bay River, Alpena; Twin Lakes, Cheboygan; Big Oaks, Montmorency; Lake Marjory, Otsego; and Muskrat Lake, Oscoda.

Funding for these sites comes from fees, on a first-come, first-served basis, and usually enforced by the honor system. With the cold, wet summer, revenues are down and even so the state is looking hard for ways to trim the budget.

Mary Dettloff, DNR spokesperson, said that the closed sites will not be re-opened in 2010, and more closures are to be expected. The state is passing revenue woes on to local levels, and there are no real solutions there.

Funding for the DNR also comes from sales of hunting and fishing licenses, which are also down. The only good news is that such activities have declined in Michigan less than they have in other states.

See Michigan State Forest Campgrounds
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Lin said...

That's really sad. You'd think that people would still go camping or visiting those parks when money is tight. Sigh.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Lin- It's all a mystery to me. Michigan has spent millions in the last 2 years trying to get visitors to come to the state and recreate using the outdoor resources. Then, they don't keep things open or maintain them... Thanks for the response

Lin said...

They got funky years ago and we quit camping in Michigan. You had to have reservations just to get in and I found that just silly--I do reservations for hotels NOT a place to set my tent. I think they started catering to the giant motorhome and group camping and it became a real turn-off for the rustic campers like us.

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