Thursday, April 7, 2011

Several Western Michigan State Forest Campgrounds to Close

Michigan State Forest campground
State Forest Campground (photo by jhy)

based on a news release of the Michigan DNR

With all the budget pain in Michigan, some State Forest Campgrounds are going to suffer. Ones that are "underutilized" will be closed, 23 of them. These are all campgrounds that have few amenities, and therefore attract fewer campers. Of course, if you are one of the people who really prefers to get away from the crowds, this news is not going to be good.

Most of the closures are in the Upper Peninsula, but Lower Michigan is not exempt. To be closed:
• Cheboygan County: Black Lake Trail Camp
• Crawford County: Manistee River Bridge
• Lake County: Bray Creek
• Montmorency County: Little Wolf Lake State Forest Campground
• Oscoda County: McCollum Lake State Forest Campground
• Otsego County: Pigeon Bridge and Round Lake
• Wexford County: Long Lake

Cara Boucher, assistant chief of the DNR's Forest Management Division, said, "Given the long-term trend of declining use and the inability to raise camp fee revenues, the only way to absorb the current cut in General Fund support is to close some campgrounds."

The order to close the 23 campgrounds will be submitted as a proposal at today's Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting in Lansing, and will be eligible for action by DNR Director Rodney Stokes at the NRC's May 12 meeting in Flint. If approved at the May meeting, the closures would be effective on May 19, 2011.

It's difficult to imagine how much this will save. The only services provided are usually latrines and a hand pump. Admittedly, these need to be serviced in the spring and fall, but surely the high-performing campsites could cover some costs for the smaller sites.

It's difficult to imagine how future generations will learn how to enjoy nature when more and more places that are close to natural are closed each year.

See Natural Resources Commission Agenda for April 7, 2011
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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