Michigan Closing 23 State Forest Campgrounds
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes will order in May the permanent closure of 23 state forest campgrounds, the Marquette Mining Journal reported
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission has received Stokes’ director’s order for information purposes. The order is expected to be issued May 12, becoming effective May 19.
State forest campgrounds are not state parks. They are rustic campgrounds with an adjacent stream or lake. State pathway trailheads are often found at or near state forest campgrounds. These campgrounds offer hand pumps for clean drinking water, vault toilets, a picnic table and a fire ring.
Several factors have been cited by DNR officials as reasons to close the campgrounds including a trend in declining use, the inability of the state to reasonably raise camping rates any higher and still remain competitive and operational costs versus revenue, including declines in general fund appropriations.
“We have too many of these facilities,” said Jim Radabaugh, DNR state trails coordinator in Lansing. “Some folks are using them, but not enough to sustain them.””These selections meet the objective of selecting sites that are in the lower tier of revenue generation, while also falling within the closure objectives identified by the public and dispersing closures throughout the state in locations where other camping opportunities still exist,” a DNR memo to the director from division chiefs stated.
The final closure selection process ensures campers will not need to drive more than 45 minutes to reach an alternative state forest campground, and in the majority of cases, that time will be much less, according to the memo.