The state’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC) and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Rodney Stokes have approved a measure classifying state forest campgrounds and non-motorized trails and pathways as state recreation areas, meaning that people using the campgrounds and trails will need to have a valid Michigan Recreation Passport on their vehicles.
The Recreation Passport replaced motor vehicle permits in 2010 for entry into state parks, recreation areas, and state boating access sites.
Adding state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathways to the Recreation Passport program is a change designed to strengthen funding for state recreation programs and to provide better management of all state-administered campsites and non-motorized pathways.
The DNR hopes to increase sales of the Recreation Passport to provide more funding for state forest-based recreation programs.
“We intend to keep all state forest campgrounds open and available for campers,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “The days of closing state forest campgrounds are over. During this transition, we will raise awareness of the Recreation Passport requirement for state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathway parking areas, and put those funds back into maintenance and operations of state forest recreation programs.”
Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.
To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport, or call 517-241-7275.