DETROIT (WWJ) – Michigan will be closing 23 State Forest campgrounds, most of them in the Upper Peninsula.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes has issued the order, which will become effective on May 19 this year.
Mary Detloff of the DNR explained the decision to shut down the rustic areas was based on the department’s finances.
“Over the last three years, the State Forest recreation program, which includes the State Forest campgrounds, has lost approximately 63 percent of its funding,” Detloff said. “This program is funded with general fund money, which of course has been cut every year due to the state’s budget problems.”
Although Michigan will be losing some of its State Forest campgrounds, the state will still maintain their State Parks and none of those will be closing.
Aside from finances, Detloff said too few people are taking advantage of the rustic retreats.
“These campgrounds range in revenue generating from anywhere between $40,000 a year to $300 a year. The campgrounds that we are closing are targeted because they are underperforming and also, they are located close to other campgrounds. So, it’s not like we’re completely taking away an opportunity for people to camp in a certain area,” Detloff said.
To find a State Forest campground and to learn more, visit the DNR website.