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      DNR proposes closing several U.P. campgrounds

      A cut to the Forest Recreation Program funding is causing the Department of Natural Resources to consider closing 23 state forest campgrounds in Michigan, including several in the U.P.

      There is a proposal being submitted to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission on Thursday discussing the closure of the 23 campgrounds. The closing of state campgrounds comes after a 63 percent budget cut for the Forest Recreation Program during the last three years. The General Fund supporting the state forest recreation programs was cut by $314,700 for the 2011 Fiscal Year.

      "While revenue has remained even in the last decade, due to camping fee increases in 2002 and in 2007, state forest campground fees are now at the high end of the market at $15 a night per individual site," said Cara Boucher, assistant chief of the DNR's Forest Management Division.

      Boucher went on to add that the number of campers has also declined, so the only way to absorb the loss of revenue and campers was to close some campgrounds.

      The DNR stressed that the state forest campgrounds should not be confused with state forest parks. Campgrounds are more remote sites with less amenities.

      The DNR encourages people with comments regarding the possible closures to send an email to or sending a letter to the address listed below.

      Natural Resources CommissionP.O. Box 30028Lansing, MI 48909

      State campgrounds proposed for closure (U.P. campgrounds listed in red):

      - Beaufort and Big Lake state forest campgrounds " Baraga County

      - Black Lake Trail Camp " Cheboygan County

      - Lime Island State Forest Campground and Cabins and Munuscong River State Forest Campground " Chippewa County

      - Manistee River Bridge State Forest Campground " Crawford County

      - Deer Lake State Forest Campground " Iron County

      - Bray Creek State Forest Campground " Lake County

      - Blind Sucker #1, High Bridge, Holland Lake, Natalie and Reed & Green Bridge state forest campgrounds " Luce County

      - Black River State Forest Campground " Mackinac County

      - Little Wolf Lake State Forest Campground " Montmorency County

      - McCollum Lake State Forest Campground " Oscoda County

      - Pigeon Bridge and Round Lake state forest campgrounds " Otsego County

      - Canoe Lake, Cusino Lake, Mead Creek and South Gemini Lake state forest campgrounds " Schoolcraft County

      - Long Lake State Forest Campground " Wexford County