58
      Friday
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      Saturday
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      Sunday
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      DNR lowers campground fees

      The Department of Natural Resources has announced lower camping fees for 2012.

      DNR Director Rodney Stokes informed the Natural Resources Commission at its April meeting that the DNR was lowering many fees at state forest campgrounds to align them more closely with fees at state parks and recreation areas offering similar amenities.

      Most state forest campgrounds will have a $13 per site, per night fee rate (a reduction of $2). Campgrounds identified as equestrian state forest campgrounds, those associated with ORV trails, and the semi-modern Houghton Lake state forest campground will charge a $17 per site, per night rate (a reduction of $3).

      Rates for group camps -- identified either as a canoe camp, trail camp, or group camp -- will remain at a fee of $6 per person, per night, while cabins remain at the $65 per night fee.Approximately 270 campsites at a variety of state forest campgrounds spread over 11 counties can be reserved through the state TMs on-line reservation system.

      The goal is to create a quality atmosphere for a rustic camping experience in state forest campgrounds at an appropriate fee, said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation chief. Also new this year will be the requirement to purchase a Recreation Passport to access all state forest campgrounds, in addition to Michigan state parks, recreation areas, and state-administered boating access fee sites.

      The Recreation Passport, which replaced motor vehicle permits, is also required at non-motorized state trail parking areas. This new way to fund Michigan's outdoor recreation opportunities helps preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks. Also, the Passport will improve funding for state park infrastructure and rehabilitation and provide park development grants to local communities.