Michigan Recreation Passport Fee To increase

The price of Michigan’s Recreation Passport is going up but not by much.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that the cost of the Recreation Passport will increase from $11 to $12 annually. It marks the first cost increase in seven years. The fee increase is due to a requirement that was put into the law to adjust the fee based on the Consumer Price Index when the funding model was created in 2010, which was done to ensure the funding source keeps pace with inflation.

The recreation passport allows for year-round vehicle access to more than 100 state parks and recreation areas, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, historic sites, family-friendly events, more than 1,200 boating access sites and other outdoor recreation opportunities and spaces. The revenue helps protect and maintain the state’s natural resources while providing easy, affordable access to the great outdoors. All revenue generated from the Recreation Passport sales goes into a restricted fund that supports state park infrastructure and operations, a local grant program for community recreation agencies, state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathways and trails, cultural and historic resource restoration and marketing and promotion.

MDNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson tells WHMI while the passport provides accessibility to state parks, it also offers an opportunity to leave a legacy. He says if someone isn’t able to visit the parks, it’s still a good and relatively cheap investment to leave a legacy for future generations and keep the system vibrant. Further, Olson says the revenue generated plays a key role in helping the department tackle some high priority areas and fill funding gaps related to rising costs and infrastructure repairs and projects. Olson says there are approximately 7.8 million registered passenger vehicles in the state and around 35% or roughly 2.8 million vehicles participated in the program last year.

The increase will take effect March 1st. All other Recreation Passport fees will remain the same for motorcycles, mopeds and commercial vehicles. (JM)

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