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Got a suggestion on how Michigan could make outdoor recreation opportunities better?

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The state's five-year plan for outdoor recreation looks at things like camping and hunting, but also stand-up paddle boarding, bicycling, hiking, and bird watching.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants the public to take a look at a draft plan for outdoor recreation in the state.

The five-year plan is primarily to show the federal government what Michigan is doing so the state can apply for grants.

“So, it’s giving them indication of the direction we are taking with providing outdoor recreation to Michigan residents and allows us to apply for an acquire fund to support that vision,” said Brad Garmon, executive director of the state’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.

The draft plan looks at everything from making sure there are opportunities for all of Michigan’s people to the changing ways people use parks and forests.

“Everything from traditional things like hunt, fish, camp to things like stand-up paddle-boarding, the report tries to capture everything that people might do,” Garmon said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more people have headed outdoors. The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis showed Michigan's outdoor recreation economy grew by more than 15% from 2020 to 2021.

The state has already surveyed the public and held public meetings to help inform the plan. Now the DNR is taking final public comments on the draft plan through the end of day Thursday. You can see the plan here. Garmon said you can leave comments at DNR-SCORP@Michigan.gov.

“Look at the plan, see what the draft is and see if they think it makes sense, see if there’s things in there that they would have suggested we capture that maybe we missed.”

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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