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Author Topic: Recreation Passport Finalized  (Read 6785 times)

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Durand Dan

Recreation Passport Finalized
« on: April 04, 2010, 01:31:43 PM »

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm on Wednesday signed into law the "Recreation Passport" legislation, which creates a new funding source for Michigan's state parks, state recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized trails and pathways and local parks.
The new law takes effect Oct. 1, 2010, meaning citizens who want to visit state parks this year will still need a 2010 Motor Vehicle Permit.

"This new method will create a sustainable funding source that will support our state parks and forests, as well as local recreational facilities," said Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) Director Rebecca Humphries. "It also makes accessing recreational opportunities easier and more affordable for Michigan citizens."

The Recreation Passport replaces the traditional state park and boating Motor Vehicle Permit (MVP), or "window sticker," system in place now at state parks, recreation areas and boat launches. Motorists may choose to pay a $10 fee when they renew their vehicle plate registration. This fee will authorize entry into state parks and boat launches for the usual one-year period of the registration. Camping fees will remain in place.

When residents opt to pay the $10 passport fee, they'll enjoy a per-vehicle savings of 60 percent over the current $24 annual Motor Vehicle Permit fee. "It is our hope that the less expensive fee will encourage all Michigan residents to buy the Recreation Passport for every vehicle they register," said Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson. "Supporters will be integral in restoring the infrastructure of an aging state park and forest system, while supporting local parks and recreation systems at the same time."

The DNRE's Recreation Division lost all taxpayer support for its programs in 2004. Since then, park operations have been funded primarily from user fees. "Currently, we are able to address less than 1 percent of the critical infrastructure repair needs annually ($38 million needed), and are about $4.8 million short of adequately funding day-to-day park operations. Without an alternative funding structure in place, drastic cuts to park programs and services were inevitable," Olson said.

"Revenue generated from the Recreation Passport depends on the level of participation from the public," Olson said.

Projected revenue based on participation includes:


25 percent participation generates $18,060,000
50 percent participation generates $36,120,000
75 percent participation generates $55,180,000
100 percent participation generates $72,240,000
This Recreation Passport initiative grew out of a proposal developed by the Citizens Committee for Michigan State Parks, to provide a more stable, sustainable funding source for state parks, which lost all general taxpayer support in 2004. Since then, state parks and recreation areas have operated primarily on user fees and by borrowing from funds intended for capital repairs and improvements.

For the 2010 calendar year, a Motor Vehicle Permit will still be required for entry to state parks, recreation areas and boating access sites. As citizens renew their vehicle registrations on and after Oct. 1, 2010, they will be offered the option to support state parks and recreation areas, state forests and boating access sites by paying an additional $10 toward their vehicle registration fee.

Out-of-state residents will still be required to purchase a $29 annual Motor Vehicle Permit, or $8 Daily permit.

According to Olson, the signing of this new law is timely. In 2011, all fund balances in the restricted funds that operate state parks will be exhausted. "There are $38 million in annual unmet needs for failing infrastructure at our state parks that the current system cannot generate enough revenue to cover," he said. "This new system will prevent the further decline of the state park and state forest system."

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VinceR

Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 08:46:00 PM »

Actually, for those of us that purchase both, the annual State Park, and Boat Launch stickers ($48.00 total), the savings is closer to 80%. WOW!

Why would anyone NOT support this?
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SethV

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2010, 09:49:08 AM »

I wonder how they will know if you pay the $10 vs the people that don't?
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t-bone

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2010, 10:22:31 AM »

I think I read the license plate tab will have an indicator - sometime with a "P" on it, to show you bought the passport. I have company vehicles and the company pays for the vehicle license registrations, so I'm wondering what my option will be. Can I buy something at the gates to get the passport?

I wonder how they will know if you pay the $10 vs the people that don't?
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Terry Bone
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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2010, 10:27:34 AM »

Here is where I read it:

http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2010/04/michigan_residents_are_winners.html

The passport -- a license plate sticker with a P for parks -- will be available when drivers renew their license plates. It will be good at 98 state parks and recreation areas and 66 boating access sites where fees are charged. Motorcycle passports will run $5.

------------

Looks like I'll be able to buy a passport for $20 to put on my company owned vehicle?
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Terry Bone
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SethV

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2010, 11:13:49 AM »


Looks like I'll be able to buy a passport for $20 to put on my company owned vehicle?

Good deal.  I had the same concern.
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VinceR

Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 01:00:29 PM »


Looks like I'll be able to buy a passport for $20 to put on my company owned vehicle?

It will only be $10.00 per vehicle. They are saying that it may go up, over time, but for now it will be $10.00 if you purchase a passport outside of the plate/tag renwal process.
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SethV

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 01:25:39 PM »

It would be nice if I could put the sticker on my boat trailer instead of tow vehicle.  I change trucks a lot - I don't know why they would worry about the tow vehicle as long as the boat has a sticker, but I doubt it will work that way.
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mikesmiph

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 03:13:54 PM »

Seth, not everyone takes a boat to the parks with them. This was designed mostly for the park system, not us boaters. We just get to reap the benefits too.
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Langer

Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 03:25:04 PM »

So you can start purchasing in October of this year at your regularly scheduled renew time, mine wouldn't be until June of 2011. What am I supposed to do until then?
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Wayne County Bass Anglers
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FOB

Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 05:23:31 PM »

This does not make sense to me.  If I choose not to get the $10 Passport sticker, does that mean I can not enter a state park?  Or do I then pay at the gate the normal fee? 
Sorry, but I don't see how this will help our Parks out one bit.  If anything, it should make them worse. 
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Ralph Blasey
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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 06:03:41 PM »

Ralph, the article I read said they kinda figure almost everyone will opt for the 10$ fee on their plates, just on the off chance that they will use a park in the coming year. This will generate a lot more income for them than just the people that actually use the parks. Government thinking, go figure. Lets just take advantage of it while it lasts. Its the deal of a lifetime as far as I'm concerned. There was talk at the beginning of it being manditory, not even a choice. You would pay for the parks just by getting a license plate. I guess they changed that. I'll have mine next February.
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djmaclf

Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 09:28:45 PM »

My plates renew in September.  But it sounds like there will be a way to purchase the passport for the parks outside of the renewal system as well.
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djkimmel

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2010, 10:18:03 PM »

I admit I have not read the final version yet. I need to do that. I believe the issue about getting the passport in the timing you need is covered, but I need to get the specifics.

The idea started out based on a successful program in Montana. It is a little optimistic, not too out of line, in how many people won't opt out of the additional cost considering the economy here, but if they get the word out enough - like we are actually doing here - and at least the people who normally use the parks and launches participate, we might be okay with the budget.

I do like the idea that I can spend $20 to cover both my truck and my car. Sometime I use my truck/boat, but when I meet someone, I save a lot more on gas by not driving the big truck, using the car instead. A once a year $10 fee will definitely save me money with the car over daily or annual State Park and boating access fees.

The last version of the bill I read had language that if you don't get the recreational passport, you can still buy daily passes, maybe at a higher fee? Plus they will ridicule you at the gate. Okay, I made that last part up.

I'll check the final regulation and if it isn't too long now I should be able to post an update by the end of the weekend.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 10:50:41 PM »

Check out www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport as a source for this new program.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

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Re: Recreation Passport Finalized
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2010, 11:08:19 PM »

This does not make sense to me.  If I choose not to get the $10 Passport sticker, does that mean I can not enter a state park?  Or do I then pay at the gate the normal fee? 
Sorry, but I don't see how this will help our Parks out one bit.  If anything, it should make them worse. 

FOB if you are a Michigan resident (I know you are) and you expect to use a State Park or boating access site after October 1, 2010 you must opt in when you renew your vehicle registration. Otherwise you will have to pay a Recreation Passport fee upon entry of up to $20. (Up to $100 fine to any resident who enters a State Park of boating access site without opting in or paying the Recreation Passport fee.)

All non-residents still need to buy an annual $29 non-resident sticker or $8 daily pass for state parks or boating access sites.

See the Recreation Passport FAQ for more information about the program and what they expect and hope from it.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.
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