Michigan Closing Campgrounds

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

At the height of summer outdoor recreation season, Michigan is closing 20 state forest campgrounds at least temporarily because of the tight budget.

The campgrounds mostly are in the northern Lower Peninsula and eastern Upper Peninsula. Closing them will enable the state's Recreation and Trail Program to absorb a $75,000 cut, the Department of Natural Resources said Friday.

The closures take effect Monday and continue through the remainder of the 2007 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Whether they will reopen next year will depend on funding, said Jim Radabaugh, state trails coordinator.

"To be forced to limit any outdoor experience has been a very difficult decision for the department," DNR Director Rebecca Humphries said in a statement.

State forest campgrounds are different from campgrounds in state parks, many of which provide modern amenities such as electrical hookups for recreational vehicles. The state forest campgrounds are more rustic and suitable primarily for tents.

Despite the closures, an additional 118 state forest campgrounds will remain open.

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