Michigan state park fees will rise $1 starting in March

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources increased the cost of recreation passports by $1.

Vehicle entry passports will now cost $12, instead of $11.

This begins March 1st with any license plate registration renewal.

The DNR said this is the first recreational pass increase since 2013, however all other resident passport fees such as motorcycles or commercial vehicles will remain the same.

“Although we were not anticipating a $1 increase this year, the additional revenue will help fill in funding gaps,” DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson said. “We are continually working on challenges including rising wages, the ever-increasing cost of goods and services and $278 million worth of significant infrastructure repairs and projects."

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the fee change is due to a provision in the law that ensures the funding source keeps pace with inflation.

The fee will be $17 when a passport is purchased at state parks, DNR customer service centers or at a secretary of state branch outside the vehicle registration renewal process.

The fee provides access to more than 100 state parks and recreation areas, 140 state forest campgrounds, trails, historic sites and hundreds of boating access sites. About 94% of state park funding is from user fees and royalty revenues.

The fee for nonresidents rose to $34 this month.

The DNR said that recreational passport sales and royalty fees make 93 percent of state parks funding.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.