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Health, Science and Environment

DNR seeks public comment on recreation plan for next the next five years

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Duccio Aiazzi
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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released its recreation plan for the next five years.

The plan, released Thursday, is now open for public comment.

The Michigan DNR worked extensively to create an inclusive plan, surveying Michiganders from across the state and using 13 focus groups to go over initial drafts.

Marc Miller is with the DNR. He said the plan lays out the department's goals for the next five years.

“This gives us an opportunity to look at the needs and the supply of recreational opportunity in our state and try to tie that together in a cohesive way to make improvements, recognize the trends that are happening, and then forecast where we need to go with our programming.”

Miller said the plan covers everything from access to recreation to future collaborations with outside organizations.

“The program is one where we have to do this every five years. The plan will allow us to get grant money from the federal government to help make some of these changes.”

Miller said the plan is finds a balance between conservation and the economic sustainability of the parks.

“It does do the balancing act that we have to do as natural resource managers. We will be thinking about conservation and that we protect the resources for the future but we also are incorporating economic development and recognizing that recreation, especially in Michigan, is one that helps support many jobs throughout the state.”

Residents have until October 2nd to comment. A link to the plan, as well as a space for public comment, can be found on http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-58225---,00.html

THE Michigan DNR IS AN UNDERWRITER FOR WCMU