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New legislation would give Michigan residents the first pick of state park campsites

Tent on the shore of Lake Superior

Michigan residents would be allowed to reserve state campsites two weeks before anyone else under new legislation in the state house.

Supporters of the legislation say it’s only fair that Michigan taxpayers have first pick of state campsites.

Campsites can be reserved six months in advance and bill sponsors say during peak weekends, choice campgrounds can fill up in minutes.

Republican State Representative Steven Johnson is behind the measure. He said his constituents raised concerns about campsites going to out of state residents.

“We love that out of state people are coming here but those campsites should be for Michigan people before they are for anyone else.”

Johnson said the legislation has support from representatives on boths sides of the aisle.

“They want to make sure that Michigan residents are being recognized for the taxpayer dollars that they’ve been paying into these parks and that they are getting the first swing at these camp spots.”

Johnson said he is currently working with the DNR to figure out how the system would work.

He said he doesn’t believe giving Michigan residents the first pick of campsites would hurt out of state tourism.