Fee for Recreation Passport to Michigan state parks to rise $1

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Lansing — The price for a regular Recreation Passport for Michigan residents is going up $1 beginning March 1, officials said Wednesday.

The passport gives users year-round access to Michigan's state parks, campgrounds and boating access sites.

State Department of Natural Resources officials said the fee for the park-plus pass is being raised from $11 to $12. They said it's the first increase for the Recreation Passport since 2013. All other resident Passport fees, including those for motorcycles, mopeds and commercial vehicles, will remain the same, they said.

Sunrise over Lake Huron in the tip of the Thumb at Eagle Bay as waves wash over the shore at the beach at Port Crescent State Park on Saginaw Bay.

The cost of a Recreation Passport for non-residents is also increasing from $33 to $34.

"Although we were not anticipating a $1 increase this year, the additional revenue will help fill in funding gaps,” Ron Olsen, DNR parks and recreation chief, said in a statement. “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 state increase follows the December announcement by Huron-Clinton Metroparks that its price for vehicle passes increased $5.

The annual metroparks pass had been $35 and $24 for seniors age 62 and older. As of Jan. 1, however, the passes cost $40 and $29 for seniors. Metroparks officials said the increased funds would be used to upgrade the system's aging trails.

The state site increase is due to a statutory provision that allows the DNR to adjust the Recreation Passport fee based upon the Consumer Price Index, which is determined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Officials said about 26 percent of the state parks system's funding comes from Recreation Passport sales. The pass is sold along with vehicle registrations. In 2017, residents were charged an additional $5 if they bought the passes at a state park.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez