Letters: Other views on state park funding, Pure Michigan

The Detroit News

Restore funding for Pure Michigan campaign

Since its inception in 2008, the Pure Michigan tourism campaign has attracted millions of out-of-state and international tourists — and their discretionary spending — to Michigan, generating billions of dollars in state and local taxes. Those significant and critical tax revenues can then be used to address a host of local and state budget priorities.

A sailboat in Ludington heads toward the horizon in "Lovin' Life," by Scott Sitler of Ludington.  On the horizon, you can see the ferry SS Badger chugging toward Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The state’s investment in promoting Michigan tourism through the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign has produced a positive return on investment each year. The most recent state-commissioned studies on the economic activity the program generates found in 2018, every $1 spent on Pure Michigan generated a $9.28 return on investment. This program is a significant contributor to, not a drain on, Michigan’s treasury, economy and future.

Not only does the Pure Michigan campaign support tourism, our state’s third-largest industry supporting nearly 225,000 jobs, but it also restores a deep and abiding pride of place for Michiganians.

The Henry Ford, Michigan’s leading cultural tourism destination hosting 1.8 million visitors each year, joins with our colleagues in Michigan’s tourism industry to strongly encourage our state leaders to work together to restore full funding for the Pure Michigan campaign.

Patricia E. Mooradian, president  and CEO

The Henry Ford

Take the “opt-out” approach to recreation passports

The Michigan Legislature should pass House bills 4486, 4775 and 4776 to allow more citizens a clearer option of supporting Michigan’s parks and trails ("Don't blindside drivers with state parks pass," Oct. 16).

We support the recommendation of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee to build Michigan’s recreation passport program after Montana’s successful program that is an “opt-out” rather than our current “opt-in” approach. Taking this approach will engage a more meaningful discussion of the value of the passport and likely lead to more passports being purchased voluntarily.

Current law allows the Secretary of State up to $1 million a year to help administer the program. These funds can be used to help people understand the option to purchase a recreation passport is clearly that — a voluntary election to check a box if you do not want to purchase a passport.

These bills also propose an increase from 10% to 15% in the amount of the recreation passport revenue going to local recreation grant programs that fund local trails and parks. Michigan Trails strongly supports this increase, as a recent statewide survey clearly proves local trails and parks to be the No. 1 recreational need in the state. 

With Michigan being the leading trail state in the country, more and more people are using local trails and parks to connect with nature and each other. We have no doubt that providing a clearer choice for Michigan citizens to purchase the passport will result in more funding to enhance and expand our trails and parks, meeting the recreational needs of our citizens and connecting our communities.

Bob Wilson, executive director

Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance

Raise state park funds by charging towable RVs

If we need more funds for state parks then why do towable RVs (trailers) get into the parks for free? Also: why do they have permanent plates? They pay for neither the use of the parks nor the roads.

When I take my motor home into a park I have to pay for the RV and the car.

If you look at a typical campground, you will note that free trailers are about 90% of the campers.

Pat Curtin, Novi