The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) today announced the availability of its draft 2013-2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) for public review on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants.
The DNR will accept comments and feedback on the draft plan through Wednesday,
Nov. 7, 2012. Comments can be submitted via survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCORPreviewor by mail to:
Michigan Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan – Comments
c/o Public Sector Consultants
600 W. St. Joseph, Suite 10
Lansing, MI 48933
“Our main goal with this new plan is to better leverage Michigan’s diverse and abundant natural assets to meet the fun, relaxation and health needs of Michigan’s residents and visitors, as well as the economic development needs of the state and local communities,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “To ensure we’re on the right track, we hope to get public feedback from a broad cross-section of our natural resources and recreation stakeholders.”
The draft 2013-2018 SCORP includes six key objectives and more than two dozen targeted action items designed to help the state and its public and private outdoor-recreation partners achieve this goal. The six objectives include:
- Improving the collaboration and cooperation among all outdoor recreation providers to ensure that Michigan’s recreation system meets the needs and desires of its residents and visitors, and that users are made aware of opportunities statewide;
- Ensuring the maintenance and continuous improvement of outdoor recreation facilities;
- Improving access to and connectivity among recreational opportunities;
- Integrating the provision of outdoor recreation with economic development plans and activities to advance the state’s economic prosperity;
- Marketing outdoor recreation opportunities (and their associated amenities) to ensure that residents and visitors are aware of all opportunities and that communities are realizing the economic benefits associated with those opportunities; and
- Contributing to the protection of Michigan’s high-quality natural resources and aiding residents and visitors in gaining appreciation of those resources through interpretation and programming.
In developing the draft plan, the DNR solicited substantial input from Michigan’s parks and outdoor recreation stakeholders in a variety of ways, including surveys; five community conversations held in different regions of the state; discussions with relevant state advisory groups (such as the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee); and webinars conducted in partnership with the Michigan Recreation and Park Association.
The DNR creates these five-year plans to meet a requirement of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a funding source for both federal acquisition of park and recreation lands and matching grants to states, and through states to local units of government for outdoor recreation projects.
The LWCF requires each participating state to have a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan to ensure wise use of grant funds. The LWCF was created in 1964 and, since that time, the DNR has received more than $129 million to further statewide outdoor recreation opportunities.