DNR Closing 15 U.P. State Forest Campgrounds

The Michigan DNR is once again feeling a budgetary pinch.

Next month, the DNR is expected to close 23 of its state forest campgrounds.

15 of those are in the U.P.

DNR Director Rodney Stokes has given the Michigan Natural Resources Commission written notice of his intentions to close the campgrounds.

The closure order is expected to come out on May 12th and to take effect a week later.

When Republic’s Horseshoe Lake Campground closed in 2009, the DNR said it could no longer afford to support the existing state forest campground system.

It surveyed campers about which campgrounds they wanted most to stay open and which ones they felt the state could do without.

Occupancy of state forest campgrounds has been declining for at least a decade.

DNR officials say if they raise camping rates, those rates will no longer be reasonable for campers.

The closing sites are all located within 45 minutes of a state forest campground that will remain open.

The campgrounds that are closing include the Big Lake and Beaufort Lake Campgrounds in Baraga County.

The Deer Lake Campground in Iron County is closing.

4 campgrounds in schoolcraft county are being shuttered — the Canoe Lake, Cusino Lake, South Gemini Lake and Mead Creek Campgrounds.

The closures will leave 38 state forest campgrounds in the U.P.

It will take several years to decommission the closed sites so that they can be used for some other purpose.