LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today created a blue ribbon panel that will ensure the role of state parks evolves to meet the needs of Michigan’s diverse and changing population.
Snyder issued Executive Order 10 on Mackinac Island, one of the state’s crown jewels, creating the 16-member panel. The Blue Ribbon Panel on State Parks and Outdoor Recreation will conduct a yearlong review of state parks and recreation areas, exploring innovative models that will help these assets better serve current and new generations of Michiganders.
“State parks are integral to Michigan’s identity,” Snyder said. “They preserve and protect some of our most significant natural and cultural resources. Their natural beauty, recreational opportunities and economic power enhance every corner of Michigan. By working in a thoughtful, visionary manner, we will ensure that these treasures adapt as we enter the New Michigan.”
The system contains 100 state parks and recreation areas, drawing more than 25 million visitors annually.
Appointed to the panel as co-chairs are:
Jon Allan of East Lansing, executive director of environmental policy and intergovernmental affairs for Consumers Energy Co. He serves on the Environmental Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Allan earned a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife and a master’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University.
Erin McDonough of Williamston, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC). She previously served as director of the Institute for Conservation Education for MUCC, resource policy specialist for MUCC and water resources coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. McDonough earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in resource policy and behavior from the University of Michigan.
Among the 14 other members is Bradley Petzke of Marquette, owner and operator of Rivers North Fly Fishing Guide Service. He holds a 50-ton master captain license from the U.S. Coast Guard and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources inland captain license. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Northern Michigan University.
The appointees will serve one-year terms at the pleasure of the governor.