LANSING (WJRT) (1/15/2020) - The optional Recreation Passport that Michigan motorists pay for access to state parks is going up by $1 effective in March.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced the increase on Wednesday. The increase is the first in seven years and was required by state law based on increases in the Consumer Price Index.
The passport gives drivers who add the $12 fee to their license plate renewal access to all Michigan state parks, campgrounds, recreation areas and state harbors for a full year.
The program started in 2010, when Michigan was facing a significant budget shortfall. Lawmakers created the passport to make state parks more accessible for residents and raise more revenue to support parks.
Recreation Passport sales provide about a quarter of state parks funding. Camping reservation fees, gas and mineral royalties and miscellaneous revenue sources make up most of the rest.
Funding sources outside the Department of Natural Resources, including Michigan's general fund budget, provide just 6.5% of parks funding.