The Michigan DNR wants to know who is opening the closed campgrounds in West Branch. - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default The Michigan DNR wants to know who is opening the closed campgrounds in West Branch.

I know it is really expensive for the DNR to drive there once a day to pick up the money left from campers, so I understand why they closed all these sites, but this is funny. "Rustic" campsites are really a drain on the state's budget.





http://www.miningjournal.net/page/co....html?nav=5006

GWINN - Michigan Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officials are hoping the public can help them determine who pushed boulders out of the way, removed a dirt berm and forced locked rest rooms open at a closed state forest campground in northeastern Dickinson County.

The West Branch State Forest Campground, situated along the West Branch of the Escanaba River, was among a dozen of the rustic campgrounds closed by the DNR in 2009, including six in the Upper Peninsula, because of budget shortfalls.

As it did at those other campgrounds, the DNR locked the restrooms at the West Branch campground, dug a ditch across the entrance road, using the dirt for a blocking berm, and put boulders across the park entrance.

But recently, perhaps over the Memorial Day weekend, someone illegally re-opened the campground. Grass at two of the campsites had been mowed, as well as along a short path toward the river. The campsites are nearest restrooms, which had their door handles and locks broken away.

Campsites numbers 15 and 16 were mowed and are situated across a dirt roadway from each other. Tracks from a truck and a passenger car were still visible in the sand at one of the sites Saturday.

DNR officials learned about the incident late last week and have not yet replaced the boulders and the berm, nor locked up the restrooms. The campground had no campers Saturday morning and no signs had been posted indicating the campground was closed.

DNR officials said they aren't sure whether someone just really wanted to camp at the campground or if whoever re-opened the campground was attempting to make a statement about the DNR's plan announced in April to close 23 more of the rustic state forest campgrounds.

Either way, DNR law enforcement officers want to talk to the perpetrator.

The West Branch State Forest Campground is not one of 15 slated for closure in the U.P. but expected to remain open this summer under a decision by the DNR expected Thursday.

To report information on the incident, call the DNR's Marquette office at 228-6561, or the DNR's Gwinn Field Office at 346-9201.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #2
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What a travesty.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Wait, the DNR is closing 23 more rustic campsites?
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:41 AM   #4
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Wait, the DNR is closing 23 more rustic campsites?
Maybe someone should tell the person running the Pure Michigan ads on TV that rustic camping is out...
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #5
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wouldn't it be easier if they used this to create a "Adopt a Camp ground program"?
they could have their cake and eat it to. have volunteers come and clean and mow and they still get funding for park ranger patrols. sometimes the answers are too obvious.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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wouldn't it be easier if they used this to create a "Adopt a Camp ground program"?
they could have their cake and eat it to. have volunteers come and clean and mow and they still get funding for park ranger patrols. sometimes the answers are too obvious.
Unfortunately government is filled with stupid people in large groups.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #7
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wouldn't it be easier if they used this to create a "Adopt a Camp ground program"?
they could have their cake and eat it to. have volunteers come and clean and mow and they still get funding for park ranger patrols. sometimes the answers are too obvious.
Thats a really good Idea Yetti.
Im sure some one would look after these campgrounds.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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HAHAHA, gotta love michigan. If they shut down the cheap rustic parks then people will stay at the 27 dollar a night campgrounds, right? Why dont they take some of the million people who are on unemployment and have them take care of the parks? they are already on the state payroll.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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sounds like someone just really wanted to camp.

sucks about the door locks though.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:08 AM   #10
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HAHAHA, gotta love michigan. If they shut down the cheap rustic parks then people will stay at the 27 dollar a night campgrounds, right? Why dont they take some of the million people who are on unemployment and have them take care of the parks? they are already on the state payroll.

Oh stop, you are just making too much sense now.

My personal opinion is that the MDNR needs to be dis-banded. (or fired for lack of a better term) Start from the top and remove anybody with a payrol of more then 50K.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #11
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Wait, the DNR is closing 23 more rustic campsites?
Jenny taught the DNR well.

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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #12
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Jenny taught the DNR well.

She created a fucking monster. I don't much care for cops, but if I saw a bunch of them kicking a dnr officer to death I would help them.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #13
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Really stupid. If it's rustic, leave it open. Who cares if someone voluntarilly mows the grass?
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #14
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Really stupid. If it's rustic, leave it open. Who cares if someone voluntarilly mows the grass?
They probably pushed the lawnmower in an erosive manner.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #15
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cracker you realise this isn't the west branch campground and is up in the UP right?
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #16
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All the rustics I have been too still have a support employee to maintain the park, clean the pit toilets, collect money, etc...

I have no idea what that costs nor how much a rustic site can bring in yearly. I would like to know though before forming an opinion on it.

We camp at modern state parts, but regardless it sucks to see cuts anywhere. This state's parks is one if it's best qualities IMHO.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:47 AM   #17
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Good news from several unofficial sources at DNR.

The new Recreation Passport idea is catching on, and the number of people signing on has exceeded the State's expectations. A portion of that money goes to SOS for admin, but the rest comes back to the Parks division. The increased revenues for the Park system may allow them to take control of the State Forest Campgrounds from the Forest division, and get many or all of them reopened. Personally I was skeptical of the new passport, they went from getting $48 annually from my family to $20, but apparently enough one-time day pass purchasers are paying $10 instead of $6.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #18
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They probably pushed the lawnmower in an erosive manner.
I'm sorry to say your probably correct. they are very short sighted from what I have seen, the majority of DNR have always been the power hungry types that want to control people on many levels. its all about CONTROL!
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Old June 6th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #19
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I'm sorry to say your probably correct. they are very short sighted from what I have seen, the majority of DNR have always been the power hungry types that want to control people on many levels. its all about CONTROL!
I disagree. I think it is all about MONEY. If they take away enough services that people are inconvenienced, they'll vote for higher taxes.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #20
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O. So a vehicle, most likely a 2011 Chevy p/u HD V8, drove out to the camp, fuel, time, paperwork.
I feel safe to say this investigation will cost the state $2,021,788.69 all in all. Now they have to buy a dozer, dump truck, ditch witch, barbed wire, silt fencing, and cut down trees to berm the entrance. Buy a new master key lock and have a union master carpender install it.
Also to pay a engineer to do a field engineering report for drainage issues caused by the berm and erosion issues, do a study on cockspamezzl bird because now its endangered all now because john doe cut the grass with a toro push with out a permit.

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