Recreation Passport fee misappropriated

To the Journal editor:

I read with interest the front page article, in The Mining Journal on March 28, about the Lions Field Recreation Area. They were fixing it up with a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreation Passport fee. On April 9, The Mining Journal told of a grant from the Recreation Passport fee for the Perkins Park and campground for improvements to the park.

I like to camp at Bass Lake State Forest Campground near Gwinn. A few years ago they started to require a Recreation Passport to enter the park. I wasn’t happy with the new fee to enter the park, but I figured maybe they would fix up the park. At about the same time they required the entrance fee, they removed all the garbage cans at Bass Lake campground. Now there is no garbage pickup at Bass Lake campground.

They say to bring your garbage to the Gwinn DNR Office for disposal (not very handy nor economical). Since the Recreation Passport requirement, I was hoping for road improvement, fish cleaning station, decks at the water spots, lower camping fees, or possibly garbage cans again. However, the fees they collect from me will go for renovation of a fish cleaning station at Perkins Park, picnic tables, benches and garbage cans at Lions Field, along with other improvements to these areas and others that I will never see. I’m willing to bet, if I did go to Perkins Park or Lions Field, I wouldn’t need a Recreation Passport to do so.

I suppose I could call Zack Bishop of the DNR State Forest Campgrounds Division and see if he could apply for one of those grants for Bass Lake. But wait, if I look at the big picture, I guess they don’t want people camping at Bass Lake or why would they take away the garbage cans and start charging a fee they don’t need, just to give the money away to other things.

I also read in the April 13 Mining Journal editorial that the state is proposing a new registration fee for paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, etc. I guess I’ll just give up and sell my recreation stuff and stay home and play on the computer and watch TV.

Jerry Gregg