This is a document referred to in the LWCF manual chapter 8 subsection E on conversion of land. The SCORP contains the guidelines that must be followed before a state park property can even be considered for conversion. Use of park, ease of access, suitability of substitute property, impact study are all issues that are to be considered before the land swap train can leave the station. At least that is what the these documents intended.
The Michigan Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan 2012-2017
The document that the DNR is supposed to be using to give direction to their policies and programs.
Full document click here.
Over the next five years (2012-2017), the state and local recreation partners will
actively use the SCORP to direct their infrastructure, programming,
and marketing investments and other decisions in order to
meet the goal and accompanying objectives, and continue to make
Michigan a top-tier outdoor recreation state.
Top 10 Rated Michigan Outdoor Recreation Activities
1. Biking, all types, combined 25%
2. Camping 24%
3. Fishing 23%
4.Walking outdoors, including dog walking 21%
5. Hiking, all types, combined 20%
6. Play outdoor games/sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, etc.) 17%
7. Hunting or trapping 15%
8. Swimming, all types, combined 13%
9. Boating 11%
10. Visit playgrounds 10%
SOURCE: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan
Collaborating to Make the
Little Traverse Wheelway a Reality
The Little Traverse Wheelway is a 26-mile trail that
runs from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs. The vision
for this trail system started in the early 1990s, but
five different jurisdictions owned parts of the [then]
unconnected trail, and development efforts were
sporadic. Through a collaborative effort over many
years between five townships, the City of Petoskey,
the City of Harbor Springs, Charlevoix and Emmet
counties, and the non-profit Top of Michigan Trails
Council, with funding assistance from the state, the
trail is now a popular destination for locals and visitors.
It connects to several local and State Parks, as
well as Little Traverse Land Conservancy properties.
The success of this multi-collaborator effort stems
from each community recognizing the joint benefit
the project provides, and from utilizing the strengths
and assets of each community. For example, Emmet
County owns 7 miles of the trail within the City of
Petoskey, but the city provides all of the maintenance
for that section of trail. The Wheelway is a true
model of cooperation between communities and
recreation providers (Hansen 2012).
Better utilize “Friends” or other volunteer groups to help maintain and
improve local and state outdoor recreational facilities. Provide consistency
among MDNR programs in terms of the establishment of “Friends”
OBJECTIVE #3: Improve
access to and connectivity between
Why Is This Important?
Research shows that participation in outdoor recreation activities increases when people can safely and easily access well-maintained recreational facilities close to home.
Access is important not only from a proximity standpoint, but also encompasses the issues of safety, amenities, and transportation. If a community has a wonderful state or local park but the park is not safe because of crime or broken equipment, does not accommodate users with physical challenges, or does not allow for or encourage access by multiple modes of transportation, then it is inherently underperforming in providing recreation services. Likewise, to encourage outdoor recreation participation, improving ease and safety of access to state land must be a priority. Online and other tools should be available to find points of access into and through state lands (such as forests and game areas) and Commercial Forest Lands.
State Forest lands should have a reasonable mix of access opportunities, including roads, motorized and non-motorized trails, and walk-in only areas.
A key element of providing better access and increasing the use of park and recreation facilities is connecting them to each other and ensuring that alternative transportation options exist for people to get to parks.
The Outdoor Foundation’s Barriers to the Outdoors report found that lack of transportation was one of the top barriers to greater participation in outdoor recreation activities (Outdoor Foundation 2010).
Connecting parks to their neighborhoods, downtown areas, or other recreation facilities through trails is one important way to improve access and increase participation in outdoor recreation (Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance 2007). As part of the community engagement effort for this SCORP update, the MDNR surveyed local park and recreation providers. They were asked about their priority infrastructure needs and investment plans. Over 70 percent of providers said trails were their priorities for local investment and that trails should be a priority for state investments as well (MDNR 2012).
Trails have been identified as a priority for the state as a whole for several years, and there are many groups working to address the need for cross-state “trunk” trails, regional connectors, and local connectors and loops. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance published Connecting Michigan: A Statewide Trailways Vision and Action Plan in 2007, and the state’s Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council is currently working on a statewide trails plan that will identify key motorized and non-motorized trail needs and connections.
SCORP Development Team
Ron Olson, Chief, Parks and Recreation Division
Donna Stine, Policy Coordinator, Parks and Recreation Division
Steve DeBraebander, Grants Section Manager
Sam Duncan, Grants Section
Rich Hill, District Supervisor
Maia Stephens, Recreation Programmer