Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

Cavitt Pitches Plan To Prioritize Michigan Campers 

04/01/24 12:43 PM By Team MIRS

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 03/29/2024) Rep. Cam Cavitt (R-Cheboygan) has introduced legislation giving Michigan residents priority access to state parks and forests, which he called a unique perk to incentivize living in Michigan.  

Cavitt’s HB 5597, which was introduced on March 19, would require the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to make state park and forest reservations available to Michigan residents first, for a least two weeks, before opening reservations to out-of-state campers.  

The requirement would apply to campgrounds, shelters, cabins, yurts or lodge reservations.  

Cavitt said right now, campers can begin making reservations six months in advance of their planned trips. By Jan. 8, 2024, one in three campsites across Michigan were already booked, he said, and spots at popular campsites, like Cheboygan and Thompson Harbor state parks, can fill up within hours of becoming available.  

“It’s great to see so many people interested in camping in Michigan,” Cavitt said, "but some of our most popular parks fill up so quickly that state residents have less than 20 minutes to get a spot before they’re gone. 

“There should be perks to living in Michigan. People who pay taxes that contribute directly to the quality of the parks should be able to get first dibs in vacationing to those parks,” he said. “Camping is supposed to be relaxing. Michigan families shouldn’t have to plan their vacations by huddling around a computer in December and praying for a nice campsite.” 

Cavitt’s HB 5597 was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee, where it awaits further consideration.