Posts Tagged ‘Department of Natural Resources’

Campers in Michigan State Park

Campers in Michigan State Park

The Department of Natural Resources is now accepting campground host applications with positions available as early as April and as late as October, 2015.

Campground hosts are responsible for 30 hours of service per week, including directing visitors to their campsites, answering questions about the park or recreation area, planning campground activities and performing light park maintenance duties. Volunteer duties take place throughout the summer (including weekends and holidays), with a minimum commitment of four consecutive weeks.

Individuals and/or teams (such as husband and wife) at least 18 years old are eligible to apply for campground host positions. Hosts must furnish their own camping unit, equipment and personal items.

Hosts are screened and interviewed by site managers and selection is based on familiarity with the state park system, camping experience, special skills, availability and knowledge of the area.

New campground hosts are required to attend training, which will take place June 3-4, 2015, at the Ralph A. MacMullan Center in Roscommon, Michigan.

For additional information about the DNR’s Campground Host Program and how to apply, go to www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers or contact Miguel Rodriguez at 517-284-6127.

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Minnesota’s troubled campground reservations system for state parks relaunched smoothly Thursday (March 22), officials said.

The system crashed shortly after launching March 1. Officials had expected to take 4,500 reservations in the entire day when it was overwhelmed with 4,500 hits in its first hour.

On Thursday, it averaged only about 100 to 130 visitors an hour for the first few hours, said Courtland Nelson, director of the Parks and Trails Division of the Department of Natural Resources, who told reporters he was “quietly pleased.”

Users created about 400 new accounts and made a little over 125 reservations by mid-afternoon, and the system never reached capacity, he said.

Under the DNR’s phased relaunch plan, reservations were accepted Thursday for arrival dates through April 21. From Friday through Sunday, they will be accepted through May 12. A bigger test will come Monday when sites can be reserved through the Memorial Day weekend, Nelson said. More dates will be added through April 2, when system will start taking reservations for a year in advance.

The new system adds features the old system lacked, including the ability to let campers view pictures of individual campsites before selecting them.

Minnesota’s state parks will have to close at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 30th  if there is no budget agreement before then, the state Department of Natural Resources says.

That could mean headaches for campers and less revenue for the DNR but more money for private campground operators.
More than 3,000 campsites in state parks have been reserved for the July 4 weekend.

Campers disrupted by a shutdown will get refunds. Those wishing to cancel before then can do so but only those waiting until Monday will avoid cancellation fees. In either case, they need to do it by phone.

The DNR also says it expects it would stop issuing fishing, boat and all-terrain vehicle licenses during a shutdown. State forest campground also will be closed.

The DNR, which runs 66 parks and six recreation areas, expects to lose about $1 million during each week of a shutdown. That includes income from camping fees, vehicle permits, and sales of firewood and merchandise. Campers also spend money in the towns around parks, and the agency projects a $12 million hit to the tourism economy each week.

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