Posts Tagged ‘state parks’

oil wellRevenue from oil and gas wells is now the primary funding source for the agency overseeing state parks and forests, according to a new legislative analysis.

For the first time with the new state budget, revenue from the separate Oil and Gas Lease Fund contributes more to operate the Department of Conservation and Natural Resour­ces (DCNR) than the taxpayer-supported General Fund, said the House Democratic Appro­­priations Committee.

“With the 2013-14 budget, a much greater share of personnel costs for DCNR’s park rangers, foresters, lifeguards, civil engineers, geologists and other professionals will be financed with drilling revenues in the years to come,” the analysis said.

This year, DCNR received $106 million from the oil and gas fund – more than one-third of its entire budget – and $72 million from the General Fund.

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Campers in Michigan State ParkThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced it wants to hear from residents interested in spending their summer enjoying Michigan’s great outdoors while providing a valuable service, serving as hosts at Michigan state parks and state forest campgrounds for the 2013 camping season.

Hosts direct visitors to their campsites, answer questions about the park or state forest, arrange campground activities and perform light maintenance and other services, depending on their talents and interests. In return for their volunteer service, hosts are allowed to camp in the state park or state forest campground at no charge.

Hosts can be individuals or teams. They must be at least 18 years old, provide 30 hours of service per week (including weekends and holidays), serve a minimum of four consecutive weeks and furnish their own camping unit, equipment and personal items. Some host assignments will begin as early as April, with some assignments lasting through October.

Successful applicants are chosen by park and forest managers, who may require an interview or request additional information. Selection is based on the individual’s familiarity with the state park or state forest system, his or her camping experience, special skills, availability, knowledge of the area, and the needs of the specific park or forest campground.

Host training for the 2013 camping season will be held sometime in middle to late April 2013 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. Special arrangements can be made for those who cannot make the training dates.

Applications and information about the host program are available on the DNR website, Those interested in serving as campground hosts at a state park should apply directly to the park of their choice.

For more information on the DNR’s campground host program in state parks or state forest campgrounds, contact Miguel Rodriguez at (517) 241-4129.

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Campsite  at a Maryland State ParkThe Maryland Park Service (MPS) has reopened all but 11 of Maryland’s 66 state parks after extensive cleanup and repairs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Seven of the reopened parks are open with limited services, some without electric power, while the remaining parks are open and fully operational. The 11 closed parks will remain closed as crews continue to clean up and repair infrastructure.

The following parks will remain closed until further notice:

  • Herrington Manor (Garrett County)
  • Swallow Falls (Garrett County)
  • New Germany (Garrett County)
  • Deep Creek Lake (Garrett County)
  • Dans Mountain (Allegany County)
  • Cunningham Falls (Frederick County)
  • Assateague (Worcester County)
  • Janes Island (Somerset County)
  • Pocomoke (Worcester County)
  • Martinak (Caroline County)
  • Wye Island (Queen Anne’s County)

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of DNR’s Park Service, Forest Service and Engineering and Construction Unit, the majority of Maryland’s State Parks have been restored to a safe condition for our visitors,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “These employees have worked non-stop to ensure that our state parks are open and available to the public, and they will continue to do so until all parks are open.”

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