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Boating, outdoor activities help float area economy

June 11, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - From state parks to snowmobiling to boating, fishing and hunting, the economic impact to the state and region from these and other natural resources-based recreational activities continues to be substantial.

"There is no doubt that the state's natural resource-based recreation is a major player in the economy, especially in the Upper Peninsula," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Spokeswoman Debbie Munson Badini in Marquette. "The visitors and locals who participate in outdoor recreation opportunities give the economy a boost year-round by purchasing gear, staying at campgrounds, purchasing fish and game licenses and the Recreation Passport, and much more."

The DNR has produced a list of some of the impacts to the state's economy:

Article Photos

Mark Jones kayaks around Presque Isle in Marquette. (Journal photo by Taylor Jones)

Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes and rivers, more than 7,000 miles of canoeable streams, 13,000 miles of trout waters and more than 700 access sites, many of which are maintained by local governments or organizations in partnership with the DNR.

In Marquette County, there are 4,000 miles of rivers and streams, 55 miles of Lake Superior frontage and more than 1,800 inland lakes.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which provides money for recreation-related improvement projects and land purchases, using money from development of state-owned mineral resources, primarily oil and gas.

Since 1976, the Upper Peninsula has received millions of dollars in benefits from the trust fund granting program. The funds have allowed development of numerous recreation projects, which in turn, allow the area to provide more recreational opportunities, which positively affects the local and regional economy.

Land purchases have involved public recreation or protection of properties for their environmental importance or scenic beauty.

According the the DNR, Keweenaw County has received $5.3 million in trust fund dollars since 1976, the most of any U.P. county. Marquette County is second with $4.8 million. Delta and Dickinson counties have each received $1.4 million. Houghton County has received $1.6 million, Alger County, $880,240, Baraga County, $826,600 and Luce County $114,393.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is



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