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E-M:/ MUCC on parks issues



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Forwarded message.....


Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 15:00:29 -0400
From: Amanda Hathaway <mucc@voyager.net>
Reply-To: mucc@voyager.net
Organization: Michigan United Conservation Clubs
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01C-KIT  (Win95; U)
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To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: Keebler Co. and Hershey Chocolate USA: Official S-mores of the
State Parks
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I'm glad to see so many people are concerned with Michigan's state
parks.  They are an invaluble resource, providing outdoor recreational
opportunities for millions of visitors annually.

I would like to recommend that everyone who suggested we raise taxes or
increase general fund support send a copy of your e-mail to your state
representative.  In case you haven't noticed, state parks have
continually lost general fund support (their only revenue other than
admissions, which some consider to be very low priced) and we've had to
take special measures just to make sure they can operate.

MUCC worked hard to pass Proposal P in 1994, which created a Michigan
State Parks Endowment Fund, among other things. The Fund provides for
capital improvements, but not operational costs.  MUCC is currently
supporting an additional $50 million for a state park revitaliztion, as
part of the Governor's Clean Michigan Initiative.  (This package of
environmental bills has cleared the House, but not the Senate.)

And let's not forget the effects of the DNR's early retirement buyout,
which drastically reduced the number of employees in the Parks and
Recreation Division.  Under this government reduction/retirement plan, I
believe only one employee can be hired for every four that left.  A lack
of funding is clearly the largest crisis out state parks are facing.

This forces the Parks and Recreation Division to find new sources of
funding, which is exactly what the Keebler/Hershey plan accomplishes. 
Increase of general fund support has not been an option for the
Division.  And if we do need corporate support, why are coupons so
offensive?  We're not talking about Keebler or Hershey stores in the
parks, just coupons being handed out.  Sure, they may promote the deal
at supermarkets, but state park visitors and reservation holders will
only receive coupons.  

Coupons seems like a very inoffensive form of commercialization, and our
state parks desperately need help.  As I am a member of the Citizens
Committee for Michigan State Parks, I'd be glad to pass along any
further comments or suggestions you park supporters have.

Amanda Hathaway
Michigan United Conservation Clubs 
P.O. Box 30235
Lansing, MI 48909
(517)346-6488
http://www.mucc.org

P.S. Molly, I love your too small to make a difference quote, and plan
to use it if you don't object.



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