As election day draws near, there are several campaigns circulating to bring awareness to Proposal 1 on the Michigan ballot. We have heard that many people might not understand what that means and what they are voting for.
For more than 40 years, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) has served as a key funding source for Michigan’s parks and recreation providers. It has allocated more than $1 billion to protect the state’s natural resources and to develop outdoor recreation opportunities for residents.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund began as the “Kammer Recreational Land Trust Fund Act of 1976.” It created the Michigan Land Trust Fund to provide a source of funding for the public acquisition of land for resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Funding was derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned minerals.
Lawmakers voted to give the MNRTF more discretion as long as at least 25% apiece is spent on land acquisition and park development, splitting the other 50% as needed. Because this would change the Michigan constitution, voters have the final say, when voting on November 3.
The amendment will ensure all future royalties are dedicated to conservation and recreation – removing the cap for good. The goal is the following:
- Allow flexibility to fund and update trails, playgrounds, accessible boat launches, and more in communities across the state, while continuing to prioritize land conservation and protection.
- Safeguard a stream of conservation and recreation funding granted to communities every year, while putting enough aside to save for future generations.
- Ensure a funding stream dedicated to improving the cherished outdoor places Michiganders use to support our mental and physical health – especially during these challenging times.
You can learn more about the Proposal 1 campaigns at https://miwaterwildlifeparks.com/, and https://protectmi.org/about-protectmi/ and explore what your vote really means at https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_Proposal_1,_Use_of_State_and_Local_Park_Funds_Amendment_(2020). Be sure to explore what Proposal 1 means to you and get out and vote on Tuesday, November 3.