FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2011
Contact: Sara Wurfel
LANSING, Mich. - Governor Rick Snyder today signed legislation authorizing $102.1 million in grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). The bill funds 117 recreation projects and land acquisitions that were recommended by the MNRTF board in December.
"These projects enhance the quality of life in communities across Michigan," Snyder said. "They provide a boost to local economies and support new outdoor recreational opportunities that residents and visitors can enjoy for years to come. We applaud the work of the Trust Fund board as well as the Legislature's prompt action on this bill."
Snyder called for the bill during his State of the State address in January. Senate Bill 140 was sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart. It is now Public Act 16 of 2011. The MNRTF board had considered 165 applications for development and acquisition projects totaling $140.4 million. They were competitively evaluated based on scoring criteria developed by the board.
The trust fund is a restricted fund that was established in 1976 to provide a source of funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation. The funding is derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned mineral rights. In 1985, Michigan voters chose to make the MNRTF part of Michigan's constitution, ensuring this program's future.
"Michigan is a national leader in providing diverse, high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities," said Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes. "The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has enabled us to protect and preserve the places that make Michigan special, and it has provided funds to local communities in every county in our state for the purpose of getting our residents and visitors outdoors to enjoy what we have to offer."
In nearly 35 years of operation, the MNRTF has awarded more than $873 million toward land acquisition and public outdoor recreation development projects for the DNR and local communities in every county throughout Michigan.
A list of the final recommendations made by the Trust Fund board is available at www.michigan.gov/snyder.