Update: Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Prop 1, in a significant victory for the future of Michigan’s water, wildlife and parks. The passage of this ballot measure will help ensure Michigan’s incredible natural resources are preserved and protected for Michiganders today and for future generations. Read below on why the NRDC Action Fund supported this vital measure.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) is integral to the preservation and protection of Michigan’s cherished water, wildlife and public parks. This November, Michiganders will have the opportunity to expand the work of the MNRTF and help safeguard Michigan’s natural resources for future generations by voting yes on Proposal 1.
Since 1976, The MNRTF has helped fund land conservation and public recreation. The Trust has funded over 1,000 public parks in all of Michigan’s 83 counties, acquired over 140,000 acres for public use, and distributed over $1.2 billion in grants.
The MNRTF is funded by royalties from private industries that extract from public lands. Currently, there is a cap on how much funding the MNRTF is able to receive, and that $500 million cap has been reached. Michigan has more natural water area than any other state in the country, and removing the cap will ensure that these areas can be adequately protected. A yes vote will not only lift the cap, it will ensure resources from the Trust can be used not just on acquiring new public lands, but sustainably redeveloping Michigan’s existing outdoor spaces.
What specifically does Prop 1 change to the Fund?
- Allows the MNRTF to receive revenues from the royalties on oil, gas, and mining operations on state-owned land once the State Park Endowment Fund (SPEF) reaches its asset cap.
- Requires at least 25% of Trust Fund disbursements be made available for development, renovation and redevelopment of public recreation facilities, and at least 25% for land acquisition and protection.
- Allows up to 50% of Trust Fund annual revenue, plus interest and earnings, to be expended each fiscal year.
- Requires at least 20% of the money expended from the State Parks Endowment Fund goes towards capital improvements at state parks.
Every Michigander deserves equitable access to open space, beautiful public lands, and safe and clean drinking water. By supporting this ballot measure and voting yes on Proposal One, we can protect the land around clean water sources, continue to invest in local economies, and preserve Michigan’s remarkable natural resources for future generations.