A pioneering agreement between Michigan and federal government for national parks

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Manage episode 326238464 series 2920850
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On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, conversations with two State of Michigan officials about the announcement of an agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) to work together and develop programs for more sustainable and equitable travel to NPS lands.

The announcement coincided with other Earth Week events across the state and featured a visit from Charles F. Sams III, who was sworn in Dec. 16, 2021, as NPS director, the first tribal citizen to lead the service in its 106-year history.

(Video story of the event.)

First, Trevor Pawl, Michigan’s chief mobility officer, explains the potential opportunities from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announced Tuesday, April 19, between NPS and several state departments.

Some of the possibilities include installing more charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, something NPS has already begun.

Later, Jean Ruestman, who directs MDOT’s Office of Passenger Transportation and a key player in developing the MOU, joins the podcast to talk about the potential to provide broader accessibility to the parks.

She also explains how the Michigan Mobility Challenge, highlighted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019, could provide a model for inspiring ideas to increase access to the national parks.
Podcast photo: Morning fog in Yellowstone River Valley. National Park Service photo by Neal Herbert.

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