Welcome to Michigan State Parks on the Air (MSPOTA)
MSPOTA is Michigan’s version of the very successful ARRL National Parks on the Air. MSPOTA began with a conversation between myself and another Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) employee. I happened to describe NPOTA to one of our Parks & Recreation Division Chiefs and she replied “Why aren’t we doing that for our centennial?” Several conference calls later and MSPOTA began to take shape. After reaching out to ARRL Michigan Section Manager, Larry Camp and seeking ready and skilled team members from the NPOTA active Michigan Ham community the signal began to propagate.
The overall 100th anniversary of Michigan State parks will be celebrated in 2019 with a soft start in 2017. MSPOTA will run consistent with those centennial dates. The event includes 117 MDNR Parks & Recreation sites including State Parks, Recreation Areas, Scenic Sites and State Trails rotated over the 3 years. That adds up to about 50 parks across the state active in each event year. One park in each of the 4 Lower Peninsula regions will be active in all event years as will all 24 of the Upper Peninsula parks. The schedule is such that regardless of what region of the state you are in there will always be parks to work during the event. Awards will be available on a variety of schemes. The MDNR will be printing 500 custom QSL cards for each park. which will be available by SASE.
MSPOTA is not just another ham radio contact program, it is a furthering of the already strong relationship between the State of Michigan and the Amateur Radio Service. Amateur Radio is an active part of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division’s “AuxComm” auxiliary communications initiative. We encourage you to keep perfecting your EMCOMM skills in mind as you participate in MSPOTA. Our ARES/RACES relationship with the State of Michigan is one of the reasons that the MDNR has partnered with MSPOTA and is taking an active role with us. MDNR P&R sees MSPOTA as an opportunity to promote its centennial and amateur radio as well. In fact during our first meeting with them they were offering more off shoot program potentials than we could keep up with. We hope you find MSPOTA as an opportunity to get outdoors and get on the air. 73 Will, W8WDR