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E-M:/ Hurrah! No race track on Michigan State Lands



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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From newspaper accounts in the northland, it appears that the proposal to
convert almost 1400 acres of state forest lands in the northern lower
peninsula to a race track has been definitively KILLED!!  The promoter of this
effort had tried to get the DNR to give him a block of state forest land for
his massive project, which he contended would bring 100,000 people at a shot
to remote locations in the upper lower to watch car races and other
activities. After trying the idea in Kalkaska, then Gaylord, then multiple
sites in Lake County, word is that he had packed up his hair-brained scheme
and is off to Kansas.  

The citizens in all three of these areas who effectively fought this battle
did a remarkable job against an unbelievably persistent opponent.  At each
stop, the proposer honed his effort, finally gaining local government support
in Lake County.  But in each case, people who understood the devastating
impact of this kind of facility, as well as those who just plain thought it
was crazy for the state to be in the business of converting forestland to race
tracks, held the line.

The biggest kudos go to the front line DNR folks, from Area Foresters, to
District Biologists, to Real Estate Division, etc., who just plain said this
was crazy, and that there was no justification for converting our
publicly owned natural resource base into something like this.  After years of
hearing Lansing politicos talk about how worthless state owned land is and how
we own too much of it, this issue helps to focus in on the fact that these are
irreplaceable resources that belong to all of us, and that giving this land to
a flashy entrepreneur with a get rich quick scheme was NOT in the public
interest!

Congratulations, and may all of our public land battles be victorious in the
future!!

Anne Woiwode


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