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E-M:/ Pictured Rocks:5-Year Plan & Road update

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

Comments sought on 5 year Plan Draft

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has released a draft five year strategic
plan, and are seeking public comment by August 22 on the draft.  This plan is
apparently prompted by provisions of the Government Performance and Results
Act of 1993 requiring each federal agency to prepare such a plan (either unit
by unit, as the Park Service is doing, or agency wide).  The press release
states that GPRA is intended to streamline agency operations "with an aim
towards increased efficiency and cost savings," and Superintendent Grant
Petersen acknowledges that the effort is in part related to expectations of
limited funding in the future.  While not actually modifying the General
Management Plan or the Resources Management Plan for the park, this plan
should probably be viewed as the prioritization within that overall plan, and
thus of interest to those concerned about when projects of particular interest
may be completed.

The draft plan is about 26 pages long and available by contacting Pictured
Rocks at (906) 387-2607, writing to them at PO Box 40, Munising, MI  49862, or
electronically at PIRO_Administration@NPS.gov

The Road that Wouldn't Die...

In addition, those concerned about the continued presence of the Beaver Basin
Rim Road in the future of Pictured Rocks should take note of an article in the
Northwoods Call that says Alger County is considering closing part of H-58,
the road that connects Grand Marais and Munising.  H-58 is a bad sand and
gravel road, and could use some serious fixing up, but there is probably more
to this than concern about broken axles.  Forces in Alger County have recently
called for rescission of previous actions taken to support removal of the
Beaver Basin Rim Road from the legislation that created the park, and to push
for funding to upgrade H-58.  

Apparently, the wheels of politics have been moving much to slow for these
folks, and concern is growing that if the Beaver Basin threat isn't alive
there will be no pressure to get H-58 upgraded. Unfortunately, the political
neophytes here don't seem to recognize how notoriously slow political wheels
turn, and that they turn even slower when it comes to road funding in an era
where roads have hit the top priority in many Michiganders minds.  A bill has
been introduced by Congressman Bart Stupak, with cosponsorship by Vern Ehlers,
to try to get H-58 funded, and this closure threat is certainly tied to
expectations that such a move will spur action on the bill.

Encouraging your member of Congress to cosponsor Mr. Stupak's bill would be a
good move to try to move the process to resolution.  If you would like to
encourage your Congressional Representative to add his/her name to the bill,
just contact your rep and tell them to ask Stupak to add them onto the bill.  
(I apologize for not having the bill number, but someone else undoubtedly has
it at his/her fingertips.)

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