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E-M:/ Geographically Challenged in Michigan

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


The Michigan Capitol Press Corps seems to have picked up on Senator David
Jaye's geographically challenged comments regarding the DNR Budget bill.
Below are his comments, recorded at his request in the Senate Journal for July

""Madam Governor and Senate colleagues, there were a number of meritorious
items in the DNR budget, except one of them, to spend $1 million of taxpayer
dollars to establish a CCC camp in Alberta, Canada, was not one of them.
Michigan has got more publically owned forest land than any other state east
of the Mississippi.  In fact, a number of those forests were planted by CCC
individuals, including some members of my family who were on welfare during
the Depression, and they were planted in Michigan.

"We have unmet needs.  We have a wish list from the Department of Natural
Resources for trail management, for forestry projects, for trail creation for
cross country skis anad snowmobiles, for trail maintenance, for the camping
site improvements.  We should be improving the tourism opportunities in the
state of Michigan, not in the province of Alberta, Canada.  A million dollars.
I don't even think Franklin Delano Roosevelt was liberal enough to spend a
million dollars out to Alberta.  The only good thing is that we're going to be
sending the welfare recipients out of the state of Michigan for a while, but I
do believe that on the project of parks restoration and other sorts of
physical plant improvement, that those kinds of resources should be spent here
in Michigan. I know that $600,000 was federal pass-through money, but it was
the people's money, and $400,000 was the state taxpayer dollars.  Those CCC
project monies and those improvements in the parks should be established here
in Michigan.  Once we're done with sprucing up the Michigan trails and
creating new trails, then it might be appropriate to consider sending the
money to another state, but not another country.  This is unprecendented, and
that is why I voted "no" on this budget."

(After another Senator explained that they were sending the money to Alberta
MICHIGAN, in the UP, Mr. Jaye continued.)

"I rise for a point of explanation.  Thank you for clarifying that. I was
mistaken, and I appreciate the good humor in which he helped remind me of the
geography of the Upper Peninsula.  It's not the 51st state, and I would hope
that my comments would be reflective of the appropriate instruction by the
senior member of the Department of Natural Resources Committee.  A lot of
these budget bills are going through very quickly.  This summary was just
place on my desk today, and we didn't have that information that it was
located in Michigan.  So, thank you for that clarification, and I would have
voted "yes" then on the budget had I had a more full description."

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