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E-M:/ Fw: Addendum to (RE: House Bill 4516)

For all of you EnviroMich followers, I sent this addendum to Representative Brackenridge today.  If you have comments on House Bill 4516, send them to Rep. Brackenridge and Rep. Hammarstrom.
-----Original Message-----
From: Delavan Sipes <delavan@cybersol.com>
To: Bob Brackenridge <rbracke@house.state.mi.us>
Date: Tuesday, September 01, 1998 10:33 AM
Subject: Addendum to (RE: House Bill 4516)

Dear Bob,
Some additional comments on the note sent to you yesterday.
Higgins Lake is not denying the public the use of the lake.  It has two state parks with launch sites and yet a third public launch site.
It not a typical Michigan lake.  It is considerably larger than most, and there are only six lakes in the lower peninsula that are larger.  Because of this uniqueness, I do not believe Higgins Lake problems to be a state issue.  Their issues should be resolved at the local level.  There are several townships around Higgins Lake, and those Boards of Trustees are the people who should be working in concert on these issues. 
I am not saying that keyholing is not a problem on smaller lakes.  It is a problem that becomes more emphatic on smaller lakes.  Such development for the sake of a few tax dollars is destroying our inland lakes.  Let me take you on a mental tour of tour of Paw Paw Lake.
The year is 1940.  Motorboats are few.  There a many sailboats, canoes and rowboats.  The shoreline abounds with natural vegetation, i.e., grasses, swamp buttercup, cattails, etc.,.  The near shore littoral zone has acres of pond lilies, reeds, cattails, etc.,.  The shoreline habitat supports frogs, insects and aquatic life necessary to sustain the ecosystem. There are a few steamers, like the Honeymoon, Margaret and others, that pick up passengers at the Ellinee and transport them to the various hotels around the lake, and there are private homes on the lake.  Ellinee, Crystal Palace and Woodward Pavilions all provide dancing nightly with big bands.  Along with this idyllic setting was a portent of things to come.  Septic systems dumped raw sewage in the lake.
The year is 1998.  There are 828 boats with motors on the lake and another 355 personal watercraft.  It is a safety issue when any of the 393 unpowered watercraft try to take to the lake on a busy day.  The 456 private homes are spread over 48,891 feet of shoreline.  Their are six condominium complexes (185 families) on 2500 feet of shoreline, and a developer fighting to put between 45 - 90 more families on the lake. 
People who don't understand the need for a shoreline habitat, tear out the weeds and cover the bottom with sand.  There has been no local effort to exert control and the new DEQ/DNR does not have the people power to do so.
High speed boating creates huge waves exceeding the magnitude of storm waves.  They roll in to shore from all directions and rapidly erode property frontage.  In an effort to restore their land, people install breakwalls (seawalls) to prevent the erosion.  These reflect the energy of the waves back into the lake where they join with other waves and increase the erosion elsewhere on the lake, resulting in more seawalls with further loss of natural habitat.  The developer wants to dredge a part of one of two remaining wetlands, which are the only pike spawning areas remaining.  A flood control dam prevents flooding of low lying homes, many of which were built on fill over wetland, but they should never have been built there at all.
There are hundreds of reasons why the use of a lake should be limited, and next to none that support turning it into a sterile swimming pool and high density boat dockage.
Very truly yours.
Delavan Sipes