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E-M:/ Your Oakland University Update

Enviro-Mich message from Todd Scott <bikerboy@mich.com>

The following is with regards to Oakland
University's plans to expand their golf
course through the forest on the south end
of campus...

>I'll start this update by thanking those who
>have taken the time to write the OU President
>(russi@oakland.edu).  I've gotten plenty of
>rousing encouragement but I've also heard
>"they're going to build the golf course
>We'll I'm pleased to report that changes are
>underway.  According to the OU Provost,
>the golf course construction has been halted
>for now while further discussion takes place.
>All the letters to the President, Trustees,
>and newpapers are helping.  It's not too late
>to send yours!
>I just received most of the results from my
>Freedom of Information Act request.  While
>I haven't had a chance to study them
>thoroughly, I'm starting to see why some of
>these documents haven't been made available.
>First, the current golf course is not a big
>money maker for the University, contributing
>less than $150,000 a year in the mid-90's.
>It made most of it's money early on and that's
>why the OU Administration only quotes a
>contribution of "$30 million over 25 years."
>Second, there are just under 4 miles of
>wooded, singletrack trails through the forest.
>The golf course construction eliminates 2
>miles of trail and adds 3.6 miles.  However,
>none of the trail will be singletrack, will
>probably be paved, and will meander around
>the golf course holes.  It looks more like a
>golf course path, in fact, that may be what
>it is.  I haven't received all the information
>on that yet.  It's called a walking path, so
>bikes may or may not be allowed.  Again, I
>don't know yet.
>Third, a survey of current golf users in '96
>found only 51% willing to contribute to
>expanding the course.  84% were satisfied with
>the existing course.
>Fourth, approximately 800 acres of the OU
>property are undeveloped.  The expanded course
>would consume 280, while a proposed Performing
>Arts Center at Squirrel and Butler would
>take another 25 to 30.  From my maps, much
>of the remaining land is considered wetlands.
>Fifth, the OU Administration sent a damage
>control document to the entire staff and
>faculty regarding the construction.  1,400
>copies of a rebuttal from faculty were
>distributed shortly afterwards.
>Sixth, it appears that no environmental impact
>studies have been initiated exept for what is
>required around the wetlands (and the course
>affects a minimal amount of wetlands, most
>likely because they fall under the jurisdiction
>of the State and the cities of Auburn Hills
>and Rochester Hills.)
>On a similar note, today's OU student newspaper
>has a front page story on the golf course, 3
>editorials and 1 article from a professor all
>opposed to the golf course.
>Bill Rogers, the head of golf course operations,
>told a local concerned citizen not to worry about
>the deer, they'll migrate to Utica.  This is the
>same guy who offered to put up some birdhouses along
>the course to lessen the environmental impact.
>The Administration is having a damage control
>open meeting today as I write this.
>The Board of Trustees meet tomorrow at 2pm in
>the Gold Room at the Oakland Center.  There
>are a handful of people speaking against the
>course.  A protest is planned as well.  I'll
>be there and I hope to see some of you!
>If things go as planned, my first website goes
>on line Monday:  WWW.OUforest.org.  :^)
>Now write President Russi!  Oakland County and
>State taxes fund this institution.  You have
>a voice in setting its direction.
>Todd Scott
>Buy direct from participating companies through Cyber
>Cyclery's Shop! section at http://cyclery.com/shop/

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