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E-M:/ Great Lakes Fisheries Trust on H-M Forest Habitat



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 14:37:46 -0400
From: "Great Lakes Fisheries Trust" <glft@pscinc.com>
To: <glin-announce@great-lakes.net>
Subject: GLIN==> Great Lakes Fishery Trust News Release
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NEWS RELEASE

GREAT LAKES FISHERY TRUST PARTNERS WITH THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND AND 
HURON-MANISTEE NATIONAL FOREST TO PROTECT CRITICAL HABITAT
_______________________________________________

CONTACTS:
Jack Bails, 517/371-7468
Great Lakes Fishery Trust
Al Raymond, 612/338-8494 ext. 104
The Trust for Public Land
Tracy Tophoven, 231/775-5023
Huron-Manistee National Forest


MICHIGAN-The Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) joins The Trust for Public 
Land (TPL) and the U.S. Forest Service in announcing the protection of 
nearly 6,000 acres of river frontage and upland forest land across seven 
Lower Michigan counties.

Located within the Huron-Manistee National Forest, the lands are a mixture 
of wetlands and old growth forest, including almost six miles of river 
frontage on the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers.  With its variety of rivers, 
streams, and forests, the property provides numerous recreational 
opportunities along the North Country National Scenic Trail and protects 
critical habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Once owned by the Consumers Energy Company (formerly Consumers Power), the 
lands total 5,973 acres throughout Alcona, Crawford, Manistee, Mecosta, 
Newaygo, Oscoda, and Wexford Counties.  In a 1996 court settlement, nearly 
11,000 acres of land were transferred from the company to the GLFT, which 
was authorized to sell the lands to generate funds to support Great Lakes 
fishery restoration projects.  The Forest Service approached the TPL to 
help protect GLFT lands within the boundaries of the Huron-Manistee 
National Forest.  TPL purchased the lands from GLFT and conveyed them to 
the forest.

Funding of the acquisition was approved by the U.S. Congress through the 
Land and Water Conservation Fund, with critical support coming from members 
of the Michigan Congressional delegation, especially senators Carl Levin 
and Spencer Abraham, and Congressman Dave Camp.

"In many years of working on behalf of Michigan's natural resources, this 
project stands out as a unique and ingenious effort to ensure the health 
and vitality of our state's rivers, streams and fisheries," stated Senator 
Carl Levin.   "I was pleased to be a strong supporter of this special 
project, which will benefit Michigan's residents and visitors for years to 
come."

Senator Spencer Abraham said: "I am pleased to have worked successfully on 
behalf of this unique land conservation project.  Setting aside such 
sensitive land brings multiple benefits to Michigan's natural resources and 
ensures protection of our forests and fisheries for future generations."

"Our work to acquire this land is a unique opportunity to protect the 
habitat of one of mid-Michigan's most famous birds - the Kirtland's warbler 
- and other animals, as well as to preserve a wide variety of wetland 
habitats," Congressman Dave Camp said.  "It is a great example of teamwork 
between the federal government and conservation groups."

These lands include some of the most critical wildlife habitat in the state 
of Michigan, sheltering threatened and endangered species such as the 
Kirtland's warbler (the most rare migratory songbird), Karner blue 
butterfly, and bald eagle.  This remote mixture of river frontage, forest 
lands, and wetlands also supports a range of other wildlife, including wild 
orchids, sandhill cranes, and black bears.

Support from the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) was instrumental 
in obtaining the necessary funding.  James Goodheart, Executive Director of 
MUCC and a trustee of the GLFT, said:  "The transfer of this property to 
the United States Forest Service will accomplish two major public 
purposes.  By placing these lands in public ownership the natural resource 
values can be protected while providing excellent opportunities for 
hunters, anglers and others who can now use them for a wide variety of 
recreational purposes.  In addition, the funds generated from this sale 
will be used by the trust to enhance the Great Lakes fishery resources 
through grants to government agencies, nonprofit conservation organizations 
and universities for fisheries research, habitat protection, education, and 
fishing access."

By securing this property, the TPL and the Huron-Manistee National Forest 
are helping to prevent development on these critical lands and to aid in 
the protection of wildlife and fishery resources that contribute to high 
quality of recreational opportunities in Michigan.  "This purchase includes 
many tracts that fit into our current National Forest ownership like 
missing pieces of a puzzle," said Acting Forest Supervisor John 
Serfass.  "With the decreasing amount of undeveloped land remaining in this 
part of Michigan, these new public lands will become increasingly important 
as havens for wildlife and fish, as well as for people who enjoy our 
natural environment."

The Great Lakes Fishery Trust is a private foundation established in 1996 
to mitigate for damages to the Great Lakes fishery caused by the Ludington 
Pumped Storage Facility.   Since its inception, the GLFT has provided over 
$8.6 million in grants to government agencies, nonprofit conservation 
organizations and universities to improve Great Lakes fishery.

####

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

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