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Re: E-M:/ Re: Old Growth Meeting



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Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <ritaj@flint.umich.edu>
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Tim and Rich and Ted and others on the Michigan Old Growth / 
Biodiversity Team:

It sure seems to me that item number 2 on the June 6 meeting agenda - 
"discussion of draft public participation" - should have been number 
one on the agenda 6 years ago, and today, and the other items 
shouldn't even have been discussed until it was in place and working. 
 
In the work that I do with watershed monitoring and management, we 
are expected to include the public in all aspects.  This is part of 
the process outlined by the MDEQ, our other state agency whose 
mission and focus is safeguarding of our environment and natural 
resources.  I  have probably read 30 different watershed management 
plans from all over Michigan - and they ALL include a public 
participation component.  The public is defined as STAKEHOLDERS.  The 
definition of stakeholders, for our uses, is "anyone who can impact 
or IS IMPACTED BY a decision in the watershed."  For the purposes of 
our State Forests, this would certainly include all residents and 
citizens in Michigan, not just the timber industry and not just the 
agencies.  This would appear to be a fact accepted by our two 
environmental / natural resource oriented state agencies, because 
they REQUIRE it whenever they fund a project. (Read - whenever 
taxpayers fund a project.)  The two components of our stakeholder 
inclusions are public education by us, and INPUT BY THEM.  

Stakeholders must be included on these discussions of what to do with 
and how to protect and preserve our natural heritage, and where 
should the protected areas be.  I know it adds extra steps and time 
and sometimes the stakeholders throw a curve ball, and they don't 
always want to go along with what the agencies think is best.  I know 
this because I've seen it, too.  But - we are the ones impacted by 
decisions in our watershed - and we must be part of the process.  You 
folks have already taken 6 years.

Rich and Folks -  Let us into the meetings.  Let us have input.  
Starting with this meeting on June 6.

-Rita Jack, Hartland, Michigan, and a lifelong Michigan resident who 
is filled with awe by our forests.
*******************
1 Jun 2000, at 18:30, Tim Flynn wrote:

Rich,
Thanks for the reply.  A few comments below:
> Tim, 
> 
> To be sure, the meeting is still private.  However, to help you
> folks out and to let you know that we, the DNR, aren't just
> twiddling our thumbs,  here's the tenative agenda for next week's
> meeting:

First, there's no way the process can be characterized as timely,
twiddling has been going on.  It's been 6 years since the Division
Chief's signed the policy.  At least a quarter million acres of
clearcuts ago!

> 1.  Discussion of 3rd draft version of OG Criteria and Guidelines by
> Committee

Second, a *third* draft?   This is exactly the type of process I've
always been concerned about!  The public should be allowed in before
the DNR has drawn a line in the sand, so to speak.

The longer this process stays internal to the DNR, the less you'll be
willing to change direction.  Once the owners actually get to see
where you are going, the track will already be set, our input will
have little effect, your minds will be made up.  This is just human
nature, and I've seen the DNR go down this path too often in the 
past.
 Please donıt do it on such an important matter as protection of
native habitat.

Why are we excluded?  Why are 100 year old White Pines clearcut?  Why
are appeals of these decisions denied?  Denied because the DNR claims
theyıve already considered and rejected these rare stands for
protection.

Yet, we are not even allowed to see what you have mapped in GIS, to
see if the consideration has merit.  This mapping effort by the
districts, which remains hidden from the public, 4 years later, is 
the
extent of the consideration given to the question of clearcutting
these old rare stands or protecting them.  

Youıve admitted the consideration was so sub-par that the public 
would
get the wrong idea if the map was made public.  They may also get the
wrong idea if they see one of Michiganıs critically endangered
habitats, old growth Red/White Pine, clearcut on such flimsy
consideration.

Why canıt we even comment on 1st, 2nd or now 3rd draft of guidelines?

> 2.  Discussion of  draft public participation and internal approval
> process of OG criteria, etc (along discussin of possible timelines
> for completion of various steps)

This is not a public participation plan, it's a public exclusion
plan!!!

I canıt be well, while I watch the last best places in our public
forests fall.  I am distressed by the lack of a plan for protection 
of
Michigan natural heritage, while at the same time the rarest of rare
habitats are being clearcut.

Sincerely disturbed by lack of action to protect Michigan's heritage,

Tim Flynn

PS, please share my comments with other members of the old growth
team.  I look forward to the Departmentıs and the Teamıs response.


> From: "Richard Hausler" <hauslerr@state.mi.us>
> Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 17:11:36 -0400
> To: <timf@mac.com>
> Cc: <REUSCHET@state.mi.us>
> Subject: Re: Old Growth Meeting
> 
> Tim, 
> 
> To be sure, the meeting is still private.  However, to help you
> folks out and to let you know that we, the DNR, aren't just
> twiddling our thumbs,  here's the tenative agenda for next week's
> meeting:
> 
> 1.  Discussion of 3rd draft version of OG Criteria and Guidelines by
> Committee
> 
> 2.  Discussion of  draft public participation and internal approval
> process of OG criteria, etc (along discussin of possible timelines
> for completion of various steps) 
> 
> 3.  Discussion and updates regarding a name for the entire state
> forest wide OG/biodiversity  network and plan.
> 
> 4.  Discussion of using Dennis Albert's land classification system
> for the entire state vis-a-vis  finer land classification  systems
> for delineating OG/natural process areas on state forest lands....
> 
> Be well
> 
> rich
> 
>
> 
> Rich Hausler
> Forest Mgt. Division
> Michigan Department of Natural Resources
> 517-335-3351
> hauslerr@state.mi.us
> 
>>>> Tim Flynn <timf@mac.com> 5/31/00 1:54:19 PM >>>
> Rich,
> 
> How about getting me the info I asked for even if the meetings are
> still private?  Ted's timeline must be finished by now!  And the
> agenda would help folks see what's up.
> 
> Tim
> 
>> From: "Richard Hausler" <hauslerr@state.mi.us>
>> Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 14:19:42 -0400
>> To: <timf@mac.com>
>> Subject: Re: Old Growth Meeting
>> 
>> Tim, 
>> 
>> We're sorry for the miscommunication.  Listing of the the old
>> growth committee meeting in the "DNR Calendar"  was done in error. 
>>  This is not a public meeting.  Opportunity for public input in
>> being provided at a later time.
>> 
>> Sincerely
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Rich Hausler
>> Forest Mgt. Division
>> Michigan Department of Natural Resources
>> 517-335-3351
>> hauslerr@state.mi.us
>> 
>>>>> Tim Flynn <timf@mac.com> 5/26/00 1:37:29 PM >>>
>>> PUBLIC MEETINGS, OPEN HOUSES, EVENTS, ETC.
>>> (SNIP)
>> 
>> 
>>> JUNE 6
>>> 9 a.m.
>>> OLD GROWTH COMMITTEE MEETING, Howard Johnson's, 913 Boulevard
>>> Drive, St. Ignace.  Contact:  Rich Hausler, 517-335-3351,
>>> hauslerr@state.mi.us.
>> 
>> Rich,
>> 
>> Can you send me an agenda for this meeting.  Also any other info
>> you have on the outline/timeline Ted Reuschel references below.
>> 
>> **Currently, a committee and two subcommittees are at work to meet
>> the challenge, of refining specific old growth criteria, and
>> developing guidelines for their management. To date, over 40 MDNR
>> staff members, including specialists, forest unit managers and
>> wildlife biologists, have been involved in these tasks. An outline
>> of the remaining tasks and timeline for completion is being
>> developed and should be finalized shortly.**  (Letter to a friend
>> from Ted after they had contacted the NRC about old growth, dated
>> Feb 3rd, 2000)
>> 
>> Thanks, Tim
>> 
>> 
> 
> 


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