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E-M:/ Army Corps denies Homestead's Crystal River golf course application

Friday afternoon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the Homestead Resort's application to fill wetlands and build a golf course and housing development along the Crystal River in Leelanau County, next to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  This may be the most important and positive development in almost 14 years of state and federal litigation over this unique northern Michigan ecosystem.  The next few months will determine where things go from here, but momentum is now strongly on the side of the river.
The Friends of the Crystal River would like to thank everyone on this list who submitted comments or supported the river through the course of this situation.  This includes MUCC, NWF, MEC, the Sierra Club, Audobon, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Trout Unlimited, the Michigan Land Use Institute, NMEAC, the Friends of the Cedar River, Three Lakes Association, Lake Michigan Federation, and countless others.     
What follows is the statement the Friends of the Crystal River in response to this news.  The full decision is supposed to be on the Army Corps' website this afternoon, and I will post the URL on this list then. 

For Immediate Release

Date: July 10, 2000

Subject: Crystal River and Adjacent Wetlands Corps of Engineer Denial of Homestead Resort’s Application for Wetlands Permit

From: Barbara Weber, President of the Friends of Crystal River and Olson, Noonan & Bzdok, P.C.

The Friends of Crystal River’s struggle to prevent the development of a large golf course and residential complex over the Crystal River and its unique swale wetlands is coming to an end. On Friday, July 7, 2000, the Detroit District Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it had denied the permit for the project, bringing to a close the final stage of a long, arduous series of state and federal agency and court decisions, spanning nearly fourteen years.

"The Corps of Engineers has upheld the integrity and intent of federal wetland laws and regulations, and brought firm, clear protection to the Crystal River," said Barbara Weber, the Friend’s President. "We are thankful for the result, and we appreciate the monumental support from many citizens and a faithful coalition of national and state environmental and conservation organizations, "she added."This represents the fruits of the labor of many people. "Thank goodness for the Detroit Office of the Corps and Region V of the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago,"she said. "Beginning with federal the federal court ruling a few years ago, federal law mandates that this matter should be finally determined by the Corps, and the Corps has done so."

Contacts: Barbara Weber, President, Friends of Crystal River, 231-386-9825

Jim Olson or Chris Bzdok, Olson, Noonan & Bzdok, P.C., 231-946-0044

Chris Bzdok
Olson, Noonan & Bzdok, P.C.
P.O. Box 2358
Traverse City, MI  49685
(231) 946-0044