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E-M:/ South Fox Island



    Last time I checked, public land belonged to all the citizens.  Now comes the DNR proposing to give away (swap) our land on South Fox Island to Mr. Johnson, a private citizen.  This does not make me happy.  The DNR has not been a good custodian of the lighthouse on South Fox Island, and maybe this can be changed.  However, not only is the DNR trading prime lakefront and possible Piping Plover habitat, but they will could public funds to buy North Fox Island.
    I'm sure they (DNR) did not want this deal to become public, but it has.  The information that the DNR has already staked out land for a road through the dunes reveals more brazen action on their part.  An article in the Nov 21 Traverse City Record Eagle covers the proposed road nicely.  See  http://www.record-eagle.com/2000/nov/21sfox.htm .  The article quotes Mindy Koch of the Department of Natural Resources as claiming that the intent is not to build a road, but to see if a road can be built.  Why would one see if a road could be built, if one did not plan to build a road?  The article also states that a public hearing on the permit application will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Leelanau Township Hall in Northport.  I question the scheduling of this hearing six days before Christmas, and wonder if the date was set to discourage public attendance?
    This proposed land deal is  very questionable, and becomes more so as more facts come out.  The deal is obviously not in the best interests of the citizens of the U.S.,  but stands to benefit Mr. Johnson a great deal.  This is one issue on which the environmentalists, hunters and lighthouse lovers agree.  No road through the dunes and no land swap!  Lets keep the land and lighthouse public and open for hunters, boaters and all citizens.  Write the DNR and FWS NOW, and let them know how you feel!
 
Lynn Livingston