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Re: E-M:/ Public Trust Doctrine

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

At 10:41 PM 9/17/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from HAMILTREEF@aol.com
>Some of my files were lost when I switched to a new computer including a site
>that defined and discussed the 'Public Trust Doctrine'.  I need a correct and
>clear description to pass on at a Muskegon County Commissioners meeting at
>3:30pm today.  Can anyone get to me the public trust doctrine info in a great
>hurry for the meeting?  Sorry about the short notice, but we are defending
>the 240-acre Hilt's Landing Nature Area (White River - Muskegon County) from
>a golf course and condos development.  Thanks. Tom Hamilton

Public Trust Doctrine for Publicly Owned Natural Resources

         The public trust doctrine is an acknowledgment that air, water, 
fish and wildlife are publicly owned natural resources to which all should 
have free and equal access.  It states that these resources are entrusted 
to the care of resource management agencies, whose duty is to manage them 
as a public trust, prohibiting conduct by any party that would make 
exclusive and/or near exclusive use of these resources.   Language 
articulating this public trust doctrine is found in a number of state 
constitutional enactments.

         Citizen participation and intervention frequently plays an 
important role in protecting the public trust in natural resources and 
monitoring the quality of decisions by resource management 
agencies.   Where these agencies fail to carry out their duties, many 
environmental statutes that emphasize the public trust empower citizens 
with the ability to go to court to protect public resources.

Here also is Article IV, Section 52 of the
Michigan Constitution (something Engler/Harding
should consider reading...)

 52 Natural resources; conservation, pollution, impairment, destruction.
Sec. 52. The conservation and development of the natural resources of the 
state are hereby declared to be of paramount public concern in the interest 
of the health, safety and general welfare of the people. The legislature 
shall provide for the protection of the air, water and other natural 
resources of the state from pollution, impairment and destruction.
History: Const. 1963, Art. IV,  52, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964 .

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

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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