I am forwarding this for Alison and David Swan of Concerned Citizens for Saugatuck Dunes. Please note WMEAC's voted opposition is to construction on lands IN or ADJACENT to Park property.|
Tom Leonard, Executive Director
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
1514 Wealthy SE, Suite 280
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
New email: email@example.com
From: "swanswan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 00:20:25 -0500
To: "Tom at WMEAC" <email@example.com>
Subject: for enviro mich
Please forward this one.
----- Original Message -----
From: swanswan <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com ; Eric Greenfield <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> ; Dr Sarah Warren <mailto:DrWarren@multicoach.org> ; WJOHNSON@steelcase.com ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; suzyg@aol ; email@example.com
Cc: David Swan <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 8:48 PM
Subject: Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Please mark November 12 on your calendars. If we can hear back from you by then, we would be very grateful.
The bare facts: Both the Holland BPW and Laketown Township/Allegan County want to build a water intake and treatment facility within the current Saugatuck Dunes State Park boundaries. Laketown has already submitted an application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Holland's was ready for submission as of late last week. We have not yet seen it, but Dave talked at length with the General Manager of the Holland BPW. Laketown/Allegan's water treatment plant would probably be built somewhere in the vicinity of the park's entrance. Holland owns 23 acres adjacent to the north end of the park but they would like to trade it for more buildable land; again, probably near the park's entrance. Laketown acquired the old prison property, a 40-acre parcel which is completely enclosed by the state park and now managed as "Historic Shores Acres Twp Park," five years ago for $1. The DNR wanted to unload the liability of buildings on the property. Laketown proposes giving this land back to the state in exchange for land just within the state park's entrance. Of course, a treatment plant anywhere in the park is going to require tearing up additional acres for pipeline and a pumphouse. In fact, paper work filed with the DNR by Laketown Township asks for a "40- to 100-foot construction easement" through the park (Laketown/Allegan's plan would effectively divide the park in two) for installation of a five-foot-plus (per Laketown Twp's manager) pipeline and on which to move heavy equipment. It also asks for a 200' x 200' parcel at the beach for a 50' x 50' (per conversation with Laketown Twp's manager) pumphouse. That application also suggests that Laketown/Allegan would expect to expand the whole works in 20 years. Please note that Saugatuck Dunes Natural Area, enclosed within state park boundaries, is a 5- to 10-minute walk from Laketown/Allegan's proposed site.
About the park: As you know, it is a priceless piece of almost-wilderness. There is nothing else like it in all of the southern lower peninsula of Michigan. Indeed, there are fewer and fewer places like it anywhere in the U.S. Visitors to Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Natural Area can hike miles of trail through more than 1000 acres of dunes and forest to the longest stretch of undeveloped public beach along the southern shores of Lake Michigan. Boaters, too, regularly access the pristine beach. And cross country skiers and snow shoers use the park all winter long. Scientists, painters, photographers, writers, birders, wildflower aficionados, and school and church groups come to the park from all over Michigan and beyond to enjoy the parkšs significant, and increasingly rare, natural assets.
What we need before the 12th: On Nov. 12th, 6:30, Herrick Library in Holland, we will be making a public presentation of all the information we have gathered about the proposed projects. If you can attend please do. Please help us spread word of this meeting. May we use your name as part of a group called Concerned Citizens for Saugatuck Dunes? Our purpose at this point is to raise awareness, ask questions, watchdog, and stop the process until all our questions are answered; and to encourage a discussion (among municipalities, state government officials, and Concerned Citizens) which would lead to a master plan for water infrastructure development in our region and, if possible, leave Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Natural Area alone. We also plan to work for permanent protection of the entire Saugatuck Dunes State Park and Natural Area from any development which compromises the area's ecology. Lastly, would you be willing to send us an email statement expressing your support for a moratorium on the application process? If you can expand your statement to include all our goals, that would be even better.
What we'll need soon: Letters to editors, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, DNR, and your state representatives. We will get back to you on this.
The Kalamazoo River Protection Association, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and Lake Michigan Federation support putting on the brakes. WMEAC has gone on record publicly as being opposed to constructing anything in the park which compromises its ecology.
Please come to our Nov. 12 meeting if you can. In light of the present world situation, our little state park seems like a small thing, but it is a fight we might win and the results of this fight will directly affect our community, our region, and even our state for a long long time to come.
Alison and David Swan
Founders, Concerned Citizens for Saugatuck Dunes