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E-M:/ Re: question

Enviro-Mich message from Christopher Graham <grahamz@umich.edu>

Hi, Michele --

The Michigan Natural Areas Council did agree to endorse the Conservation 
Summit Agenda at our meeting yesterday.  We applaud the time and effort 
which went into assembling such an agenda.

We are troubled that some complained that the process was not inclusive of 
some MEC member organization's concerns.  We share those concerns to the 
extent we have seen them.  We would hope the process could be improved in 
this regard, if such an effort is repeated in coming years.

If it is repeated, we will become involved and ask for more concerted 
attention to natural features and natural areas, to invasive plants and 
plant communities (not just to invasive aquatics), to support for the work 
of the Heritage Programs including inventory work of the Michigan Natural 
Features Inventory and to the many programs funded by the Nongame Fish and 
Wildlife Trust Fund (now primarily supported via sales of the Critical 
Wildlife Habitat license plate) -- among other things.

While some of our concerns can be reached from items that were addressed in 
the Agenda, we also think clearer attention to one or two overarching 
principles and policies could play a helpful part in guiding the language 
of the Land Stewardship and Water Resource Protection sections.

For example, the Forest Policy section misses the pressing policy need to 
identify, inventory, protect, monitor and carefully steward the most 
valuable among the few areas remaining in our public forests of Michigan 
which are old growth stands.

As you know, these areas (though existing in only a few locations on a very 
small number of total acres) are key scenic, biological and natural 
resources of the people of Michigan.  Yet, there has been resistance to 
treating these places in the way they should be:  As treasures.  (If we 
don't keep the most complicated, special, diverse, mature, richest of our 
resources for future generations, are we not removing from ourselves and 
our children doorways to understanding how the natural world works?  Is 
there anyone who thinks we already know everything about nature and so 
don't need the keep best of it around any more?  Do we really expect 
Michigan to remain an appealing place to live if most of "nature" is 
reduced to old fields, pioneer woods, ornamentals, weeds and streams in 

The overarching principle is that we truly need to better know what and 
where our valuable natural features are, across the State, and 
simultaneously build ways minimize our impact upon them, on an ongoing 
basis, while we grow and develop.

This is not difficult to do, actually.

We are doing this in many ways in many places, obvious in some of the 
Agenda items.  But we are not doing them nearly broadly nor widely nor 
effectively enough.  Focus on the overall character of such efforts could 
be strengthened, and show up better in the document.


At 10:46 AM 11/5/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi Chris-
>I just wondered if your board had made a decision regarding the conservation
>summit document? thanks.
> > At 11:02 AM 11/2/2001 -0500, you wrote:
> > >Hello Chris-
> > >
> > >By now you should have received the hard copy of the Conservation Summit
> > >agenda.
> > >
> > >Do you know if your group has decided to sign on? Thanks!
> > >
> > >--
> > >Michele Scarborough
> > >Member Services Director
> > >Michigan Environmental Council
> > >119 Pere Marquette Dr., Ste. 2A
> > >Lansing, MI 48912
> > >(517) 487-9539
> > >(517) 487-9541 fax
> > >http://www.mecprotects.org
> >

Christopher L. Graham, ASLA
(734) 975-7800 (O)
email   grahamz@umich.edu
sms email   7342609890@page.nextel.com

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