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E-M:/ Discussion of Golf Course on South Fox Island

Enviro-Mich message from "Upton, Brian" <BUPTON@mail.gtbindians.com>

Below are links to: a front page story in today's Traverse City
Record-Eagle and the editorial from today's Record-Eagle, both
concerning South Fox Island.

story about discussion of golf course on South Fox Island:

editorial saying the latest exchange proposal is moving forward too
quickly and should be slowed down to give the public time to evaluate

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians remains opposed
to the latest land exchange proposal.  The newest proposal would still
trade away state-owned parcels having clear title for properties which
come with clouded title in the form of Indian land claims.  Five
parcels, which Mr. Johnson would give to the State of Michigan under the
latest exchange, have federally-preserved claims attached to them which
cloud the title to those properties.

In addition, the DNR would be giving up incomparable dune lands which
its own personnel have identified as "globally-rare" and "spectacular"
for mediocre lands on the northern end of the Island which have been
recently described by National Park Service personnel as "not very
special".  The dunes the DNR proposes to give up were the #1 acquisition
priority identified by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory in 1988.
Like its predecessors, this latest in a parade of exchange proposals would
only benefit one man: David Johnson.  Also like its predecessors, the most
recent exchange proposal would result in the public land on the Island being
subject to further losses once title claims are resolved in court.  In
short, the public would receive much less out of this exchange than it
currently has.

Given all of the public opposition to the exchange, and given the fact
that (in the words of one DNR observer) the DNR has made the South Fox
land exchange its highest priority, it may be time to ask Governor
Engler why this controversial exchange keeps moving forward.  To date,
he's been pretty silent on the issue (as have local representatives
Jason Allen and George McManus).

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