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E-M:/ Leelanau Enterprise articles and editorial re: South Fox Island

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

Attached is a link to the Leelanau Enterprise's front page story this week
on the new South Fox Island land exchange controversy:


There was a second front page story in this week's Enterprise as well
(titled "Hunters' groups question Fox island firearms ban").  It is a great
article that reports on the DNR's dubious actions in restricting even
possession of firearms on the southern 115 acres of the Island despite
having no evidence that the alleged vandalism (which may or may not have
happened within the last decade) was caused by hunters and not by residents
of the Island.

Finally, the same issue of the Enterprise included a lengthy, and very good,
editorial about Mr. Johnson's, and the DNR's, actions with regard to the
newest attempt at securing a land exchange on South Fox.  Unfortunately,
neither the second front-page article nor the editorial are available
on-line.  I had scanned them in and tried to post them via JPEG files, but
that overloaded the enviro-mich server (sorry Alex!!).  I'll end this email
with some quotes from the Enterprise editorial.  Anyone who would like
copies of the article and editorial faxed to them, please contact my
assistant Mary Kelley at (231) 271-7601.

Excerpts from 11/29/01 Leelanau Enterprise editorial titled "Proposed island
land swap not a final answer":

"We suggest that members of the NRC hold off support [of the latest exchange
proposal], and begin asking some pointed questions about the process leading
up to this newest proposal."

"But we get the feeling that the state is ready to sign off on any plan
submitted by Mr. Johnson in an effort to advance past what has become a
sticky controversy.  Such quick support in the past has only created doubts
about the role of the DNR as a steward of the island, and has led to the
alienation of user groups which should be much more involved in this process
of transferring land."

"A second question should be directed at DNR staffers, who need to explain
how this new proposal will provide a long-range and permanent answer to
ongoing complaints by Mr. Johnson of trespassing, and problems accessing
landlocked public property by island users.  Those should be minimum
requirements for consolidation.  We can give you our opinion on that one.
The answer is 'it won't'."

"The proposal was made of convenience, allowing the state and Mr. Johnson to
'swap' lands quickly without an environmental impact statement required for
the transfer of property deeded to the DNR from the federal government."

"[David Johnson] has not helped his cause in the public's mind by
threatening to develop his share of the island if he doesn't get his way,
continuing to offer better deals when flaws are pursued by opposition
groups, blaming 'hunters' for damage to the lighthouse buildings, and
lambasting federal officials for proceeding through a lengthy process
required by law."

"[The newest exchange proposal] deserves a look, not a quick endorsement."

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