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E-M:/ DNR's take on South Fox exchange proposal

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

Attached is a link to a forum piece by DNR official George Burgoyne which
appeared in Saturday's (12/2) Traverse City Record-Eagle.  Mr. Burgoyne's
assertion that the Indian land claims would not be affected regardless of
whether or not the state owns the land is not legally correct.  But then he
also calls endangered species (piping plover) recovery a "federal
responsibility", which is an alarming characterization from the State of
Michigan's purported natural resource stewards.  His description of Mr.
Johnson as a would-be friend of the plover also artfully skirted how Mr.
Johnson and/or his guests/staff have long used ATV's on the plover habitat
at the south tip of the Island.  That being said, Mr. Burgoyne's column will
not surprise anyone on this list-serve.

With respect to the latest mutation of the proposed South Fox Island land
exchange, the rush job which the DNR is putting on this exchange is
reflected in the fact that, as others have reported on this list-serve, it
lists the proposed exchange as involving only 218.8 acres when in fact it
would involve over 240 acres of state land (we will have to confirm whether
Johnson would be giving the state the 240 acre amount, or just the reported
218.8 acres).  I went through DNR property descriptions, including deeds,
and confirmed the discrepancy which had already been reported by highly
reliable sources.  Even the information prepared by the DNR for the upcoming
NRC meeting reports only 218.8 acres.   How could the DNR miss over 20 acres
in a highly controversial proposal for exchange of public lands which
include globally-rare perched dune communities?   We hope to find out at
this Thursday's Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing when the NRC
is asked to consider and approve the exchange proposal.  The meeting is in
the Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Avenue, and public comment is scheduled
to begin at about 4:30pm.


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