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Enviro-Mich message from "Julie Metty" <jmetty@pscinc.com>


William Rustem, MEER Staff Manager
Holly Madill, Public Sector Consultants

Economy through 2040

5 December 2001-Lansing, MI- The Michigan Economic and Environmental
Roundtable (MEER) and Public Sector Consultants, Inc. on Friday released
the final report of the Michigan Land Resource Project-a study that
projects the future of agriculture, forestry, tourism, and mining if
present land use trends continue.

Using a land transformation model developed by researchers at Michigan
State University, the Michigan Land Resource Project projects the future
of Michigan in a mapping format for the years 2020 and 2040. It then
features detailed economic forecasts for the land-based industries of
agriculture, forestry, tourism, and mining in the state. The economic
forecasts were prepared by researchers associated with Michigan State
University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan Technological

"These industries are important to Michigan. They represent
approximately one-third of Michigan's economy," states Al Almy of the
Michigan Farm Bureau. 

 "The future of these industries matters to Michigan because in addition
to their direct contribution to the economy, they shape the Michigan
landscape that creates a quality of life that attracts business and
employees," says Jim Barrett, President of the Michigan Chamber of

The project was overseen by a diverse advisory group consisting of
representatives from the land-based industries and includes Al Almy,
Michigan Farm Bureau; Jim Barrett, Michigan Chamber of Commerce; Jim
Goodheart, Michigan United Conservation Clubs; Chris MacInnes, Crystal
Mountain Resort; Mark Pontti, International Paper; and Bill Taylor, MSU
Fisheries and Wildlife.

The Michigan Land Resource Project was funded by grants from the W.K.
Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek and the Frey Foundation of Grand
Rapids. The complete report is available on-line at

Among the major findings of the report:

*	Michigan will lose 25 percent of its orchard land in the next 40

*	The state's destination resorts, particularly those in the
northern lower peninsula, are threatened by encroaching development
along the travel corridors that lead to them. 

*	In order to keep forestry harvesting costs down, access to large
parcels is necessary. As the land becomes more fragmented, the price for
harvesting Michigan's timber will increase.

*	Michigan will lose 1.9 million acres of farmland in the next 40

*	Land available for hunting will dramatically decrease, while
"edge" species such as white-tailed deer will continue to increase in

*	"Built" land will increase by 4.1 million acres across the
state, more than tripling the existing amount of "built" land.

*	Transportation costs associated with moving construction
materials farther distances will dip into the profit of mining

*	We are experiencing a phenomenon where mining, agriculture, and
forestry are unable to compete with the value of the land for other uses
and large contiguous parcels are being fragmented into smaller,
less-economically viable blocks.

Class of Land Use	1980 	2040	Change	%	
Agriculture	11.0	9.1	-1.9	-17	
Built	2.3	6.4	+4.1	+178	
Private Forestland	18.2	16.9	-1.3	-8	
Other Vegetation	2.9	2.2	-0.7	-24	
Wetland	1.8	1.4	-0.2	-10	
		*numbers are in millions of acres

 "Though the trends presented may not be the image of Michigan that we
cherish, it's not too late," says Chris MacInnes, Senior Vice President
for Crystal Mountain Resort. "People can make a difference. We can help
change these trends and still have time to make important choices. We
can support policies and regulatory changes designed to preserve the
character of our 37 million acres for the next generation. Or we can
accept the status quo."

"This project was not meant to be a crystal ball. However, it does
provide very realistic projections about changes in the state's
land-based industries over the next 40 years," says Bill Rustem,
Michigan Land Resource Project Manager and vice-president of Public
Sector Consultants. "It is intended to spark discussions and debate
about where our state is headed if current land use trends continue. If
those trends do continue, the study shows dramatic effects on both the
state's economy and our quality of life."

For more information, to receive a copy of the complete report about the
Michigan Land Resource Project, or to request a speaker for an event,
contact Holly Madill at 517-484-4954. 

Julie Metty
Public Sector Consultants
Great Lakes Fishery Trust 
People and Land 
600 W St. Joseph, Lansing, MI 48933
v: 517.484.4954, f: 484.6549

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