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E-M:/ RE: / Developer wants Sleeping Bear Dunes NL land to build on



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Enviro-Mich message from David Holtz <david.holtz@sierraclub.org>
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Back in the late 80s and early 90s, when I was working in Congressman
Dale Kildee's office, the fight over Crystal River wetlands was a real
bone of contention between Kildee and Don Riegle, both Flint
politicians.  Kildee took up the good fight and I recall Riegle's staff
vowing all sorts of vague paybacks because Riegle was carrying the ball
for his developer-friends and didn't appreciate our position in support
of protecting Crystal River.  

As it turned out Riegle didn't run for reelection, leaving lthe Senate
in disgrace over his shenanigans involving his S&L friends and Kildee is
still in Congress, running unopposed this year.  It is, unfortunately,
not amazing that Riegle is still carrying water for corporate interests
against the public interest.  What IS amazing is why, during a time when
public attention is keenly focused on corporate-political corruption,
any member of congress would want to be seen as being open to such a
deal.  Particularly when it's being pushed by the tainted Riegle.  


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
[mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Anne Woiwode
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 6:53 PM
To: Enviro-Mich
Subject: E-M:/ Developer wants Sleeping Bear Dunes NL land to build on

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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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-

Anyone with a decent length memory in Michigan will know about the
fights
with the Homestead resort complex over the owner's attempts to build a
golf
course in wetlands along the Crystal River.  A few years ago, apparently
when it became clear that he wouldn't be able to build what he wanted,
Bob
Kuras started advocating for a swap of the Crystal River wetlands he
owned
for very buildable lands within the boundaries and owned by Sleeping
Bear
Dunes National Lakeshore.  This terrible idea eventually disappeared as
the
park service opposed it and public outcry grew. Sort of like a locust,
however, the idea has now reemerged in a fully shaped form in two
distinct
proposal, one of which is being lobbied heavily by Mr. Kuras right now
to
the Michigan Congressional Delegation.

The land swap idea is being explored in the proposed General Management
Plan
revision, which means it should be subject to public input and
submission to
review under proper federal laws.

In the last couple of days, however, Mr. Kuras has been spotted in
Washington DC with an entourage that reportedly includes former Senator
Don
Riegle and a former head of the National Park Service, visiting Michigan
delegation members seeking support to have this land swap added on at
the
very last minute to bills that have to do with parks issues in Oregon
and
Washington State, but which need only to have action on the floor of the
House in order to pass.

While protection of the Crystal River is a great idea, this land swap is
a
HORRIBLE idea that should opposed by anyone who cares about our national
natural treasures.  Land within SBDNL was acquired, often over the
objections of the former owners, with the promise to the people of this
nation that it would be protected in perpetuity as national park lands.
It
would be a cruel hoax on those who sometimes willingly agreed to give up
the
family homestead in order to serve the long term interests of our
country,
to have that land turned over to a developer so he can build houses, a
golf
course, and other development on that land.

If Mr. Kuras wants to see Crystal River land included in the park he can
make a donation of that land, or even seek to have it acquired (maybe he
could get tax deductions and sell it through a land conservancy).  It
would
be nice to have that land in the park, but it would be an outrage for
anyone
to think it is appropriate to trade away any of the precious land of the
SBDNL to achieve that goal.

Evidently it is suggested that a portion the land that would be traded
has
already been ruined by the Homestead, as part of its entrance and for it
drainage field.  It is an outrage that the park service has allowed
these
encroachments, but it is critical to realize that even this
inappropriate
use can be eliminated and the lands restored IF these lands stay in
National
Park Service hands.  The park service should insist that the Homestead
get
its entrance way off National Park Service lands, and move its drainage
field, but even if they don't right now, in the future those will be
reclaimed.  Giving 140 acres to a developer from lands in national park
protection, however, is an unconscionable idea.

Anne Woiwode

<<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->>
Anne Woiwode, Staff Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108  anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
visit the Mackinac Chapter on the web at http://michigan.sierraclub.org



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