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Enviro-Mich message from Smileysmlc@aol.com


This Saturday, July 26, at 10:00 a.m., the Southeast Michigan Land 
Conservancy will host a tour of a portion of the area known as the Sibley Prairie.  The 
Sibley Prairie is in Brownstown Township, in southern Wayne County, generally 
in the area of Sibley and King Roads, between Telegraph and Inkster Roads.  We 
will meet on King Road (a dirt road), approximately 1/4 mile west of 
Telegraph Road.

(The Conservancy owns a small 3-acre parcel in this area, next to a 2.6 acre 
parcel owned by The Nature Conservancy, and near a 5-acre parcel owned by 
Michigan Nature Association.)

The Sibley Prairie has been identified by The Nature Conservancy and the 
Michigan Natural Features Inventory as one of the largest remaining lake plain 
prairies in the Great Lakes basin.  It boasts over 14 rare, threatened and 
endangered species--making it one of the highest concentrations of rare species 
anywhere.  It also was the home of the last wild bison in Michigan, which was shot 
in 1882.

Previous plans were to develop this site into a landfill and, more recently, 
plans were to develop the site into a golf course and residential subdivision. 
 Reportedly, a bulk of the land was recently sold to a developer and 
Brownstown Township officials have been pushing for this rare prairie to be destroyed. 
 Although both Michigan and the U.S. government have laws purportedly to 
protect these rare species, will any government officials have the determination 
and vision to protect this imperiled prairie ecosystem?  Will wetland laws be 

Public awareness and involvement are essential if this prime bit of our 
natural heritage is to be protected.  Take a first step by acquainting yourself 
with this rare resource.

For a map and directions, go to www.mapquest.com and search for the 
intersection of Telegraph & King Roads in Brownstown Township.

Jack Smiley
Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy

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