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E-M:/ Interior Wetlands

Re: Does anyone know if we can put something like this in a local ordinance and have it be enforceable?  (My neighbor cut all the cattails and brush in a wetland area of about 1
acres size last year.  I called the DEQ office and was told he can do
anything he wanted to the vegetation and they didn't regulate it.  As long
as he wasn't filling in.  This wetland wsa just across the road and adjacent
to a lake (approx. 12 acres lake.)  They don't seem to understand that - in
my mind - the grasses and other material growing in the wetland is necessary
for wildlife etc.  All our kingfishers disappeared after he did this.  They
used to gather in the small trees that were in this area.  It is sad.)
Can we put in a regulation about not cutting wetland vegetation?  And if we do, do
we have to make exceptions for the yucky stuff like purple loosestrife?  If
there are any attorneys out there in EM land or wetland experts, please
Frericks v Highland Township 228 Mich App 575; 579 NW2d 441 (1998) upholds a
natural hazard area regulation.  It is also a preemption case.  A
municipality may not adopt an ordinance that conflicts with state laws, e.g.
Wetland Protection Act, or where the statute, (in this case WPA) occupies
the field of regulation.  The WPA allows township regulation only as
provided in the statute.

Also, there are many ordinances that limit the removal of natural vegetation
between homes and lakes.  Presumably, the same sort of regulation could be
enacted to protect wetlands.

We do that kind of work.

Chris Grobbel is an expert, and of course Bill Collins Huron Ecologic

Karen Ferguson
Tom Stephens
Guild/Sugar Law Center
733 St. Antoine, 3rd Floor
Detroit, Michigan 48226 USA
(313) 962-6540
(Fax) (313) 962-4492