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E-M:/ State Land Review Meeting Set for June 14 at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery in Mattawan



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 1, 2005
Contacts: Kerry Wieber 517-373-9905, Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014
                                	
State Land Review Meeting Set for
June 14 at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery in Mattawan

A public meeting to discuss the Department of Natural Resources land consolidation strategy for Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties is slated for Tuesday, June 14, at the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery located at 34270 County Road 652 in Mattawan. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.

At the meeting, DNR staff will review the state-owned parcels that fall outside of DNR project boundary lines for state parks, forests, game and wildlife areas, recreation areas and other DNR facilities. Parcels have been reviewed by the DNR for retention, alternative conservation ownership or disposal, and the recommendations discussed at these public meetings are preliminary. 

Three counties will be reviewed at the Mattawan meeting. The details for the parcels in each county can be found at the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrlandreview.

In Kalamazoo County, 71 parcels totaling 451.82 acres will be reviewed. Of those, the DNR recommends retaining state ownership of 61 parcels totaling 410 acres. The DNR proposes offering three parcels totaling 20.89 acres to alternative conservation organizations or local units of government to manage. And seven parcels totaling 20.93 acres have been identified as land to dispose.

In St. Joseph County, 42 parcels totaling 98.16 acres will be reviewed. The DNR recommends retaining ownership of 37 parcels totaling 60.76 acres. The DNR recommends that two parcels totaling two acres be turned over to an alternative conservation organization or local unit of government to manage. And three parcels totaling 35.4 acres have been slated for disposal. 

In Van Buren County, 99 parcels totaling 193.42 acres will be reviewed. Of those, the DNR recommends retaining ownership of 67 parcels totaling 175.07 acres. The DNR recommends turning over two parcels totaling two acres to alternative conservation organizations or local units of government to manage. And 30 parcels totaling 16.35 acres have been slated for disposal. 

Every six months, the DNR reviews 10 counties to determine which parcels will be disposed of and which will be retained. These parcels are outside of the new project boundaries for all state parks, recreation areas, state game and wildlife areas, and state forests adopted by the DNR in 2004. Once the reviews are completed by the DNR field staff, the parcels are classified one of three ways: retention under state ownership and DNR management, transfer to another unit of government or an alternative conservation organization or disposal because the parcel has limited natural resource, recreational or cultural value. Parcels are identified for retention by the DNR for a myriad of reasons, including public recreational opportunities, hunting opportunities, wildlife habitat or water and boating access.

The DNR Land Exchange Review Committee will incorporate public comments into its final recommendations to the DNR Director, expected in July 2005.

Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for the meeting should contact Kerry Wieber at 517-373-9905 a minimum of five working days before the event.  Requests made less than five days before this meeting may not be accommodated. 

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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