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E-M:/ NRC Reviews Eight More Counties Under Land Consolidation Strategy



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 03 June 2005
CONTACT: Mary Dettloff, 517-335-3014

NRC Reviews Eight More Counties Under Land Consolidation Strategy

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission at its meeting Thursday reviewed eight more counties in the ongoing process to consolidate the state's land holdings to maximize public recreational opportunities and more effectively manage state-owned land.

"As we consolidate the state-owned land and make decisions about retaining certain parcels outside of project boundaries and disposing of others that have limited recreational, cultural and natural resource value, it is important to keep the public and NRC informed of our actions," said Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries. "The process is moving smoothly, and we are forming strong partnerships with local governments and conservation organizations to continue to provide recreation opportunities on some of these parcels."

Counties reviewed during Thursday's meeting include Branch, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Hillsdale, Iron, Cass, Emmet, and Leelanau. Additionally, the NRC reviewed boundary adjustments for public land in Berrien and Dickinson counties, the first two counties through the land review process. The DNR's recommendations for the parcels reviewed Thursday are:

Branch County

In Branch County, the DNR will retain ownership of 32 parcels totaling 54.74 acres that fall outside of project boundary lines, offer three small parcels to a unit of government or an alternative conservation organization (ACO), and dispose of eight parcels totaling 11.5 acres through exchange or sale. Most of the parcels the DNR proposes to retain would be for boating or water access. The parcels slated for disposal all have no public access to them or are isolated subdivision lots.

Charlevoix County

In Charlevoix County, the DNR will retain ownership of 18 parcels totaling 228.12 acres. Fourteen parcels totaling 221.29 acres were recommended for an ACO, and 18 parcels totaling 60.36 acres were recommended for disposal. The parcels recommended for retention were selected based on natural features, water and boating access, and hunting opportunities. The parcels recommended for disposal were chosen because of limited size, lack of public access or because they were isolated subdivision lots.

Chippewa County

In Chippewa County, the DNR will retain 120 parcels totaling 1,467.45 acres; while recommending 18 parcels totaling 448.29 acres for an ACO. Seventy-eight parcels totaling 1,019.47 acres were recommended for disposal. Parcels for retention were chosen based on natural features, recreational opportunities, wildlife viewing opportunities, water and boating access, hunting opportunities and wildlife habitat. Parcels for disposal included isolated subdivision lots, areas that lacked public access or natural features or were of a limited size.

Hillsdale County

In Hillsdale County, the DNR will retain 22 parcels totaling 18.40 acres, and offer one small parcel to a unit of government or an ACO. Three parcels totaling 14.11 acres were recommended for disposal, and they include isolated subdivision lots and one parcel that has no significant recreational opportunities. The parcels pegged for retention have boating and water access.

Iron County

In Iron County, the DNR is retaining 214 parcels totaling 3,329.37 acres, while recommending 47 parcels totaling 1,206.54 acres for an ACO. A total of 98 parcels totaling 1,062.11 acres were recommended for disposal. The parcels recommended for retention have boating and water access, recreational opportunities, hunting opportunities and natural features. Parcels slated for disposal lack public access, are limited in size, are isolated subdivision lots, have only partial DNR ownership (undivided interest), or have limited natural resources and recreational opportunities.

Cass County
 
In Cass County, 30 parcels totaling 38.8 acres will be retained, while two small parcels were recommended for disposal. Six parcels totaling 51.29 acres were recommended for an ACO. The parcels retained have boating and water access, while the two small parcels for disposal are an isolated subdivision lot and have no recreation opportunities. LERC also made a boundary adjustment at Crane Pond State Game Area in Cass County as a result of the land review.  

Emmet County

In Emmet County, 40 parcels totaling 1,278.91 acres will be retained under DNR ownership, while three parcels totaling 81.20 acres will be offered for an ACO. Six parcels totaling 44.55 acres were slated for disposal. The parcels retained have hunting opportunities, recreation opportunities, water and boating access. Parcels targeted for disposal have no public access, are an isolated subdivision lot and contain no significant natural resources. The DNR also recommended some minor boundary adjustments in state forestland in Emmet County, at Wilderness State Park and at the DNR's Oden Fish Hatchery.

Leelanau County

In Leelanau County, 15 parcels totaling 20.9 acres will be retained, while one small parcel will be considered for an ACO. Two parcels totaling 3.35 acres were recommended for disposal because they lack public access and significant recreational opportunities. The parcels slated to be retained all have boating access. The DNR also recommended a boundary change at Leelanau State Park and at the Beaver Island State Wildlife Research Area on South Fox Island.

Other Boundary Adjustments

A boundary adjustment was recommended in Berrien County at the Warren Dunes State Park to add a small area of public land. In Dickinson County, the DNR recommends a boundary adjustment in state forestland to take in a small portion of state-owned land.

Information about each county's land review can be obtained at the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr by following the Land Consolidation Strategy link on the front page.
 
The DNR is committed to the conservation, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

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