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E-M:/ DNR Sets Next Round of Land Consolidation Meetings



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE	
September 29, 2005

Contacts: Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014 or Scott Whitcomb 517-641-4903                                                             	

DNR Sets Next Round of Land Consolidation Meetings
Public input sought on state land strategy in 10 counties

The Department of Natural Resources will host a series of meetings in October to give citizens an opportunity to discuss public land consolidation strategies for 10 counties across the state. This is part of a multi-phase, ongoing process to consolidate the state's land holdings, retain and manage parcels that present the best opportunity for high quality public recreation and natural resource protection and dispose of parcels that do not benefit the state from a recreational, cultural or natural resources standpoint.

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, retention and transfer to another unit of government or an alternative conservation organization or disposal because the parcel has limited natural resource, recreational or cultural value.

"These public meetings are the perfect opportunity for area residents to have a voice in decisions that could impact local land use," said Mindy Koch, DNR deputy resource director. "Public input is crucial in this process as we determine the best course for these publicly-held lands."

The meetings in October will allow the public to review parcels for retention and disposal in 10 counties: Mackinac, Houghton, Keweenaw, Alcona, Alpena, Macomb, St. Clair, Calhoun, Mason and Oceana.

The meetings are scheduled for:

*       Mackinac County: From 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Village Inn located at 250 S. State St. in St. Ignace;

*       Houghton and Keweenaw counties: From 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Room 204 of Dillman Hall at Michigan Technological University in Houghton;

*       Alcona and Alpena counties: From 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Alpena County Library located at 211 N. 1st Ave. in Alpena;

*       Macomb and St. Clair counties: From 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Lenox Township Hall located at 63975 Gratiot in Lenox;

*       Calhoun County: From 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Calhoun Intermediate School District's Gifford/Schultz Educational Service Center located at 17111 G Drive North in Marshall;

*       Mason and Oceana counties: From 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Ramada Inn located at 4079 West US 10 in Ludington.

Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for these meetings should contact DNR Wildlife Biologist Scott Whitcomb at 517-641-4903 a minimum of five working days before the event. Requests made less than five days before this meeting may not be accommodated.

For more information on the DNR's land consolidation process, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on Land Consolidation Strategy on the site's front page. Maps and parcel information will be posted on the DNR's Web site two weeks prior to each meeting.

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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