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Re: E-M:/ Action Alert: Stop Michigan state park sale bills



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Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>
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While these Senate bills are well-intentioned, as
LuAnne points out, they include huge loopholes which
could do more damage to our parks system than Russ
Harding's original proposal, which called for the sale
of 14 of our 97 state parks.

The worst of the provisions are those dealing with the
sale of parkland less than 100 acres or 15% of the
total park acreage. The proposed language would allow
the sale of state park property up to 100 acres or 15%
of the total park acreage, whichever is less, 60 days
after providing notice to the Legislature. That's it.
No other public notice or input is required. 

100 acres/15% might not sound like much when
discussing the Porcupine Mountains 59000+ acres. But
consider the impact on popular parks like Mackinac
Island State Park (1800 acres) or Holland State Park
(142 acres) or Saugatuck Dunes (1000 acres). Besides
being popular with Michigan residents and visitors
alike, all three are located in areas where there's
extreme demand for lakefront access and development.
Imagine what developers would promise in dollars to
the DNR to secure 14 acres of lakefront property in
Holland or 100 acres of land on Mackinac Island or at
Saugatuck Dunes? Are we ready to allow our State Parks
to be parceled off to the highest bidder without even
public input?   

Can we really support a process that could allow such
deals to go through with only the bare minimum of
legislative oversight? Don't our parks and our
residents deserve better? As LuAnne asked, don't our
parks deserve permanent protection, not an expedited
process to sell them off? Good intentions can lead to
bad legislation and while these proposals are a start
in the right direction, they have a long ways to go
before they are really meeting the needs of the
public. 

Andrew Mutch
Novi 



--- LuAnne Kozma <luanne_kozma@yahoo.com> wrote:

>
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> Enviro-Mich message from LuAnne Kozma
> <luanne_kozma@yahoo.com>
>
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> 
> March 21, 2006
> 
> Action Alert from Defense of Place
> 
> Michigan State Parkland at Risk
> 
> ACT NOW:  TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO OPPOSE SENATE
> BILLS 971 and 972 and the substitute S-5 for SB 971.
> 
> Please call your state senator before 10 a.m.
> tomorrow, WEDNESDAY MARCH 22 and urge him or her to
> vote �no� on Senate Bills 971 and 972 and the
> Substitute 5 for 971. These bills will be voted on
> in
> the Senate on March 22 at the session beginning at
> 10
> a.m.
> 
> (Find your State Senator by going to
>
http://www.senate.michigan.gov/SenatorInfo/find-your-senator.htm)
> 
> You can also tell Governor Jennifer M. Granholm to
> not
> support these bills:
> Phone: (517) 373-3400; fax: (517) 335-6863
> 
> Senators� original intentions were to try to
create
> a
> public process and legislative oversight for
> proposals
> to sell off parks. Instead, these two bills were
> seriously compromised in a substitute version now
> being voted on for SB 971:
> 
> The Substitute S-5 for SB 971 would:
> 
> --continue to treat our state park system as
> tradable,
> saleable lands, not protected parks
> 
> --spell out a process for how parkland can be sold
> by
> the Department of Natural Resources or by the
> Legislature, depending on the size of the parkland
> parcel
> 
>   --allow sales of large amounts of state parkland
> without any public or legislative oversight (up to
> 100
> acres or 15% of any state park, whichever is less)
> 
> --make the sale of larger amounts of parkland quite
> simple for the administration�and difficult for
> citizens to stop such sales�by allowing parkland
> sales
> to occur in 60 days if the Legislature does not act
> to
> stop the sale.
> 
> --fail to provide permanent protection for any parks
> or parkland in perpetuity, including wilderness and
> designated natural areas.
> 
> --easily facilitate the transfer of state parkland
> to
> other public entities
> 
> Michigan citizens deserve permanent protection for
> our
> state parks that guarantees that future generations
> will be able to enjoy the parks as we have, not
> complicated laws that contain formulas for how to
> sell
> them. The original language of SB 971 was stronger
> protection, while still falling short of offering
> any
> kind of permanent protection.
> 
> Please urge your state senator to vote �no� on
SB
> 971
> and 972 and the Substitute S-5 for 971.
> 
> For more information contact:
> 
> LuAnne Kozma   248-473-5761  LuAnne_Kozma@yahoo.com
> Jason Kibbey  jkibbey@defenseofplace.org
> 
> Defense of Place
> www.defenseofplace.org
> 
> Defense of Place is the organization in the United
> States devoted solely to assuring that parks, open
> space, and wildlife refuges stay protected forever.
> 
>  
> 
> 
> 
> 
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