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RE: SPAM-LOW: Re: E-M:/ Michigan parkland on the chopping block

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from Christopher Graham -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Christopher,


LuAnne did not say Keith Charters is thick skinned; if you read her post again, you will see that she is quoting Keith himself.


Given the rampant housing you quote, it seems ridiculous that the state would surrender the chance to preserve some wild area in the middle of it.


It also seems impossible that wildlife has completely left 570 acres. I know that we have much smaller wooded areas in urban Grand Rapids, and we often see deer and wild turkey on the edges of them.


Finally, even with the 400 foot set back, if the entire area was surrounded by houses, you would still have 410 huntable acres.


So, we have a huntable “fairly sizable parcel” of mostly wetlands in an area becoming increasingly developed. It seems to me that the preservation of such an area is of utmost importance.


In my opinion, when the state comes into the possession of land, especially wilderness or parkland (or land that can be restored to wilderness), the state should make every effort to hang on to that land. We have little enough as it is, especially with the development pressures. This plays into a whole host of issues. One is that we cannot continue to build at this incredible rate. Our urban areas can surely use infill development. And most of the growth is not managed; parks, wilderness, and open space are often not planned for. Isolated parcels, such as Proud Lake, will become our parks of tomorrow (or now).


Finally, we need to acknowledge the value of undeveloped land. If the state continues to hold onto this 570 acres, it should not be considered wasted, but preserved. It should be held as valuable open space resource for all citizens of the State of Michigan (and especially the citizens in that area of the state). I don’t think the state acknowledges this value. I think the state sees undeveloped land (park or not) only as resource to develop. And that, I think, is the real danger to our remaining undeveloped areas.


Best Regards,


Christopher Reader

Friends of Garfield Park


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of Christopher Graham
Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:42 PM
To: LuAnne Kozma; enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: E-M:/
Michigan parkland on the chopping block


Hi, LuAnne --

Again, though this time to the list as a whole, I have to take exception to your point of view.

Keith Charters is one of the finest NRC Commissioners to ever serve.  His integrity is impeccable.  To imply that he is "thick-skinned" against bona fide issues and points of view in regard to the Land Consolidation Strategy is completely erroneous.  He is and must be thick-skinned against those who are unreasonable in their assertions.

In the case of Proud Lake, the fairly sizable parcel now outside the boundary (about which you are complaining) are lands once owned by the Federal government, used for years as a nuclear missile (NIKE) launch site.

When that activity was mothballed, the land was purchased by
Michigan hunter funds, and added to Proud Lake Recreation area as a hunting property.  This was done even though it is quite some distance away and isolated from the bulk of that parkland.  Hunting was good there, in those days, so perhaps it seemed worth it.

Then came rampant housing development, now completely surrounding this property, over the last 25 years.

Given a 400 foot setback requirement imposed as state law for no hunting zones near residential houses -- this land has become out of bounds for hunting.

Given that wildlife has departed the area, the issue is mute anyway.

So now comes the MDNR looking for practical ways to make sense of their land holdings, via their quite important to do "Land Consolation Strategy."

Seeing that this property is a piece they are legally bound not to use for any purpose but hunting, seeing that it is land that is isolated and quite apart from the rest of the Proud Lake resource they must steward -- they conclude they will place it outside the curret view of practical boundaries.  In some of the first steps of disposing of such land, they have offered it to local communities to use as park land.  A school site is planned on part, a locally owned and operated park may happen on the rest of these lands.  These negotiations are much under way.

What would you do, observing the constraints?

If it were me and it is the MDNR, I would find a local government and school that needs and wants the land for their park or school purposes, and sell it to them.  Then I would take the money (though these things most often work without money but in trade), and find land that is big enough and suitable enough to allow the original purpose of having the State owned land in the first place, to be better sustained.

This is what is happening.

I must say I do not understand what you are talking about, why you continue to so object without good reason, and why you would be so critical of Keith Charters.

I bring my concern up to all on this list so that they are aware someone, at least, does not see eye to eye with you.


At 02:58 PM 5/18/2006, LuAnne Kozma wrote:

Enviro-Mich message from LuAnne Kozma <luanne_kozma@yahoo.com>


More on the violation of the public trust, and sale of
public lands being sold off to the highest bidder
right here at home--

Below are the links to today's articles in the
News and the Detroit Free Press about the Proud Lake
State Recreation Area parkland being fast-tracked
outside of the Land Consolidation Strategy.

DNR staff and Mr. Keith Charters, chair of the NRC,
gave an update on the strategy to senators at a
committee meeting earlier this week, which I attended.
 I heard the DNR's  power point presentation, talking
about inholdings, wanting to sell off "small" parcels
here and there, and how totally public it was. A
clever graphic showed replacing a 40-acre outholding
with a 40-acre inholding. When asked if there was any
controversy and if they were listening to the public,
Mr. Charters replied that the NRC (or he) has  "thick

If the public could trust the DNR, the State of
Michigan, and Legislators again to hang onto the
parkland the public owns, maybe some of those
inholding owners would gladly donate to a careful
steward like the State of Michigan, knowing that for
all time, they would keep the land a park.

The articles:

Laura Berman's column: State recreation area land sale
may violate public's trust

Detroit News May 18, 2006

Sides clash over land's possibilities
Commerce Twp. residents see rare open space, but DNR
looks to sell  

Detroit Free Press May 18, 2006

Parks for Sale?  Detroit Free Press editorial

LuAnne Kozma
Defense of Place

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ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
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Christopher L. Graham, ASLA
(734) 975-7800 (O)
email    grahamz@umich.edu

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