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E-M:/ Upper Manistee River Access Action Plan Approved



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Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2006

Contacts: Robin Pearson 989-732-3541 ext. 5045 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014				


Upper Manistee River Access Action Plan Approved

The Department of Natural Resources today announced that an action plan to create better access along the Upper Manistee River has received final approval by the DNR?s Statewide Council. The DNR will now seek funds to implement some of the recommendations in the plan, which are meant to provide safe, legal access and protect a stretch of pristine river in northern Michigan. The action plan can be found on the DNR?s Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr under the Natural Rivers section of the Forests, Land and Water menu.

?This is a great example of a successful partnership between the DNR and public stakeholders who are working toward providing responsible access to recreation opportunities while protecting an important river resource,? said Robin Pearson, DNR recreation specialist.  ?A top priority has been identified and we will start engineering design work immediately to relocate an existing, unsafe access point.?  

The action plan covers a portion of the river between Mancelona Road in southwestern Otsego County and M-66 in Kalkaska County. The plan was developed by the Fisheries, Wildlife, Parks and Recreation and Forest, Minerals and Fire Management divisions of the DNR, with public input from canoe liveries, river guides, anglers and riparian landowners. Groups who assisted with the effort were Trout Unlimited, the Michigan River Guides Association and the Upper Manistee River Association.

The Upper Manistee River is one of northern Lower Michigan?s most important watercourses, as noted by its State Natural River Designation in 2003. The abundant fisheries and wildlife resources, along with the scenic beauty and boating opportunities, have created increased use and pressure on the river.

The committee was charged with identifying access site problems within the study area and making recommendations for providing safe, sufficient access while protecting the resources associated with the river. Existing access sites within the area were inventoried and compared to river user needs to determine if locations and conditions were sufficient. Based on the inventory, recommendations were made as to which sites should be left open, relocated, upgraded, restored or closed to provide sufficient access while protecting the river. 

Work on the top priority is already underway at West Sharon Road where Recreational Improvement Fund money has been approved to relocate an existing, unsafe access point to an adjacent state-owned parcel. Additional projects will be completed as resources are made available. 

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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