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SG-W:/ Bluffs preservation advances



Friends:
Thanks to all who came out Monday night in support of the Bluffs. Below is a 
copy of our latest press release.
--Bill Hanson,
For Friends of the Bluffs


Ann Arbor City Council clears way for Bluffs preservation

August 22, 2000 (For immediate release) 
ANN ARBOR -- The effort to save the Bluffs, a steep-sloped 17-acre urban 
forest and wetlands along the banks of the Huron River, cleared another major 
hurdle last night when the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approved a 
measure to seek state funds for the site's acquisition and preservation. 

Bob Johnson, cofounder of Friends of the Bluffs, the grassroots group that 
formed nearly two years ago to fight for preservation of the site, called the 
Council vote "a wonderful thing."

"We're so pleased that City Council recognized the importance that this 
beautiful piece of land holds for so many people in our community," Johnson 
added. "Preserving the Bluffs as a park or natural area is the right thing to 
do."

A Farmington Hills-based development company recently pulled the plug on 
Autumn Ridge, a controversial luxury condominium project slated for the 
Bluffs, after its plans for the site were rejected by the Ann Arbor Planning 
Commission on two separate occasions last year.

Representatives of two leading environmental groups joined Friends of the 
Bluffs in praising last night's vote.  "We salute Council for its decisive 
vote to preserve this special site," said Mary Beth Doyle of the Ecology 
Center. "Every time the City moves to protect a  great natural area, our 
community is better off."   

Doug  Cowherd, chair of the Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group, added that 
protecting natural areas is something that Ann Arbor residents have been 
urging their locally elected officials to do for some time. "The Bluffs will 
connect  six existing parks to create the finest urban natural area in 
Southeast Michigan. Our children's children will be delighted with our wisdom 
in preserving this land."
 
The measure approved by City Council Monday night seeks to secure 50% of the 
funds to acquire the Bluffs from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. 
The City would pick up the other half of the acquisition costs. Independent 
appraisals of the Bluffs property have not yet been carried out, but park 
commissioners estimated the site to be worth  about $1.1 million. 

 (end)


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