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On Fri, 7 Dec 2001, Ponvert wrote:

> Pretty scary if this is the group that is going to have a say in
> making big decisions about MI land use and development. Where is the
> MI League of Conservation Voters and Washtenaw Land Trust, and the
> environmental groups?

This group just released a study.  A study that has scary implications for
the future of nature and people who care for it.  I think it's
constructive that we see the bad place we're headed if things don't
change.  The more we realize this, the more we'll organize to try to find
a different path, both for Washtenaw County and for the state as a whole.

Time is short.  We need wake-up calls like this.

Doug Cowherd
Co-Chair, Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Mary Beth Doyle
> To: smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net
> Cc: jmetty@pscinc.com
> Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2001 3:33 PM
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5 December 2001
> William Rustem, MEER Staff Manager
> 517-484-4954
> Holly Madill, Public Sector Consultants
> 517-484-4954
> Economy through 2040
> 5 December 2001-Lansing, MI- The Michigan Economic and Environmental
> Roundtable (MEER) and Public Sector Consultants, Inc. on Friday released
> the final report of the Michigan Land Resource Project-a study that
> projects the future of agriculture, forestry, tourism, and mining if
> present land use trends continue.
> Using a land transformation model developed by researchers at Michigan
> State University, the Michigan Land Resource Project projects the future
> of Michigan in a mapping format for the years 2020 and 2040. It then
> features detailed economic forecasts for the land-based industries of
> agriculture, forestry, tourism, and mining in the state. The economic
> forecasts were prepared by researchers associated with Michigan State
> University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan Technological
> University.
> "These industries are important to Michigan. They represent
> approximately one-third of Michigan's economy," states Al Almy of the
> Michigan Farm Bureau.
>   "The future of these industries matters to Michigan because in addition
> to their direct contribution to the economy, they shape the Michigan
> landscape that creates a quality of life that attracts business and
> employees," says Jim Barrett, President of the Michigan Chamber of
> Commerce.
> The project was overseen by a diverse advisory group consisting of
> representatives from the land-based industries and includes Al Almy,
> Michigan Farm Bureau; Jim Barrett, Michigan Chamber of Commerce; Jim
> Goodheart, Michigan United Conservation Clubs; Chris MacInnes, Crystal
> Mountain Resort; Mark Pontti, International Paper; and Bill Taylor, MSU
> Fisheries and Wildlife.
> The Michigan Land Resource Project was funded by grants from the W.K.
> Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek and the Frey Foundation of Grand
> Rapids. The complete report is available on-line at
> http://www.publicsectorconsultants.com.
> Among the major findings of the report:
> * Michigan will lose 25 percent of its orchard land in the next 40
> years.
> * The state's destination resorts, particularly those in the
> northern lower peninsula, are threatened by encroaching development
> along the travel corridors that lead to them.
> * In order to keep forestry harvesting costs down, access to large
> parcels is necessary. As the land becomes more fragmented, the price for
> harvesting Michigan's timber will increase.
> * Michigan will lose 1.9 million acres of farmland in the next 40
> years.
> * Land available for hunting will dramatically decrease, while
> "edge" species such as white-tailed deer will continue to increase in
> numbers.
> * "Built" land will increase by 4.1 million acres across the
> state, more than tripling the existing amount of "built" land.
> * Transportation costs associated with moving construction
> materials farther distances will dip into the profit of mining
> operations.
> * We are experiencing a phenomenon where mining, agriculture, and
> forestry are unable to compete with the value of the land for other uses
> and large contiguous parcels are being fragmented into smaller,
> less-economically viable blocks.
> Class of Land Use 1980 2040 Change %
> Agriculture 11.0 9.1 -1.9 -17
> Built 2.3 6.4 +4.1 +178
> Private Forestland 18.2 16.9 -1.3 -8
> Other Vegetation 2.9 2.2 -0.7 -24
> Wetland 1.8 1.4 -0.2 -10
> *numbers are in millions of acres
>   "Though the trends presented may not be the image of Michigan that we
> cherish, it's not too late," says Chris MacInnes, Senior Vice President
> for Crystal Mountain Resort. "People can make a difference. We can help
> change these trends and still have time to make important choices. We
> can support policies and regulatory changes designed to preserve the
> character of our 37 million acres for the next generation. Or we can
> accept the status quo."
> "This project was not meant to be a crystal ball. However, it does
> provide very realistic projections about changes in the state's
> land-based industries over the next 40 years," says Bill Rustem,
> Michigan Land Resource Project Manager and vice-president of Public
> Sector Consultants. "It is intended to spark discussions and debate
> about where our state is headed if current land use trends continue. If
> those trends do continue, the study shows dramatic effects on both the
> state's economy and our quality of life."
> For more information, to receive a copy of the complete report about the
> Michigan Land Resource Project, or to request a speaker for an event,
> contact Holly Madill at 517-484-4954.
> ###
> Julie Metty
> Public Sector Consultants
> Great Lakes Fishery Trust
> People and Land
> 600 W St. Joseph, Lansing, MI 48933
> v: 517.484.4954, f: 484.6549
> --
> Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
> Environmental Health Project
> Ecology Center
> 117 N. Division
> Ann Arbor MI 48104
> 734-663-2400 ext 108
> 734-663-2414 (fax)
> ===============================================================
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